Blocking Drills– Coaching Youth Football
No matter what age, level or experience football team you coach, blocking is the key to offensive success. It does not matter what type of offense you run, if you do not block, it will not succeed. I have had numerous coaches, over the years, show me their “unstoppable” offense with diagrams looked like an architect designed them. I listen and when they are finished with their pitch, I ask, “Where are the blocking schemes?” I usually get a blank stare or some response along the line of I’ll worry about that later as that is not important. My usual response to that is “good luck”.
I believe there are many different blocking drills available, which will work at all youth levels. I use the following skills and drills for all teams I have coached including 5-year old flag thru 14-year old all star teams:
- Form Blocking
- Duck Walking
- Sumo Blocking
- Pass Blocking
I will give a brief description of each of these skills and drills.
Form Blocking is done daily with a hand pad. We have one player hold the pad while the other teammate fires out from a three-point stance, using perfect form, popping the pads. We have the players drive block, keeping their hips square and feet chopping straight ahead for about three yards.
Duck Walking is done in stations. It is important to have the players stay low and learn to use their legs as power. Duck Walking does both, building strength in the legs and teaching the players how to stay low.
Sumo Blocking is one on one head-to-head drive blocking. Each player starts facing each other in a three-point stance and on the blow of the whistle; they push and block each other like two sumo wrestlers. I introduce sump blocking during tryouts and use it throughout the entire year.
My favorite Pass Blocking drill is having two players lie down, on the ground, helmet to helmet, facing the sky. One player will be offense and the other will be defense. I place a ball on the ground 5-7 yards behind the offensive player. On the whistle, both players spin to their feet and the defender tries to go around (or through) the offensive player and grab the ball. The offensive player’s job is to keep the defender away from the ball for 4 seconds. This is a fast competitive drill that the players love and it teaches the offensive players the skills of pass blocking.
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