Wedge Blocking - Coaching Youth Football
This is what the Single Wing offense is all about. This may seem like the most unorthodox kind of blocking you have ever seen, but once you see it in action, you will become a believer. You need to understand that it will seem uncomfortable to teach and pretty much look chaotic in the beginning. You will have to show great patience and confidence as you teach this to the team.
It will be slow progress, but once taught properly, it will be a devastating weapon in your arsenal.
I suggest starting to teach this to the team as a whole as early as Day One. You must emphasize to the team the importance of the wedge. You will be able to pick up large chunks or yardage, as well as those critical short yardage situations.
This really is not hard to teach, but insist that it is done correctly. Every lineman must seal with the player next to him and form an impenetrable wedge or upside down V.
Look at the diagram (figure 1) for a visual.
The objective is on the snap of the ball, all lineman to be in harmony and step forward and inside at the same time. When using zero line splits, it should be easy to seal block with the players next to each other.
The most important key is that all players move forward and in at the same time. Once they are sealed, they must drive together as a group. It is very important that the team realize that no defender can penetrate the wedge. Once the wedge is sealed, the team must practice moving together as one unit at the same pace. The goal is for the wedge to stay together and not be penetrated for as long as and as far as possible.
My favorite way to teach this is for a coach to stand with a hand pad over the Strong Guard and have the team step, seal, and form the wedge. Once this is done to perfection, you then have the team move as a unit and try to push the coach down field.
You need to make sure step is perfect meaning the players are forming the seal. My definition of perfect is repeating plays or drills 10 perfect times in a row.
One of the things teams will try to do to stop your wedge in submarine or lay flat to try to take out your linemen’s legs. There are really two solutions when the opponent tries this tactic. First, you can teach your players how to drive forward with high steps and just step on them. This is easier said than done, but opposing players usually do not last long once they have been stepped on.
Second, you can run one of the wedge fake plays. These can be highly effective since the entire defense has more than likely been coached to “sell out” to stop the wedge. The quick passing plays or delayed sweeps work the best.
If you plan to run the Single Wing, please make sure you add the Wedge series. It will be one of your most effective set of plays no matter what age group you are coaching.
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