Football Blocking Technique and Fundamentals
Football blocking technique
is the most basic of all fundamentals and you must invest the proper time on teaching it; especially offensive line blocking. Without effective offensive line play, your offense will be forever stuck in the mud.
Part of the success for your football team is that you pick out the football blocking schemes that work best with your particular athletes. We'll go over how to teach the proper football blocking technique and also which offensive line blocking types work best.
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You'll want to teach your offensive line players blocks such as the drive block, scramble block, trap block, double team, down-the-field block, etc. Let's get started.
Types of Blocks
1) Drive Block
The most basic of all football blocks. It's important in our opinion to teach this football blocking technique to your offensive line players first but to not base your whole blocking scheme on it. Unless you have phenomenal athletes on your line, you're going to see your players beat up quite often if they're trying to drive block one-on-one all game long.
We'll get to why that is in a bit. For now, let's focus on the drive block technique so you can teach it. We hear a lot of arguments about whether to shoulder block or to use the hands. Since our purpose here isn't to tell you what to do, we'll outline the fundamentals for both options. Then you can decide what to teach your football team, how's that?
Let's start with the shoulder football blocking technique. Begin in a proper stance with the head up and the eyes on the defender's number. The lineman's first step should be with the foot on the same side of the body as the shoulder he'll use to make the block.
As the player explodes forward, be sure the eyes are focused on the target. They can't hit what they can't see, right? After the initial step, the blocker should drop the opposite knee so their base remains low and they can charge "upward" and into the defender. Keep the head up, eyes on the defender's middle, then slide the head to the side as contact is made with the shoulder.
At contact, the elbows should form a triangle for a good wide blocking surface. At this point, the offensive lineman should continue to keep the head upward as he lifts the defender up and away from the line. Take short steps and keep the feet wide for proper balance. It's very important to get on your players to keep the feet pointed forward. The tendancy is to turn the toes out. This weakens the player's base and power.
You may want to employ this football blocking technique on quick hitting plays or on short yardage and goalline plays, since your blockers don't need to maintain their blocks as long.
Now for the hand football blocking technique. This might be a blocking scheme to use when you need your offensive linemen to maintain contact with the defenders longer. The difference here is that when the blocker explodes out of the stance, they'll slam their hands up under the shoulder pads. The fingers should point outward, wrists close together as the palms make contact with the defender's chest.
Emphasize keeping the elbows pointed downward and inside the shoulders. The blocker must stay lower than the defender, gain the proper leverage on contact, then explode the legs up so the defender is thrown upward and back. Remember, the idea behind the drive block is to get the defender moved off the line and, if possible, knocked to the ground. Teach your players to gain power for the block from their legs.
Many teams practice this drive football blocking technique only on the blocking dummies. We feel you may want to also consider practicing against real defenders. This way, your offensive line gets the feel for hitting in real game action on a moving target.
2) Trap Block
Remember we mentioned earlier on this page that many players will get beat using the one-on-one drive football blocking technique? We've noticed this more in youth football than higher levels. It's basically because many youth football coaches honestly don't know how to teach the fundamentals properly (we hope our site can help this situation) and because most youth linemen aren't usually the best athletes on the team.
Since they're not the best athletes, many of them will get beat trying to one-on-one drive block bigger and faster defensive linemen. That's why we said the drive block is a football blocking technique that needs to be taught, but not a blocking scheme that needs to be relied on exclusively.
If you're a youth football coach looking for more effective football blocking schemes, the trap block can be more effective for your team. This block requires a lineman, usually one of the guards, to pull behind his linemates across the formation.
Teach your pulling guard to pass the lineman blocking the inside of the hole, then seek out the defender located outside the hole. To make the trap block effective, it's extremely important for the pulling guard to keep his head between the defender and running back as he makes contact with the opposite shoulder.
As far as the fundamentals of the "pull", let's say your offensive lineman is pulling right. Teach him to swing the right arm back as he turns the right foot in that direction. The left foot pivots right and the head swings right so the blocker sees where he's going. He then needs to move swiftly parallel to the line and find his defender to demolish.
3) Scramble Block
Start the scramble football blocking technique by stepping out of a proper stance just like the drive block. However, the aim of this football blocking scheme is to get your linemen into the defender lower and a bit more quickly.
Teach your players to make contact with the head placed on the outside of the defender's play side thigh. As the inside shoulder explodes into the defender, the head and eyes should remain up and the opposite hand should be on or just above the ground. Maintain contact and "scramble" (bear crawl on all fours) to move the defender away from the play.
4) Cross Block
This is where one blocker "crosses" in front of a teammate as the teammate "pulls" behind. This can be used between a tight end and tackle or a tackle and guard, etc.
The outside blocker goes first for this football blocking technique by moving toward the defender (usually a lineman or linebacker) positioned in front of his teammate. The inside blocker then pulls behind his teammate and blocks out the next defensive lineman out. Be sure to emphasize to the outside blocker how important it is to explode out of his stance quickly to keep his defender out of the backfield.
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