Blocking Tips for Youth Football Offensive Lineman

My son is making the transition from QB to tight end this season, so he and I have been focused on blocking.  He was my best blocking back last year when we ran the Single Wing offense, so he’s a hitter.  The offensive line and especially the tight end position blocking assignments are new to him. 

Last night I re-watched the COOL clinic video of the Ohio State offensive line coach’s chalk talk presentation, Dave Cisar’s video Dominating Offensive Line Play and Championship Productions Becoming a Champion Offenive Lineman by Ed Thomas.  I also did a little lite reading of Reed’s, Coaching Youth Football book. 

In no particular order, below are few points that stick with me:

  1. Your body will follow your eyes.  Keep your head up!   Head down and you will go to the ground.
  2. Keep your feet wide and drive.  Do not hit and then stop your feet.
  3. Be quick off the ball.  Do not set back on your heels.
  4. Use your hands.  The use of hands might be the most important skill in blocking.
  5. Eye a specific target, elbow, inside numbers, legs.
  6. Keep your hips low so you can load your hips and drive. 
  7. Engage with your hands on their inside shoulder pads, biceps.  Stay engaged or on their butt!
  8. Keep your balance stay in control.
  9. Stay wide in the hole.  Short choppy steps.
  10. Remember the snap count.  This might be the most important skill!

If you have some other blocking points for youth football players, post them. 

Play for Fun and Winning is Funner!

3 Comments

Filed under Blocking, Offense

3 responses to “Blocking Tips for Youth Football Offensive Lineman

  1. Dan Szepesi

    ‘Get off’ speed is a direct result of how good the stance is. Bend at the waist and you will be slow off the ball. Bend at the knees and you can take off quicker and stay lower.

    Focus on footwork. Your body will follow your feet so get your feet where you want to be, don’t reach with your arms.

  2. I’ve noticed a few things this year with our WR’s that has caused me to address and issue on the O/D line:
    In any speed camp they teach you that the first step is where speed is built. Our WR’s (and I found out our O/D line) first step was with thier front foot. This is contrary to any teaching and is also counterporductive. In a good TE stance the outside foot is offset back. The first step is always taken with that foot. The other “ball side” foot remains stationery.
    We worked on this explosion all year and have seen a definate difference. We start out in our stance and just explode with the front foot and swing the back foot through. We tought the boys to more or less jump for distance while swinging the back foot forward. I wish I could explain this in a better fashion but I can’t really think of a better way than: “The back foot swings while the front foot explodes the body forward.”

    Another tip that I learned at an early age is the football is inherently a violent sport. The article is correct in stating that you need to use your hands. But using your hands doesn’t mean to just put them on the player in front of you… It (I candidly say this to youth coaches) means you have to punch, pull and drag as violently as you can and still be able to control yourself/your assignment.

    TE is the best offensive position. I hope your kids understand and do well with what you are teaching.

    -Kevin

  3. I would add “finish the block” to your list. That is to say, block through to the whistle. Most kids don’t. They make initial contact then watch the play.

    I like your blog by the way. I’m new to coaching youth football having worked with the bigger boys and found that there are significant differences. Your blog has helped me understand better how to teach kids
    this game we love.

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