Many youth football offensive line coaches are still teaching shoulder blocks to their pee wee football players. After watching a COOL clinic DVD on blocking by an NFL line coach several years ago, I was sold on using hands and leverage in youth football blocking, especially focusing on punch blocking with thumbs up and then manipulating the elbows and armpits / shoulder of your defensive opponents. This new hands strategy worked well for me at the time, because one of my assistant coaches was a black belt in karate and he was able to explain some of the key points when punching and using leverage on an opponent.
Your hands are your Weapons is what I keep repeating to my youth football players. Quick hands and a little “Violent Shoving” will win the blocking battle on offense. When I first introduce using your hands and violent shoving in practice, I pick a few volunteers and I ask the players to shove me like someone stole their XBOX and want it back. Its amazing how hard the will shove you when you do not put it into football terms, like punch me or block me. I think the football terms are so new its hard for them to add it all up at once.
Whichever team uses their hands better and desires to dominate their opponent will usually win the battle in the trenches. Yes, I said dominate. An offensive lineman needs to take pleasure in seeing their opponent on the ground from a standing position over their opponent dominating them. I have my offensive lineman yell “Superman” when they put someone on their “bootocky.” We listen for it and it also tells our off lineman to go find another defensive player.
Here are two videos I found today on teaching youth football blocking techniques; Drive, Reach and Down blocks.
Let me know your thoughts, techniques and drills for youth football blocking.
Fort Worth, Texas