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Football Training: Player Position Drills and Exercises

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Football Training: Player Position Drills and Exercises

Learn how playing football can help your other sports and hobbies. The skills learned on the field carry over into all kinds of other sports, allowing you to do more no matter the situation.

Learn:

– How toughness helps with Hockey and Basketball
– How hand-eye coordination helps with Baseball
– How agility helps with Tennis and Basketball

QUARTERBACK DRILLS AND EXERCISES

quarterback

The quarterback is as essential to the game of football as the field or the ball. The team’s success depends on your skills, so make sure your throws are on point.

Learn:

– Proper throwing mechanics
– Quick deliveries
– Accuracy

RUNNING BACK DRILLS AND EXERCISES

running back drills

A running back is strong, fast, agile and instinctive. Develop the skills to move downfield against any defense and you’ll be a necessary component on the team.

Learn:

– Ball security
– Smooth handoff exchange
– Picking up the blitz

WIDE RECEIVER DRILLS AND EXERCISES

wide receiver drills

All wide receivers have a desire to get the ball in their hands. Unless you have the skills to get open, find the ball and march it into the end zone, however, you won’t be much help to your team. Hone your skills and put numbers on the board.

Learn:

– Route-running
– Staying in bounds
– The Gauntlet

LINEBACKER DRILLS AND EXERCISES

linebacker drill

As a linebacker, you should strike fear into your opponents. A linebacker is a solid wall of defense – learn how to become a formidable defender before your next game.

Learn:

– Proper stance
– Shedding and scraping
– Open-field tackling

DEFENSIVE LINEMAN DRILLS AND EXERCISES

lineman drills

The best defensive linemen push through their opponents and wreck havoc on the line of scrimmage. Without the proper practice however, even the most physically gifted players won’t make it on the field. Get a firm grasp on the fundamentals before your next game.

Learn:

– Bull rush technique
– Push-pull technique
– Reading the play

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN DRILLS AND EXERCISES

offensive lineman drills

Football games are won on the line of scrimmage, but no position is as vital to opening up game-winning plays than the offensive lineman. Dominate the gridiron by practicing and honing your skills with these offensive lineman drills and exercises.

Learn:

– First step, strike and dive
– Pass protection
– Pull Technique

5 MENTAL AND PHYSICAL BENEFITS OF PLAYING FOOTBALL

The mental and physical benefits of playing football carry over into all kinds of other sports, allowing you to DO:MORE on and off the field.

Football builds athletes who have strong muscle mass from head to toe, but who can also stay quick on their feet. The sport also demands that players become accustomed to hard knocks – hits so huge that they knock the wind right out of you.

Check out the benefits of playing football and how the sport helps you DO:MORE in your other favorite sports.

Toughness – Hockey and Basketball

Football epitomizes toughness. It’s a sport made up of hundreds of hard knocks per game. No matter which side of a hit you’re on, you’re going to feel some sort of impact. Forming a tough outer-shell will come in handy in several sports and outdoors pursuits.

Taking checks from hard-hitting opponents on the ice during a hockey game will feel exactly like your hits on the field. The same goes for playing an aggressive streetball game, where rebounds and blocked shots are won by swinging elbows and shoulders.

Being able to snap into that frame of mind, where no hit can jar your focus, is an immeasurable skill that transfers easily to the hockey rink or basketball court.

Hand-Eye Coordination – Baseball

This skill mostly applies to quarterbacks and receivers, so if you have a chance to play one of these positions, you will reap many benefits. Throwing a football may be different than throwing a baseball, but the arm motions are very close.

If you have built a foundation of throwing a regulation 15-ounce pigskin, you won’t have a problem throwing a baseball, which clocks in at a mere five ounces.

Just as placing donuts on your bat during warm-up helps you swing a lighter bat with ease, throwing the lighter ball will seem like throwing a feather. Likewise, the diving catches that wide-receivers tend to make or the all-out sprints made by a safety to swat away a ball both bear a strong resemblance to an outfielder’s standard practice.

Catching a fly ball on the run will seem like a breeze after a few games running pass patterns or covering fleet-footed receivers.

Agility – Tennis and Basketball

Every time you juke an opponent, swiftly change directions or break into a sprint, you’re increasing your agility. In sports like tennis or, if you play guard or small forward, basketball, this gives you a game-winning edge.

On the tennis court, when your opponent whips a forehand over the net to the far corner of your side, you’ve got to have a lightning-fast first step. It’s the same movement a running back performs when he cuts hard to one side.

Ditto for driving to the hoop during a basketball game – a movement that’s often made from a dead standstill as the defenseman stares you down. A player will make one quick fake, just as a wide receiver would at the start of a pass play.

Muscle Building – Soccer and Climbing

Going out on the field without a honed layer of muscle is just as bad as going out without standard pads. The weight-lifting associated with training is a huge benefit of playing football. Having a healthy dose of muscle mass is a perfect base for mountain climbing.

To get through thousands of feet of vertical gain, you’ve got to have quads like pistons, which any player on the football field will have, whether he’s the kicker, quarterback or linebacker. Those quads also make you a lethal weapon on a soccer field – kicking hard and fast helps get the ball downfield past the defenders.

Football players are used to making quick bursts of speed, something that heavy leg lifts, an exercise part of a football player’s gym routine, will help with. This ability is crucial in soccer while trying to outrun a defender when your teammate has intercepted the ball or you’re sprinting to receive a pass.

Strategy – Boxing

Football requires more strategy than any other sport. It’s a game made up of dozens of individual plays, each with its own complicated patterns of movement and logic. This kind of tactical strategy readily applies to boxing. In football, you are trying to systematically find your opponent’s weakness and exploit it.

If the other team has a weak defensive line, you will want to inch your way up the field with running plays. If your receiver has a step on one of their safeties, then you’ll want to tire out that safety with a few plays, and then throw long to your guy. Being a successful boxer demands a very similar kind of strategic thinking.

You have to constantly evaluate what is working and what is not. Ifs your opponent is weak on his left side, then you have to hammer his left until you land a punch. If his footwork is sloppy or predictable, then you have to wait for him to slip up or repeat the same pattern until you work inside for a jab.

The two games share an incremental characteristic where wearing down the opposition and working open the cracks is critical.

FOOTBALL TRAINING: QUARTERBACK DRILLS AND EXERCISES

No player in any sport is more vital to a team’s success than the quarterback, and these drills will make sure your throws are on point.

The team runs through QB – and the QB better be prepared, both mentally and physically, for gameday. Preparation is perspiration, and any worthy field general must put in the work to make the fundamentals second nature. Only then can a quarterback devote his attention to the game.

These are the best drills and exercises to propel a quarterback to the top of his game.

Proper Throwing Mechanics

Back in the days of leather helmets and wool jerseys, there was a common belief among coaches that you couldn’t teach a quarterback how to throw. He either had it or he didn’t – and you could only coach up a QB’s other skills like footwork and decision-making.

Those days are long gone, and the evolution of the mechanics can be seen in all professional QBs.

From three-quarter sidearm to pure pro-style, today’s QBs have been coached up to throw more powerfully, accurately and effortlessly than when they were just blue chips. To learn the proper mechanics requires practice.

Quick Delivery

Accuracy is worthless if the QB can’t get the ball out of their hands fast, and even the best offensive line can’t protect him forever. Like most quarterback drills, an effective quick release drill requires a friend or two and several footballs.

Position a receiver downfield about ten yards, and have another friend toss you balls from just a few feet ahead of you. Quickly find your grip on the laces and throw to your receiver downfield. As soon as you release, be prepared for another ball in your hands tossed by your ball assistant.

They key is to not look for the ball, but to feel for it, and remember to step forward and into your throw. Go until you run out of footballs, then collect them back and go some more. An effective quick release program can help with arm stamina as well as delivery. Remember throughout the exercise to keep your form correct.

Accuracy

Despite having a focus on quick delivery, accuracy still counts. It’s important that a quarterback can put a football where it needs to be. To hit spots during a game, QBs have to first learn how to throw to those spots during practice. Accuracy is one skill that a quarterback can hone without the help of a friend.

The old hanging tire exercise really does work. Get several footballs and sling them through a hanging tire to work on short throws. Swing the tire to increase difficulty. Practice your three-step drop and scramble, and work up a sweat.

Fatigue makes inaccurate passers of quarterbacks who aren’t well conditioned. Set goals and keep throwing. You can hope you’re practicing harder than your competition, or you can guarantee it.

Arm Strength

For a quarterback, arm strength is, in fact, not just literal arm strength. Throwing the deep ball or straight shot down the middle requires full-body conditioning. From the feet to hips to fingers, a reliable QB transfers energy throughout his musculature to deliver the ball downfield.

That’s why the ideal QB workout is a particular full-body workout. From dumbbell presses to dumbbell rows, a good football workout begins with upper-body strength building and then moves to weighted lunges, an exercise to develop balance.

Other exercises, such as fire hydrants, improve hip strength and wall pushes to enhance release point.

Footwork

You don’t have to be a mobile quarterback to focus on mobility. Footwork is an essential part of every QB’s game. To avoid getting hit, a QB has to have composure and pocket presence, and he has let his feet take him to safety while his mind reads the downfield options. Here again, practice is essential.

Whether it’s 3-step, 5-step or 7-step drops, moving in a pocket is essential even if scrambling isn’t in the cards. To work on drop backs, practice ladder drills, remembering to keep the ball cocked at the shoulder and ready to fire. Introduce new obstacles such as cones into the workout, and move laterally and forward, simulating the movement necessary to avoid the pass rush.

You won’t know the value of footwork until it saves you from getting sacked. If you’re hanging out in the pocket or scrambling outside, your feet are all that might save you, and they could win you the game.

FOOTBALL TRAINING: RUNNING BACK DRILLS AND EXERCISES

The best running backs have to be strong, fast, agile and instinctive – using these running back drills and exercises will give the tools to move downfield against any defense.

With the ball in the running back’s hands so often, it’s essential that he be a workhorse that pushes his team to the endzone. Turnovers turn solid efforts into failures, but they can be avoided with proper preparation.

Up your game in the backfield and prevent mistakes by working on these essential running back skills.

Ball Security

No matter how talented you are, if you’re fumble prone, you’ll never be an every-down running back. The first step towards holding onto the football is proper grip, meaning always maintaining at least three points of contact between your body and the ball.

Point one is fingers, point two is forearm and point three is upper chest. Coaches have been saying “high and tight” for decades, and they say it because it is a running back training tip that works.

Remember to keep the football in the hand closest to the sideline so it bounces out of bounds if it’s dislodged. To add a fourth point of contact, use your other hand to anticipate a blow from an opponent. To work on ball security, practice this running back drill to simulate gameday contact.

Smooth Handoff Exchange

Now that you’re adept at holding onto the ball, it’s time to ensure the smooth handoff needed to get it to you. Through practice and developing chemistry with your quarterback, you’ll be able to make the ball an extension of your own body.

Repetition builds muscle memory, which will stay strong in the face of adversity. Make sure you have the basics down: inside arm up, outside arm down.

Create a spacious pocket for the ball and absorb it into your arms as you storm upfield. Practice at game speed so your connection with your QB becomes second nature. It’ll pay off when it matters most.

Blocking and Picking Up the Blitz

Scoring touchdowns will get you on the highlight reel, but you won’t get be in the game at all if you can’t block. Blocking is as important to a RB as running. Picking up a rusher who slipped through the O-line can keep the play alive, and in some cases, keep your QB alive.

The worst QB hits too often arrive when an RB misses a blocking opportunity. Knowing your blocking responsibility begins with recognizing the defensive scheme and picking up your man. You can learn the fundamentals on your own or with a few friends.

Practice proper technique on a sled or get your friends involved to work on picking up the blitz. Remember to pick up attacking defensive players on the inside first, and always take them on as close to the line of scrimmage as you can.

Yards After Contact

As a running back, you should never stop moving your feet. In football, every chain link counts. The play’s not over when your opponent wraps you up. It’s over when you drive him back and pound him into the turf.

Even finesse-focused running backs have to work on lower-body strength, getting low and delivering a blow to a charging defender. Various running back drills have been drawn up to help RBs work on constant forward momentum.

The gauntlet is one piece of machinery that helps with this (and ball security). A friend with a pad in his hands, however, can be equally helpful if utilized correctly. Remember to keep your legs moving. You never know when you might break through for a long one.

Agility

Shifty scat backs aren’t the only RBs who are expected to make their opponents miss. Even power backs need to change direction to turn defenders into awkward arm tacklers.

Agility is a general skill that can be developed through various position agnostic football exercises, including ladder drills, cone shuffling drills and resistance training with bungies or parachutes. A successful agility training program is a varied training program.

Teach your body to make various cuts, jukes and move on to more advanced ankle breakers like stop-and-go’s and spins. Remember, however, that the most direct route to scoring will always be a straight line to the endzone.

Cover Photo Credit: NashvilleCorps / Flickr.com

FOOTBALL TRAINING: WIDE RECEIVER DRILLS AND EXERCISES

Wide receivers have an insatiable desire to get the ball in their hands, but they need to have the skills to get open, find the ball and march it into the end zone to help their team.

Some wide receiver talents can’t be taught. Skills must be practiced and practiced until every movement is second nature.

To be the best wide receiver on the field, practice these wide receiver drills and exercises.

Hand-eye Coordination

There’s only one body part more important than the hands, and that’s the eyes. To work on hand-eye coordination, wide receivers employ a variety of drills that force them to quickly find the ball in mid-air and retrieve it.

One such drill is the five-yard turn drill. To practice this drill, stand five-yards away from a QB with your back facing him. When he calls out hike, the ball should already be in the air, shot towards your body.

Catch the ball with your hands over and over – repeat the drill until you have it down to a science. To get even more out of this drill, employ two QBs, catching alternating balls thrown at your back. Don’t think – just catch.

Blocking

Even wide receivers have to get dirty on the field. In football, that means blocking – usually a DB or safety – so your ball carrying teammate can break a big one downfield. To work on blocking, practice the mirror drill.

Face up opposite another player and charge off the line at him like you’re running a deep route, but stop short and block, moving laterally along a five-yard, imaginary line.

Remember to use your hands, jamming your opponent with your outside arm. After several shuffles, break down and push your opponent back. Big plays start with big blocks, so be the player pushing others out of the way.

Route-running

You don’t have to be 6′ 5″ or run a 4.3 forty to get separation from a defender. These physical gifts help, but as most of the short, relatively slow pros on the all-time receptions list will attest, good hands and crisp route route-running are far more important.

Executing textbook routes helps your quarterback deliver a perfect pass and create separation by leaving your defender in the turf dust. One small step of separation for a player can be one giant opportunity for his team.

To work on route running, practice drills that teach you to stop on a dime and quickly change direction. Try a 90-degree break drill, and work on coming back to the ball, too. Remember to sell your fakes and accelerate out of your breaks.

Staying In Bounds

In college, a player needs just a single foot in bounds to register a catch. In the pros, a player needs two to make it count. No matter how you play, staying in bounds can be hard, especially when you’ve got a player on you tasked with bringing you down.

One drill to help you stay in the field of play is the foot drag drill. Line up with a thrower just a few yards off the sideline, and run an out – catching the ball and keeping your feet in bounds.

Remember to keep your eyes on the ball and not the ground. The more you practice the drill, the better you’ll get at feeling the sidelines and positioning your feet.

The Gauntlet

The main event for wide receivers at the combine, the gauntlet, is a big ticket exercise that combines many of the essential position skills developed in the drills above. The gauntlet requires plenty of balls, space and seven capable passers.

If you’re planning on running the gauntlet, reserve a field and start rallying up your players today. The drill starts on the sideline, where you’ll have to catch alternating balls slung your way from in front of and behind you.

Then, you’ll take off across the field toward the opposite sideline. On your way there, catch balls fired in quick succession from both down and up the field. Upon the last completion, you’ll have to make sure you get two feet in bounds. The gauntlet tests a wide receiver’s ability to catch on the run and focus when all eyes are on him.

FOOTBALL TRAINING: LINEBACKER DRILLS AND EXERCISES

All opponents should fear the walls of a linebacker’s defense – and these are the drills that will make you a formidable defender prepared to halt any hungry offense.

To become an impenetrable force, a linebacker must master a set of skills more varied than anyone else on the defensive side of the ball. Linebackers must read, cover and react. To reach the top of his game, a linebacker has to practice.

These five linebackers drills and workouts that will help you perfect your skills.

Stance

It may seem basic, but a linebacker’s stance is where the playmaking ability begins on the each down. The feet should be shoulder width apart, with the knees bent, back straight, weight on the balls on your feet and head up – proper linebacker stance is an active stance.

It takes effort and practice to commit it to muscle memory. It’s from this stance that LBs make their first move – always a quick half-step towards the direction of the action.

To work on your stance, practice the quarter eagle linebacker drill – coach optional, sweat required. It’s important that you learn how to maintain proper stance even when fatigue hits in the fourth quarter.

Shedding and Scraping

Tackling in the open field is a unique challenge, but destroying a blocker and stopping a ballcarrier in his tracks demands a different set of skills. To hone those skills, practice shedding and scraping.

When the linebacker drill begins, the ballcarrier will rush up behind the blocker and make a break towards the outside. Engage the blocker and overcome him, finding the ballcarier and driving him towards the sideline. Shedding blocks is a basic skill that must be perfected by linebackers in all defensive schemes.

Only by shedding a blocker, often a player much taller than an LB, can a defensive player find the ball and make a move on it. A smart move, preferably.

After shedding a block be careful that you don’t over-pursue a ballcarrier. They’re ballcarriers for a reason: they’ve got speed and jukes. Shed and find a position that will get your teammates to help you out.

Pass-Drop and Hip Rotation

Coverage training isn’t just for defensive backs. As a game goes on, it becomes increasingly essential that linebackers drop back and cover. That’s why the pass drop and hip rotation drill, a basic two-person linebacker workout that tests an LBs responsiveness and lateral agility, is so important.

To run the drill, line up opposite a QB or coach holding a ball and calling the shots. When he hikes the ball, backpedal 5 yards, then sprint diagonal whichever way the ballholder signals, continuing to drop back downfield at an angle as if in coverage on a crossing or out route.

The ballholder calls 4 alternating directions (left, right, left, right or right, left, right, left), before directing the player to sprint towards the ball, at which point the QB will rifle it right at him. LBs don’t have to have the best hands on the team, but you’ll be all that more valuable if you’ve got a pick six in you.

Open-Field Tackling

Rules prohibit players at most levels from organized full-contact in the offseason. Not only that, but if you were to go full-contact all the time, you’d rarely be healthy enough to go all-in on gameday. The good news is you don’t have to hit hard to work on tackling.

There are several ways to improve form without knocking skulls or laying your teammate on his back. Tackling isn’t just about wrapping up and driving hips – it’s about getting into position to win a one-on-one battle in the open field.

For a linebacker, winning isn’t laying out an opponent – it’s impeding his progress. That’s what this open field tackling drill is all about: making a read, getting to a spot, and preventing a ballcarrier from going where he wants to go.

Practice to up your instincts and ability to read a ballcarrier’s trajectory, and on gameday you’ll be shooting gaps and achieving the tackles for loss that make the highlight reel.

The Oklahoma Drill

The Oklahoma drill is football at its most essential. All it takes is a ballcarrier, a blocker and a tackler. If you’re a linebacker, that tackler is you, and you better win your matchup. The Oklahoma drill separates the finesse-centric players from the physically-focused players.

It brings out the players who are really ready to hit, and it sets the tone for the season to come.

All the skills developed in the previous drills come into play in the Oklahoma drill, which is why its a staple of high school and college programs. If you can’t get 11 on 11, referees and a scoreboard, the Oklahoma drill might be the best approximation of the game.

FOOTBALL TRAINING: DEFENSIVE LINEMAN DRILLS AND EXERCISES

Defensive linemen can push right through their opponents, but even the most physically gifted players won’t make it on the field without a firm grasp on the fundamentals.

The best defensive linemen in the game can tackle like bulldozers and grind through offensive lines like knives through butter – they’re strong, fast and mean. D-line play starts at practice and in the gym. Hone these skills before kickoff and you’ll do more than hold your own.

Here are the defensive lineman drills and exercises you’ll need to make your team take the W.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSVDocMZs3Y

Stance

A player’s performance starts with his stance. No position on the field has a more important stance than the defensive lineman. Depending on where you start on the line, or what play your team is running, you could start in a multitude of various starting positions, from two-point to four-point.

The standard defensive lineman stance is the three-point stance, with one hand on the ground, rear in the air and weight forward ready to explode.

Explosion is what it’s all about on the line, pushing offesnive linemen back – it all starts with the stance. To practice yours, work on the Stance and Start and similar drills.

The Bull Rush Push

Whereas a linebacker’s and a defensive back’s primary responsibilities are reading and reacting, a defensive lineman is responsible for causing havoc on the line of scrimmage and forcing the opponent to react.

To be an effective defensive lineman, its essential to make first contact with the offensive line. For this, hands are essential, and forearm strength exercises should be a major focus of any strength and conditioning program.

Just as essential are explosive drills with sleds and tackle dummies that test reaction time and emphasize force. Knocking off a guard for even a split-second can be the difference between a 15-yard run or a no gain. Explosion starts with the stance, but it extends up through the hips to the torso, arms and hands.

Push-Pull-Rip, Swim and Spin

Getting in a solid strike is a great start to an effective rush, but a defensive lineman has to pull a few tricks out of his bag to be a true menace on the line of scrimmage. One of those tricks is the push-pull, a lightning-fast move that capitalizes on throwing an offensive lineman off balance.

Practice the push-pull against offensive linemen who know it’s coming, focusing on the fundamentals: a quick, hard push and sudden grip and pull.

The push is where your tactics begin, but work on more advanced moves, too, like the swim and spin. Combine the tactics to be a true terror on the line, but remember, one fast and deliberate move is nearly always more effective than a combo.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOXkHZUOH1I

Reading the Play

You’re not going to get to the ball or even disrupt a play unless you effectively read what’s going on on the field. Blindly attacking upfield will only get you so far before you realize the play has passed you by.

Defensive linemen need to keep arms extended upon their offensive counterparts, keeping space so as to maintain sight of a developing play, but this is only the start. Effective defensive linemen need to also pay close attention to where the offensive line is trying to push, identify giveaways over the course of the game and capitalize.

For a nose guard, that means learning to time the snap just right. For an end, that means identifying a play to the outside and maintaining contact, as opposed to a more aggressive rush. Reading the play takes a lifetime to perfect, but you can start training right now.

Put It All Together

From fingers in the turf, through the explosion across the line of scrimmage, to destroying the target, nearly all facets of defensive line play are on display during the brutal gauntlet drill.

Most pro and college teams opt to keep on-the-ground contact like this off the practice field, but the gauntlet is an effective test of a defensive lineman’s strength, creativity, stamina, raw athletic ability and drive to be the dominant force on the field.

Consistently hit the tackle dummy in practice, and you’ll be making opponents look like dummies on game day. Hard work pays off on the D-line.

FOOTBALL TRAINING: OFFENSIVE LINEMAN DRILLS AND EXERCISES

Football games are won on the line of scrimmage, and no position is more important for opening up game-winning plays than the offensive lineman. Dominating the gridiron can be as simple as practicing and honing your skills with these offensive lineman drills and exercises.

The three-yard runs that grind defenses down play after play open up bigger opportunities as the clock runs down. The offensive linemen owns the line of scrimmage – this is the position protects the ball before anything else. The center, guards and tackles are the gatekeepers of the game, but the line doesn’t stand a chance without power, agility and intelligence.

These are the essential offensive lineman drills and exercises that allow an O-line to dictate the outcome of a game.

Stance

Like all positions on the field, effective O-line play begins with a proper stance. Stance is the starting point from which players explode forward and dictate the flow of a play. The three-point stance is the standard stance for the center and guards, and it’s frequently employed by tackles.

A proper three-point stance is low to the ground, with an offensive lineman’s lower back at the same elevation as his helmet. The head must be up and looking forward and weight must be distributed equally on the hands and feet.

An imbalanced stance isn’t just a liability when the ball snaps, it can be a giveaway even before then, with savvy defenders able to read a play based upon an offensive lineman’s weight distribution.

Although the three-point stance is the standard for O-linemen, it’s not the only stance. Players should also practice the four-point stance, for short yardage and goal line situations, and the two-point stance, for passing downs.

Run Play: First Step and Quick Strike

An offensive lineman is typically the biggest player on the field, but they better be quick, too. The greatest advantage they have is knowing when the ball is going to be snapped.

When it is, O-linemen must snap into position, striking their assigned defenders and pushing them away from the path of the ball carrier during a run play.

The first step, strike and drive is an essential part of an offensive lineman’s tactics – if not the most vital of them all.

Pass Protection: First Step and Extension

Running plays require that O-linemen get push, chewing up precious inches of turf while shoving defenders downfield. Pass protection, on the other hand, is fundamentally different.

Where as an offensive lineman’s first step during a rushing play is always forward, during pass plays, an offensive lineman’s first step may be backwards.

Pass protection begins with the lower body – quick feet are essential to effective blocking on passing downs. Just as important are hands – with proper punching and arm extension, a center, guard, or tackle will keep his quarterback clean.

Pull Technique

While quickness is important in all facets of offensive line play, nowhere is it more essential than in pulling. Pulling is mostly called for during run plays to the outside, where unguarded defenders wait to put their helmets on the ball.

They don’t get their chance when pull plays are executed properly. Backup saves the day, arriving in the form of a guard or tackle with a full head of steam who swings to the outside and smashes defenders away, clearing the path for the ball carrier to rumble unimpeded downfield.

Various drills can help train an O-lineman to disengage from the line of scrimmage, accelerate, and target a defender for demolition.

Discipline & Pride

Offensive line play is a head game. Maybe that’s why O-linemen consistently score better than any other position (except for the quarterback) on the Wunderlic test. Getting position on a defender and opening up running lanes takes discipline.

It takes respect for the little move that’s right and self control to keep oneself from overcommitting. Football might seem physical – and it is – but you could have all the physical gifts in the world and you won’t see the field. An offensive lineman has to keep his head in the game.

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Strength

World’s Fittest Men

By March 17, 2019
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