Plug 'N Play Football

Simplifying Football for Youth Coaches

Blocking Philosophy

Written By: hawkcoach - Mar• 22•11

When I first started playing organized football in the 6th grade (first time it was offered back in my day), the offensive line was taught one type of block – the drive block.  A drive block is taking the defensive opponent across from you and pushing him backwards in the direction you want him to go.  Sounds simple, right?  Unfortunately that opponent usually has other ideas and wants to go the opposite direction.  Without very strong technique executing a drive block is a very challenging task.  It’s also usually the only block taught by new, inexperienced youth coaches.

Teaching how to drive block is a very important building block, a key fundamental, that should be taught to every player on a youth football team.  However, using the drive block as your sole blocking scheme is sure to handicap your offense.  Rather than using angles and double teams so your offensive line works as a unit, your offensive backfield depends on 5 offensive linemen going one-on-one.  If one or two of those players loses their one-on-one battle then the offensive play either doesn’t gain significant yards or gets blown up in the backfield.

Many youth offensive systems include blocking philosophies that will instead give your linemen and advantage through double teams or angle blocks.  These blocking schemes might have names like Severe-Angle-Blocking (SAB) or Track and Kick Out Blocking (TKO).  Another very successful line blocking technique at the youth level is wedge blocking.   For youth, a simple blocking scheme that gives them an advantage while having very simple rules of who to block is very important.

The overall philosophy behind Plug ‘N Play football and the materials available for download on this site is to offer  an offensive system that allows your offensive line to become very proficient at executing about 5-7 different types of line blocks.  These 5-7 blocks each have at least 5 different plays that your offensive backfield and ends can learn.  That gives you up to 49 different plays if you choose to teach 7 blocking schemes.   Let’s face it, becoming very good at blocking takes many more reps and is harder to practice than having your offensive backs and ends learn how to execute thier responsibilities.    If you get a dominating offensive line you can pretty much plug in any ball carrier who knows the  play and they’ll be successful at gaining yards.

One final word, treat your offensive line as the MVPs of your team.  They need to get the best of your coaching, the most encouragement and to hear from you and their teammates how much they are appreciated.  If you let your weakest coach handle the O-line and don’t build them up emotionally they will quickly tire of doing those same seven blocks over and over while working towards perfection.  Assign them a coach from your staff who has a lot of energy, an encouraging style and enough creativity to develop drills that teach them how to block while having fun.

Join our discussion of blocking philosophies on our Plug ‘N Play Football forum:

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Comment

  1. ??? says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more, anyway l love your site layout. Is nice and clean.