How to Get Your Offensive Pass Blockers Ready for Gametime

coaching football pass blockingToday we’re going to talk a little bit about our offensive players and simple stuff you can focus on while coaching football such as the stance, the proper foot position, where the knees and hip placement should be, how to punch with the hands, etc.

Breaking Down the Individual Body Parts

First thing we’re going to talk about is the wired position. This is a position that an offensive lineman has to stay in through the entire pass blocking phase after the snap of the ball. And we’re going to start this off in a basic two-point stance.

In this two-point stance, we’re trying to keep about a toe-to-heel relationship, and what we’re actually trying to do is develop flexion with our ankles, our knees, and our hips. We want to drive our hips forward, keep our center of gravity as low as we can, keep our feet as flat as possible on the ground, and keep our hands in the ready contact position.

Now the toes sort of want to be straight. If you’re too heavy on the toe of your foot, you’re tempted to fall forward; if you’re too heavy on the heel, you’re tempted to work off the heel. And the heel isn’t a good working position because it’s unstable and it tends to open up your hips.

You don’t want your hips to open up because this hip area is where you’re getting all your strength in football. The hip area provides a punch.

Back to the wired position. The knees should be flexed, the hands should be in a ready position–these hands are a very important factor in the position. A lot of times you want to initially coach to shorten the area and keep your hand strike area further out. As the offensive lineman gets better, we can shorten that strike area closer in. This way, it times his punch and it doesn’t allow a defensive lineman to come in and grab his hand.

In the wired position, the elbows are in tight. The elbows should be in tight because the power that’s generated is in from the hands. The chin should be tucked a little in. A chin out tends to allow your body to lean forward. The body’ll go where the head goes.

Now this is a very funny, awkward position to be in initially. But you get used to it as an offensive lineman. And the more you can keep your linemen in this position, the better off you’ll be.

When the actual movement occurs, the upper body shouldn’t move. The only thing that’s going to move is a punching of the hands and being in front.

Talking About the Punch

Let’s talk about the actual punch. You see a lot of football players who are real tight. The tighter you are in a wired position, the slower the hands move.

Your hands have got to be loose. It’s just like those old Muhammad Ali boxing matches, where Muhammad Ali used to be loose, but when he punched, it was tight for that one second and it had the power in it. Then it was released and brought it back. The same thing applies when we’re talking about pass blocking in football.

Let’s break down the hand. The hand has the fingers, the palm of the hand, and the rest of the arm.

The hardest part of your hand, the heel of your hand, is a strike area. What I actually want to do is punch with the heel of the hand with your thumb up.

What your punch is trying to do is deliver a blow, stop the defensive lineman, and make him restart. That’s the key thing about the initial punch.

It’s like a trigger of a hammer on a gun. It’s quick. People who lay their hands in there slow are more apt to get their wrists grabbed, their hands swatted. They can work, but you’ve got to choose your moment of time and punch.

This is this thing kids often have a problem with–learning the punch. What I like to do is tell them to go home and punch the wall 25 times. This doesn’t mean go punch some holes in your wall and your mom getting all after you. What this is talking about is going at home and just sitting in front of the wall and discovering what your distance is to the wall–learning the punch zone.

These fundamental skills will help your pass blockers become more confident and more skilled on the field. Do you see yourself running through these specifics during your next football practice?

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