Going Over the Basics: Stances

During today’s blog post, we’re going to talk about two different youth football stances that each of your players should be familiar with.

youth football 3 point stance

Three-Point Stance

Three-Point Stance

The first thing you’ve got to start with in football is how in the world do you get out of your football stance. In offensive pass blocking, there are two stances obviously: the three-point stance and the two-point stance. We’re going to start out with the three-point stance.

In the three-point stance, it’s very important that you’ve got the ability to run block out of it and pass block. You can’t give away your football stance; it’s got to be a balanced set.

You’ll see defenders and you know everything in the world, that they’re rushing up field because they’re in a three-point stance with their butts high, they’re rushing the pass rusher. What we’ve got to do as offensive people is you can’t give away your stance, as a puller, as a trapper, as a pass blocker, as a run blocker.

So it’s important that we don’t give away our football stance. And what I mean by that is you want to start off in a proper foot position.

The heel-toe relationship. I like to coach that the toe matches up with that end of the ball of your foot. This is your balanced stance. And your feet should be not much beyond your shoulders or shoulder-width.

The wider you get your stance, the more difficult it is to kick out of, to step out of the pass set, the kick step, the power step. You end up taking a false step. What I’d like to see you doing is take a natural stance that I can move out of very easily.

Out of this stance, I want to get good and balanced. You’ve got to have good ankle, knee, and hip flexion.

From this position I want to be able to put my hand down. Now everybody knows if I’m sitting back on my heels, I’m pass blocking, or if I’m white-knuckled, I’m run blocking. So from this stance, I want to be balanced. And you’ve got to be able to have your head to see what’s happening in the defensive front.

A linebacker has to be aware of that and be able to see it in his stance. He’s up on his fingertips. He’s got the toe-heel relationship. He’s got the hand down on his knee ready to snap up and get into action. This is the basic three-point stance that you can pass block out of.

youth football 2 point stance

Two-Point Stance

Two-Point Stance

Now let’s take a look now at the two-point stance. The two-point stance is something that’s obvious. We’re at 3rd and 10, we’re passing the football. They know we’re passing, we know we’re passing, everybody in the stadium knows we’re passing the football.

So in the two-point stance, I want to get in a position with basically the same heel-toe relationship. A lot of it’s based on technique and what the tackle or guard feels good about.

In this position, I want to be able to put my hands down, but I don’t want to rest the weight on my hands. Because if I rest the weight on my hands, I’ve got to change momentum and push off my hands. That slows me down a hair-second.

What I want to be able to do is get in that two-point stance, be in a position on set. I’m not putting weight on my hands. I’m nice and light because my hands are light. Because these are my weapons and my weapons have got to be on the hip. I’ve got to draw them quick. If I’ve got heavy hands, I’m slowing in my stance.

The key thing about a two-point or a three-point stance is that I’ve got to get out of my stance, show the numbers as quick as possible. The quicker I’m out of my stance, the quicker I buy my time to read what the defender’s actually doing; if he’s putting a head move on, using his hands, rushing up field, cutting inside.

The quicker I can do that, the quicker I get a read on him, the quicker I can react and get in front of him and pass protect. If I’m slow out of my stance, I’m meeting him and I’m not showing my numbers yet, I’m not ready, I don’t have my feet set, he’s hitting me, and he’s knocked me back or beat me on some kind of a move.

Once you’re in a three-point or two-point stance, I like to get a read on the defender. A lot of times if you’re in a two-point stance and you know you’re passing the football, they know, look at your target. If not, you’ve got to keep your head in a position where you’re not giving away that you’re pass blocking or who you’re blocking to. I call this a pre-snap cue. And in a pre-snap cue, you take a look at your defender and try to understand what he’s going to do–if he’s going to rush up field.

If he’s tight in his stance, he’s going to make an inside move; if he’s in a tighter position getting ready to make an inside move; or if he’s really wide looking like he’s just going to try a speed move up field. These are pre-snap cues, and those are things you understand as you get a chance to play the game and know the guy that you’re blocking against.

Do you think your youth football players will benefit from going over these two stances? If so, be sure to follow me on Twitter for even more youth football tips and pointers!

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Category: Football Coaching, Football Tips

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