Keeping this in mind, today we’re going to talk about offensive line techniques and fundamentals pertinent to the split-back veer offense.
In coaching the offensive line, you have to start with a foundation and work your way up. The first part of that foundation is to be able to put a player in a good preset position to a stance and then to be able to come out of the stance to execute.
Youth Football Preset Position
The first part of a good stance is being able to get in a preset position. What we’re trying to do in our preset position is get our players ready to be able to pass block and run block out of it at the same time. When we get in a preset position, we’re asking them to get their feet shoulder-width apart and take their toes and pigeon-toe them inside.
The reason we want them to take a little bit of pigeon-toe with their feet is so as they work their way in their stance, the worse they’ll come back out is a straight position. They’ve got their heels slightly off the ground, about a quarter of an inch off the ground. We don’t want to get flat-footed because that’ll give away whether it’s a pass or a run at the same time.
At that point they’re going to come down and put their hands on the thigh pads, drop their tail, sink their hips, and at this position we should be able to come off and run block or pass and set block at the same time. Your players should be looking through their eyebrows, with their fingertips on the ground. Half of their weight is on the balls of their feet, and half of it’s on their hands.
Their off hand should be placed beside the knee so it doesn’t rest but is ready to move as needed.
Get your players lined up and ready to get into their preset stance. When you yell “Down!” and put your hand down, those players are to snap into their stance. Take a few minutes to walk around ensure that all of your players are in the correct stance before yelling “Go!” to release them from their stances.
The first part, which we’ve covered, is teaching the kids how to get in the stance. The second part is how to come out of the stance.
The first step of getting out of the preset stance is a pick-up step. When they come out of their stance, your players should take the foot that we call for, pick it up, and put it down. But the real important thing is that your player doesn’t overstep that first step. If overstepping happens, then your player might be in the situation where he’s caught with one foot on the ground instead of two when he comes in contact with a defensive lineman.
Take some time to have your kids practice the pick-up step. Get them in their preset position, and then instruct them to practice the pick-up step with their right foot and freeze. Taking that pick-up step is like cocking a gun, getting ready for takeoff. When your player takes his pick-up step, he should keep his hands open, with his thumbs cocked up near his breastplates.
From this position, all your player needs to do is look down to see how far he stepped. This is a great time to teach your players to check themselves to make sure that overstepping doesn’t occur.
Get your kids to work on the pick-up step and freeze with both their right and left feet. You want this stance to be an automatic function, engrained in their muscles.
Youth Football Hitting Position
When teaching an offensive lineman blocking, there has to be a hitting position. We talk about the hitting position being a tripod.
The position involves your offensive players bending over at the waist and keeping the head up. This is the preset hitting position.
The second part of this stance is that as your player gets ready to make contact, he should take his head and turtle it.
At this point, get your kids to drop down into hitting position over and over again, so that the stance becomes second nature.
How important do you believe stances to be? Do you spend time going over preset positions and other stances with your youth football team?