Briefly my 7-8 yr. olds were having a difficult time blocking and getting off the line defensively. Why? They were playing too “high”. We came up with these football defensive drills to address this.
My assistant coaches and I began having them practice 10-20 yd. bear crawls daily; multiple reps. We continued it daily throughout the year. After a couple of weeks of incorporating this simple drill our line play and our ability to play “low” greatly improved.
Bear Crawl Drill
Basically, have the players start in a 4 point stance with their weight up on their finger tips and the balls of their feet with their feet loaded up underneath them. We begin on ball movement or snap count, coaches choice. The players are to fire out (not Up) and they are to remain in a 4-pt. stance as they Bear Crawl 10-20yds (coaches choice) attempting to crawl in a straight line. We would run through this drill 4-5 times before going on to the next drill.
Hint: The same drill works just as well with older players also. My H.S. football coach had us bear crawl through the blocking chutes while straddling a strategically placed 2×6 board that ran the length of the chute.
Drill for Defensive Ends
Have a dummy or player set in OT position. Set the dummy or player 3 yards off line in backfield. Have the defensive end make contact on line and do a spin move. A player with the football will be making a move to outside or inside of dummy in backfield.
The defensive end will have to make quick decision to cut the ball off to end side or bump outside to seal off.