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Choosing and Teaching a Blocking Scheme  

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TheRealCBlakely
(@therealcblakely)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 27
November 25, 2019 4:31 am  

Hello coaches,

I hope everyone had a great season. I really need some help. I’m at a loss for words  I failed my team this past year as their OC. My playbook(s) were too much I think for them and I need to simply things for next season. I need to find a blocking scheme that will work. I’d like to learn how to teach them zone blocking but I have no idea where to start. If there is something that may be easier for the team to learn and pickup up quicker, I’m open to that as well.

Thanks in advance.

Chris


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sabot6d
(@sabot6d)
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Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 398
November 25, 2019 4:58 am  

How was their technique? Scheme will only get so far. Do they have a dedicated and educated OLine coach? Do they get as much effort and enthusiasm from their coaches as the "skill players" do? What age group? What Offense do you run?


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TheRealCBlakely
(@therealcblakely)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 27
November 25, 2019 5:05 am  

Everyday we broke off into groups and spent anywhere from 15-25 mins a practice going over blocking. Honestly, we did man blocking and that didn’t work. All five of the kids on the line are good players and their blocking on running plays was pretty good 90% of the time. We definitely needed to remind them on their splits and proper stance a lot.

We are hoping to add a coach this season that has a ton of experience coaching the line but not sure if he will be added or not and I won’t know until around March.

We ran a few different offenses  this past season. Most successful  was UC running power plays and throwing in a few reverses and such.


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terrypjohnson
(@terrypjohnson)
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Posts: 256
United States
Head Coach
November 25, 2019 5:19 am  

Everyday we broke off into groups and spent anywhere from 15-25 mins a practice going over blocking. Honestly, we did man blocking and that didn’t work. All five of the kids on the line are good players and their blocking on running plays was pretty good 90% of the time. We definitely needed to remind them on their splits and proper stance a lot.

We are hoping to add a coach this season that has a ton of experience coaching the line but not sure if he will be added or not and I won’t know until around March.

We ran a few different offenses  this past season. Most successful  was UC running power plays and throwing in a few reverses and such.

What splits are you using? How fast are your linemen? Who is making most of tackles (e.g. D-Line, LB's, DE)

Fight 'em until Hell freezes over, then fight 'em on the ice -- Dutch Meyer


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dollar
(@dollar)
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Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 128
November 25, 2019 5:22 am  

I would look at how you install your offense.

No one can say how much is too much-your coaches and kids will determine that.

You say that your best success was under center running power-mine too!

We are multiple I under center.  When we install that is what we start with.  Remember you have to do tons of review during the practice of the plays you have already installed.

No Play
QB Sneek
ISO
Belly
Counter
BOOT
Pop Pass

Those would get me to the Jamboree of even the first game if I had to.

We don't move to another scheme-Jet from Gun for us-until we are great at Under Center.  Then if we get great at Jet-we install spread.

The install also goes slower than you expect-only a play or two per practice.

One thing I have found is that if you move slower on your formation and play install you have more plays to put in later in the season.  Kids love to try and do new stuff.  Having new plays to install helps you have fun during the later season Doldrums or off weeks.


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ZACH
 ZACH
(@bucksweep58)
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Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 9380
Coach
November 25, 2019 5:37 am  

Playbook too much, want to teach blocking schemes like zone.

Im assuming these are more plays than a system. Which is fine but likely part of the issue with player understanding from my experiance.

Beyond all that what can help you.
- play language,  Clark  (dumcoach) made a great point many times , play tags are instructions that help my players execute.  Eg power tells certain player to kick out playside.  Instead of it sounding cool or being a play name.  So eliminate language that serves no purpose. Can you call 21 dive just 21? Do you really need dive?

I went as far to install 1 word play calls for ease of use.

Zone blocking, you probably want to combo and climb  aspect. Guess what, its not that easy with kids.  So maybe understanding what a blocking scheme and how it works can help you design your plays and assist your play language. Go to coach robs site and find michael ogormans presentations on blocking.

We have 3 run plays, 2 pass plays, as our base. 5 plays, 2 blocking schemes. Then we add as the season goes on with those plays, motion,  shift, formations...but really we never really go over 6 plays.

Happy to help

I can explain it to you, I can't understand if for you.


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 17323
North Carolina
High School
November 25, 2019 5:39 am  

My playbook(s) were too much I think for them and I need to simply things for next season.

--Which playbook(s) did you use?

I need to find a blocking scheme that will work.

--They all work, Chris.  The only one that doesn't is "block somebody," because that isn't a real scheme; despite the fact that it is probably the most-used blocking approach in all of youth football.  If you are teaching a real blocking scheme, I can promise you it works.  That being said, it may not work for you.  You have to make sure that the blocking scheme matches the offense.  Ex: You don't use zone blocking and wide splits while running the Double Wing.  That's a recipe for disaster. 

I’d like to learn how to teach them zone blocking

--Because...?

but I have no idea where to start.

--Which is why I was asking.

If there is something that may be easier for the team to learn and pickup up quicker, I’m open to that as well.

--Yes, there are blocking schemes that are easier to learn (for coaches and players) than zone.  An example would be down blocking.  But down blocking may not be the best choice for the offense you want to run.  One reason I chose the Double Wing was because I liked the rule blocking.  Rule blocking was simple for me to implement and it works well with the Double Wing.  Rule blocking is also flexible enough to handle most defensive fronts that I see.  But while rule blocking can't cover for every defensive front (none can), it handles most.  Keep in mind, one size does not fit all.

The more questions from above you can answer Chris, the better the fit and direction we can point you to.

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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chucknduck
(@chucknduck)
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Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 387
November 25, 2019 6:09 am  

Coach, there is a ton of info on zone blocking on this site.  Go to schemes, go to pro style football, on the second page of pro style football there is  an "inside zone clinic" and an "outside zone clinic". 


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 17323
North Carolina
High School
November 25, 2019 6:20 am  

Everyday we broke off into groups and spent anywhere from 15-25 mins a practice going over blocking.

--Chris, 15-25 minutes of working with the offensive line simply isn't enough, regardless of what blocking scheme you're teaching, if you want them to excel.  Two years ago, I was the offensive line coach for a youth team (ages 9-12).  With the exception of warm-ups and some scrimmage work, I spent the entire practice working with my offensive line and still couldn't cover every aspect and drill for our scheme.  When I had the 1's, the 2's were working in scrimmage.  When I had the 2's, the 1's could work in scrimmage.  If some also played defense, I still had others to work with.  Blocking is usually the most under-emphasized and over-complained-about aspect of coaching youth football.  It constantly gets the short shrift treatment, even after it bites the team in the rear.

What does "going over blocking" mean?  Does that mean for 15-25 minutes, you faced your o-line against various defensive fronts using cones so that they'd know who to block, that you went over footwork drills, that you taught leverage, that you taught a progression, that you taught hands, that you taught stance, that you taught violence, that you taught technique, that you taught board drills, that you taught pulling, that you taught double teams, that you taught pass blocking...?  So "going over blocking" tells me nothing, because I still don't know how you're spending your time.  If you say we're spending 15-25 minutes on board drills and get-off, then I'd want to know how you teach board and how you teach get-off, because that might be your problem right there.  Or, the problem might be that you spend time on leverage, but not assignment.  I have no idea what your teaching in your blocking scheme, so you may not need to change your scheme, but what and how you teach.   

Honestly, we did man blocking and that didn’t work.

--Well that's a problem, right there.  Not only is man-blocking (as your primary scheme) generally a recipe for disaster, as it can't account for a size-disadvantage, nor can it account for shades, gaps, walk-ups or blitzes.  The other issue with man-blocking is that I've never seen it used as a primary blocking scheme for any offense.  So when you say your "playbook(s) were too much for them," I'm wondering what playbooks you're using, because I don't know of one that relies on this scheme.  Unless the playbook is something that you came up with.

All five of the kids on the line are good players and their blocking on running plays was pretty good 90% of the time. We definitely needed to remind them on their splits and proper stance a lot.

--Splits and stance is an EDD whether you need to remind them, or not.  If all of the players on the line are good players, then do you think the problem is only scheme, or scheme and coaching?

We are hoping to add a coach this season that has a ton of experience coaching the line but not sure if he will be added or not and I won’t know until around March.

--Whether he has experience or not, doesn't really matter.  Experience is no substitute for simply being good at what you do.  I'd rather have a good coach who has three years of experience, than a bad coach who has 20.  And what if he teaches blocking concepts that don't fit your scheme?  I wouldn't wait and rely on him.  What if he doesn't arrive?  What if he does, but you find you can't work with him?  If you are the Offensive Coordinator, then you need to know, understand and be able to teach a blocking scheme.  I'd find a scheme, learn what the fundamentals are that will help to teach that scheme and practice teaching them in the off-season, whether it's to your son and his friends, or your dog.

We ran a few different offenses  this past season. Most successful  was UC running power plays and throwing in a few reverses and such.

--Again, I don't know what this means: a "few different offenses."  You don't say what they are (and who has the time or expertise to install a new offense in season?).  But you mention plays ("power plays" and "reverses") which are pretty much found in any offense, so I don't know why you'd change offenses when these plays can be found in virtually any offense.  Perhaps spending more time on blocking and running one offense, instead of running different offenses, would be time better spent. 

Again, if you can address the questions, that can give us a better idea of how and where to help.  You may find the answer is entirely different than what you were expecting.

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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Dusty Ol Fart
(@youth-coach)
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Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 7608
Illinois
Other
Club Admin
November 25, 2019 6:25 am  

What Playbook(s) ? What Type of Offense?

To my knowledge there are no One Size Fits ALL Blocking Methodologies.  The good news is there are Schemes that account for a majority. 

To Zach's point there are many who advocate establishing a limited number of base "Go To" plays, that you can run in your sleep (Offensive Scheme matters not).  I can build on those 5 or 6 Base plays, with complimentary or contradictory ones, as we become sound in running our Base.  I ascribe to this thinking myself.

Without knowledge of what your Offense entails and what is inside you playbook(s) we cant offer anything specific.

Not MPP... ONE TASK!  Teach them!  🙂


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 17323
North Carolina
High School
November 25, 2019 6:48 am  

Without knowledge of what your Offense entails and what is inside you playbook(s) we cant offer anything specific.

Exactly, Scott.  The more information we have, the less time spent on wondering which direction to point.

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 17323
North Carolina
High School
November 25, 2019 6:50 am  

No Play
QB Sneek
ISO
Belly
Counter
BOOT
Pop Pass

What, no Sweep?  Or does your Boot account for that?

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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bdjackson
(@bdjackson)
Bronze
Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 260
November 25, 2019 7:24 am  

Okay, so I really wanted to get on this post earlier, but properly replying to your post on a 5 inch screen while riding a train was not going to happen.

So some of this has been discussed and asked already, but I'll add my .02 regardless.

First, your profile mentions multiple offenses. To me this is issue number one in regards to your playbook, scheme, blocking technique. Before you can ever teach the players you have to figure out what type of coach do you want to be. It's absolutely 100% a mindset and attitude that must start with the you and be instilled in the coordinators, assistants and players. Are you a smash mouth ball control type of guy, are you a spread it out and sling it type of coach, are you more concerned with RPO, misdirection, etc.. Once you answer that question then, and only then should you ever consider a scheme. Selecting a scheme because someone else is successful only work if you as the coach fully buy in.

Secondly, your playbook sounds like it was too big for you which created the inability to properly teach it. I myself ran into this problem this year as well. When you are staring at your playbook trying to decide what to run, you as a coach have to many plays. Most teams at the youth level can win with 5-6 plays when perfected. I have never, nor will I believe in scheming each week based on my opponent. Will we use slight adjustments pre-built into our offense. Absolutely. But its because that what a system based offense does. Allow you to adjust without changing the core of what you do. And that's my next point.

USE A SYSTEM BASED OFFENSE. Now I don't care what you run, but when you decide how you want to dictate and control the game, choose an offense that is tried and true. The most popular and ones you are most likely to receive help on are the:

Double Wing
Single Wing
Wing-T/DC Wing-T
Air Raid
Wishbone

Now there are plenty of other options out there that have a huge amount of support that you can absolutely succeed with, these are just my suggestions.

And guess what happens when you begin to buy in and use a system based offense, you develop and perfect the corresponding blocking scheme. Now this doesn't mean that every offense can only be blocked one way, but many of them have fairly typical blocking styles that are normally heavily discussed and utilized. So by default, a system based offense fixes most of your major problems.

An overloaded playbook
Coaching Time
Blocking Style/Rules

If I were you, I'd start with heading over to CoachSomebody.com and download the Everyday Drills Manual and the Coaching a Dominant O-line Manual. Those two alone are worth their weight in gold.

Okay, so with that said, I'll lay out some basic questions here that will better help everyone give you a better response.

1) What type of coach do you see yourself being?
2) How much experience do you have coaching football?
3) Are you staying with this age group in the future?
4) Do you think that you were able to efficiently "teach" the players? This is normally the biggest issue. Thinking that the proper scheme and plays will make the world go around. No matter WHAT we teach, we have to know HOW to teach it. It's also a hard question to ask and answer honestly. If I asked myself this year, the answer would be no. I had a lot of AC troubles and external influences that I allowed to take away from teaching the kids what they needed to know. It made me question what I wanted to do as a coach and ultimately lead to a less successful (albeit still good) season than what it should have been.
5) What is your experience as a player and do you think that played into how you coached?

If you can answer these along with the why's CoachDP laid out, I think we can really get you on the path to success pretty quickly. But like everything, this forum can only lead the coach to the buffet. We can make you eat the Kung Pao Chicken.

-Brian

Being Capable, first begins with being Confident.


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 17323
North Carolina
High School
November 25, 2019 8:24 am  

Selecting a scheme because someone else is successful only work if you as the coach fully buy in.

--True enough.  Which is why I was asking "zone?"  Is it because the high school runs it?  Is it because he wants to run a Spread scheme?  Is it because it's what he sees on TV?  There are right and wrong answers.

When you are staring at your playbook trying to decide what to run, you as a coach have to many plays.

--Agreed.  And usually coaches will run down the playlist (and adding plays, or offenses) looking for something that will work, as opposed to determining the reason that their core play may not be working, and learning the adjustments to make so that their core play starts working again.

Most teams at the youth level can win with 5-6 plays when perfected.

--Most high school teams too, if they're perfected.  Problem is, many coaches are chasing how many formations and ways their Backs can get the ball, instead of learning one scheme, and how to make adjustments to it.

I have never, nor will I believe in scheming each week based on my opponent.

--I used to, but it's a time-consuming process and steals the time that you could be placing on getting better with your own scheme.  It's like focusing on the hottie-chick next door, instead of your own marriage.  Now, I just focus on self-scout and what we do.  And whaddya know, whether a defense is running an even or odd front, a 3-3-5 or a Wide Tackle 6, we're running Power.

USE A SYSTEM BASED OFFENSE. Now I don't care what you run, but when you decide how you want to dictate and control the game, choose an offense that is tried and true.

--A system-based offense has system-based adjustments.

So by default, a system based offense fixes most of your major problems.

--True, it can.  But ya still gotta know how to teach it, what to recognize, what to look for...

If I were you, I'd start with heading over to CoachSomebody.com and download the Everyday Drills Manual and the Coaching a Dominant O-line Manual. Those two alone are worth their weight in gold.

--Good advice.

2) How much experience do you have coaching football?
3) Are you staying with this age group in the future?
4) Do you think that you were able to efficiently "teach" the players?

--Good questions.  The more questions we ask of you Chris, the more likely you'll find your own answers.  Unless you're just looking for someone to tell you what to do.  We can do that, but when you have questions, problems and challenges, you're still going to wonder what to do.  Better to learn the answers yourself and most forums won't help you to do that.  They'll just give you the quick answer: "watch this vid!" "run the zimabaloo offense!"  "tell your kids they gotta want it!" 

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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Dusty Ol Fart
(@youth-coach)
Diamond
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 7608
Illinois
Other
Club Admin
November 25, 2019 8:31 am  

Man that Zimabaloo Offense is Great!! 

Wait!  What???  😀

Not MPP... ONE TASK!  Teach them!  🙂


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