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32wedge
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July 18, 2018 9:54 am  

Now that I'm moving down to 2nd graders, I think I'm going to have to build blockers, especially with tiny 2' splits.

😮 ::) :- 🙂 ;D


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Seabass
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July 18, 2018 12:06 pm  

L

The NE Patriots work hard on technique, but your 6th graders don't need to?

IMHO all Olinemen need lots of work on technique. We spend countless hours on fundamentals. No matter what style of blocking you are using, steps & actual technique need to be developed. It's never a matter of just block someone.

Proper form is a product of work.

Joe

Amen to that Joe!

I literally just got back from our practice facility. On Tuesday's and Wednesday's, after lifting, we get an hour to work with our position groups. I had almost 30 linemen today (9-12) and most of them still struggle with almost everything.

The only difference between the Pop Warner kids I used to coach and the HS kids I am coaching now.....6-8" in height and 50-100# in weight. Everything else is about the same. They aren't that much more athletic, they are a little stronger but they sure as hell aren't much smarter.

There is nothing about line play that is intuitive...everything they do has to be taught...which by definition makes it a skill. Skills have to be developed through practice and then practiced more to be maintained.


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gumby_in_co
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July 18, 2018 4:01 pm  

L

The NE Patriots work hard on technique, but your 6th graders don't need to?

IMHO all Olinemen need lots of work on technique. We spend countless hours on fundamentals. No matter what style of blocking you are using, steps & actual technique need to be developed. It's never a matter of just block someone.

Proper form is a product of work.

Joe

Joe,

Thanks for the call. For everyone else, I'd like to qualify that statement. I didn't worry a ton what happened after the punch. For one, with all that space, we simply can't control what that fit looks like after it happens. We have marginal control over the fit itself. Second, I taught them that their job was to be on their man when the whistle blew. Got that from Michael. If you were on your guy when the whistle blew, then you did your job and I was done harping.  Third, I made a decision (one that I'm happy with to this day) to stop micro-managing them. Tell them what their job is, give them some clues on how to get the job done, and tell them some pitfalls that will stop them from getting that job done.  There were a few kids over the last few seasons that I would pull aside during indies and work with them one on one while another coach put the o-line through indies.

As I said to Joe, there were a few situations, especially this Spring where I think knowledge of specific techniques may have helped us. I think with the 2nd graders, there will be MANY more of those situations, so I'm going to start with this Tip of the Spear series to see if I can find some techniques like Michael's "down leg" thing, along with how to teach them.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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Bob Goodman
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July 19, 2018 12:05 pm  

It's basically just elevate and drive rather than drive and elevate.

What burns me reading that is that a year or 2 ago here I was more or less laughed at when I posted about my 2-on-1 drive block technique where the blockers 1st get their hips together & low while the opponent's allowed to get up forward momentum.


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Wing-n-It
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July 19, 2018 3:04 pm  

What burns me reading that is that a year or 2 ago here I was more or less laughed at when I posted about my 2-on-1 drive block technique where the blockers 1st get their hips together & low while the opponent's allowed to get up forward momentum.

I don't know if y'all are talking about the same thing

Or it just sounds better with Michael typing?  :-

2 Things my offense will always have is a Wing and a Wedge


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mahonz
(@mahonz)
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July 19, 2018 6:59 pm  

It's basically just elevate and drive rather than drive and elevate.

It can be nasty as hell, with a ton of power, or at least a huge difference in power between the blocker and the defender.  We spent a lot of time working on how to put guys on the ground, because it was extremely common for defenders to be ready to get put down.

De La Salle's technique is in the same neighborhood, basically.

The blocker may have less power than he would the other way, but the defender, when it's done properly, has close to zero power.  He's jacked up, leaning backwards, and on his heels stepping backward.  So the power difference, which is what matters, can be massive.

Look at the example from swheels of the two brothers.  He can correct me if I'm wrong, but I imagine that the younger brother had less power than he would have had if he'd stayed low and tried to drive the older brother back, BUT the older brother was put in a position, for at least the first few steps, in which he had pretty much no power at all.  THAT is the key.

Then teach the blocker how to run the defender (we do NOT chop, and once the defender is moving backwards our steps get bigger and faster) and what to do when the defender takes a big step backward in a last attempt to gain his balance (the little dudes were GREAT at feeling that and reacting to it) and you get a LOT of pancakes.

Going skeletal I do believe was your coaching point when describing it to me....like a weight lifter.

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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Michael
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July 19, 2018 9:07 pm  

Going skeletal I do believe was your coaching point when describing it to me....like a weight lifter.

Yeah, the Olympic lifting guys, at least some of them, call it "shutting the triangle."

Michael can not receive PM's, emails or respond to Posts. He passed away in September 2018. To honor his contributions we are leaving his account active. R.I.P - Dumcoach Staff.


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Seth54
(@seth54)
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July 13, 2020 11:33 pm  

Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but did anyone use the Tip of the Spear materials and find them useful? If not directly TotS, does anyone use any McNally or Michael techniques or drills that they recommend?


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gumby_in_co
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July 14, 2020 12:46 am  
Posted by: @seth54

Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but did anyone use the Tip of the Spear materials and find them useful? If not directly TotS, does anyone use any McNally or Michael techniques or drills that they recommend?

TOTS - Yes, I borrowed heavily from it and yes, I found a lot useful.

Useful: 

I never used the silly band that they sold for $20 each, but instead, I taught elbows in the belly button. If your elbows are tight and your wrists are together, it is nearly impossible to get your hands outside the frame. I like the way they teach the hands fit.

Not so useful:

"Going Skeletal". I can see the benefit if you are using hands blocking and tighter splits and your goal is to move defenders. We use hands blocking, but use GIANT splits and our goal is not to move defenders. So for us . . . meh.  I was big on giving them tools for the tool box. Locking your elbows to your hips and using your hips to elevate a defender that is trying to bull through you is a useful tool. So I taught it and gave them some ideas on when to use it. In relative space or when the defender is moving laterally?  Useless.

Completely useless:

The "bridge" technique that they teach to defenders to avoid blocks.  I go about 225 and I tried this on a 150lb assistant coach (HS student). I damn near broke my forearm using that crap.

Michael materials:  The stuff I understood, I found immensely helpful and that stuff shaped the way I coach o-line.  About 1/3 of the stuff he described to me went right over my head, so I respectfully pretended to understand and moved on to the stuff that I understood. Michael was an extremely intelligent person and sadly, I couldn't keep up with his mind sometimes.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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Seth54
(@seth54)
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July 14, 2020 8:26 am  

@gumby_in_co

 

Thanks. I remember the bridge and the lev cuff from the USA football Certifications in years past, that reminds me I need to get this years done. One thing That seemed somewhat intriguing what is the idea of a little bit of a push-pull with your arms instead of trying to just drive through the man once you have your hands in that “steering wheel” spot. Now I have never coached mega splits, but I could see how they make a lot of that somewhat unnecessary. I’ve definitely seen some smaller blockers in engage and then just kind dance their feet to the police side until their butt is facing the hole.

 


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Prodigy
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September 1, 2020 9:52 am  

A number of years ago when USA Football first began their "Heads Up Football" campaign, my program was selected as part of the pilot group.  It cost us nothing, we got access to all of their videos and quizzes, we got an assigned NFL Ambassador "Paul Zukauskas" who was generally unavailable.  I suppose the idea for the Ambassador was to get the NFL involved at the youth level...ours was pretty much a no show, never returned calls, never replied to emails...he was just a name attached to our implementation.

At the same time USA Football teamed with Pop Warner and heavily implied that "Heads Up Football is THE ONLY WAY to keep your child safe."  So essentially, if your kids coaches weren't using the heads up football methods, your kid was at risk.

Why did they do this?  I suspect it was all about $$$.  They wanted to be the standard and charge people to be part of their group.  The downside to all of this is, not every program had access to funds to participate in heads up football...so any parents that drank the kool aid that USA Football was selling and may have only had access to programs that were NOT USA Heads Up Football certified, decided that it wasn't worth the risk and their kids just didn't play.  This drove down participation across the board.

If USA Football was serious about improving football, they would never make such claims.  They would offer up all of their materials for free.

 

Also...in my years of coaching, I'm not sure that there was much of ANYTHING that I took away from the USA Football training / certificates that I did.  At one point I did ALL of their certifications for all age levels...everything they offered, I read, watched the videos, completed the tests...and none of the stuff was anything to write home about.

If you show up for a fair fight, you are unprepared.


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