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Dusty Ol Fart
(@youth-coach)
Diamond
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 7574
Illinois
Other
Club Admin
October 4, 2019 3:58 am  

I'm really interested in teaching O-line fundamentals to beginners. That Wing T Blocking Progression is really helpful. Are there any other progression-based coaching guidelines that you guys can recommend?

I've found a lot of random articles and videos that look helpful, but I haven't found much that ties things together into a coherent plan. I have the book "Complete Offensive Line" by Rick Trickett, but that's a little too advanced for kids that never played tackle football before.

I disagree, Trickett's book spends the first pages discussing the characteristics and then stances  Up and Down.  Trust me you can spend hours on Stance alone. What exactly are you looking for?  How do you intend to Teach.....Rule or Zone? 

Not MPP... ONE TASK!  Teach them!  🙂


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ZACH
 ZACH
(@bucksweep58)
Diamond
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 9323
Coach
October 4, 2019 5:56 am  

I'm really interested in teaching O-line fundamentals to beginners. That Wing T Blocking Progression is really helpful. Are there any other progression-based coaching guidelines that you guys can recommend?

I've found a lot of random articles and videos that look helpful, but I haven't found much that ties things together into a coherent plan. I have the book "Complete Offensive Line" by Rick Trickett, but that's a little too advanced for kids that never played tackle football before.

Delaware wing t had specific blocks so literally you teach a block per kid per play.

Your basics
Gap
On
Reach
Down (different than gap)
Pull
Pull check
Gut

If you are running del wing t your basics are first step toward your target is with near foot to the target. Shoulder block and shimmy.

If youre doing dcwt or another style of wing t probably good idea to teach the use of hands.

Basics of dominating oline from my notecard oline book i sell for $1000 lol

- be in a stance they can be fast in every direction,  even if it looks like shit, if they are fast out of it ...thats there stance
- good, fast, 0-6 inch first step
- steps 2-5 dont matter as long as the player is good pad level and good foot speed
- get even with your target  and low enough to see up his nose
- beat his ass ...hit and finish the block, never not be in contact with someone when the whistle blows

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: 17030
North Carolina
High School
October 4, 2019 6:07 am  

Are there any other progression-based coaching guidelines that you guys can recommend?

--For which scheme?  Blocking is not a "one size fits all" approach.

I've found a lot of random articles and videos that look helpful, but I haven't found much that ties things together into a coherent plan. I have the book "Complete Offensive Line" by Rick Trickett, but that's a little too advanced for kids that never played tackle football before.

--Too advanced, how?

--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: 17030
North Carolina
High School
October 4, 2019 6:09 am  

Basics of dominating oline from my notecard oline book i sell for $1000

Finally!  Some fresh new material.

--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: 17030
North Carolina
High School
October 4, 2019 8:06 am  

One challenge (i.e., problem?) I've found with youth coaching and "books or videos that teach football" is the book/video rarely takes into account the age of the players.  There's no "Chapter 1 for 7-8s," "Chapter 2 for 9-10s," etc.  And perhaps there should be.  Not only is the game and various strategies different for various age groups, but determining which fundamentals to teach that age group is just as important.  For example, a Linebacker being able to read the fingertip pressure of an o-lineman can be helpful at the high school level (and above) to determine whether the play will be a run or pass, but it's impossible to determine a "fingertip read" at the youth level because the quality of stances vary so greatly.  It's also rather pointless to focus on steps or hand-placement when the player isn't motivated to be physical or is afraid of contact.  It's as if the books, as well as the videos, already expect the players to be physical and motivated football players, who just need to learn some fundamentals and a bit of technique.  The problem in all this is that I've seen coaches waste their time on teaching fundamentals when the player wants no part of a game that places a premium on physicality.

What a youth coach needs to determine is:

How much time do you have to teach?  Do you have 6 hours?  10 hours?  3 days?  2 days a week?

How efficient and knowledgable are you about teaching the fundamentals that you believe are the most important?  How long will it take you to teach those fundamentals?  Many coaches (regardless of whether they're youth or high school coaches) do a very poor job of teaching fundamentals efficiently, as well as knowing which fundamentals to teach.  And a book or video doesn't necessarily tell you which fundamental is more important than another.  But it makes no sense to work on your skip-pull when your Center and QB can't execute a decent exchange, or the ball gets snapped over the QB's head 4 times a game.

What gives you the biggest bang for your buck?  I'm not going to spend much time on stance, when the block itself is more important.  However, many coaches won't move past teaching stance because their players are so poor at stance.  The coach feels like he can't move forward to other fundamentals when the player can't even get the stance right.  However, it's not about being able to teach a good stance first...IMO, you shouldn't even waste your time trying to.  The block is more important than the stance.  So drills that emphasize good blocking are more important to me than drills that teach stance.  Your time is limited.  What gives you your biggest bang?

All of this ends up manifesting itself into the straight-ahead blocking/just block whoever's in front of you/block somebody approach that drives so many of us crazy.  This is because the youth coach (even if he's willing to teach a blocking scheme and the correct fundamentals for the scheme), can't ever get to Part B (blocking rules and fundamentals) because he's still stuck in Part A (stance).  And because he never thought that physicality/aggression could be taught, he ends up painting himself into a corner with an offensive line that's not physical and has only emphasized stance.  So now he has no time for a blocking scheme and the fundamentals that accompany them, and has relegated himself to just telling his offensive linemen to block the man in front of them.  "But Coach, there's no one in front of me."  "Then just block somebody."  I've seen this scenario too many times....

So what's a coach to do?

Understand that without a physical and motivated football player, your scheme and fundamentals will get you nowhere.  Understand that physicality and motivation can be taught at the youth, middle and high school level.  It is not and will probably never be taught at the collegiate or professional level because physicality/motivation is not a challenge at that level, so don't confuse yourself into believing that because it isn't taught to players 18 and over, that you shouldn't be teaching it. 

Have a blocking scheme that is made for the offense that you run.  Make sure you know how to coach it intelligently, efficiently and simply.  Even high school players will try to fake it, if they don't understand it.  Wedge used to take me 4 days to install.  Now it takes all of 15 minutes.  I can coach it intelligently, efficiently and simply.  Which is one reason it's not only my favorite play, but probably our best play.

Know that time is your greatest enemy.  Many high schools have year-round access to their players, along with a JV and Varsity team, a weight room, and coaches who do this for a living.  High school staffs have the time.  Youth coaches rarely do.  The average youth coach gets kids who perhaps showed up 3 weeks ago (or yesterday) and a bunch of dads who all have their own idea of the best approach to take.  Add to that most coaches TELL instead of TEACH, and that is wasted time.  Youth practices are generally models of inefficiency, with busy-work drills that don't matter, laps being run, and instruction that uses cliches or buzzwords that don't really teach the player.  Don't fool yourself into thinking that "I can do what the high school does" when high school coaches have kids year-round, or at least in the spring and summer well before the fall.

And finally, emphasize the blocking you want, over the stance you'd like to see. 

--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: 17030
North Carolina
High School
October 4, 2019 8:39 am  

When I started out as a header coaching youth football (decades ago), I didn't know very much.  About anything.  Drills?  Fundamentals?  Scheme?  Not very much.  "Someone give me a drill."  But despite not knowing much, I knew to focus (a lot) on what little I did know.  Having spent my first 2 seasons under 2 different 1st-year headers who lead us to disastrous seasons gave me plenty of food for thought as to what not to do.  I looked at everything they did and then wondered, "How does this help us?"  And, "If we had a game tomorrow, would we be ready?"  The answers, week in and week out, were "No, this does not help us" and "No, we are not ready." 

Was running laps going to help us defeat our opponent, or was it just going to get us better at running laps?  Was this the best way to spend our time?  Or does it simply fill time?

Was putting in new plays during the week going to help us, when we can't execute a Center/QB snap, a pitch to the RB or a pass block?

Was spending time talking to our players about what they should be doing, more effective than having our players rep what they should be doing?

Was just running the drill and then yelling at them after the rep, more effective than teaching them before the drill and then correcting after the rep?  And here's a hint: the better the job you do of teaching before the rep, the less correction you'll have to do after the rep.

There's a LOT of mindless activity that I see at practices (including the high school level).  You need to decide how beneficial it is.  And one way to determine that, is to ask yourself "If we had to play tomorrow, does what I'm teaching today prepare us?"

--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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terrypjohnson
(@terrypjohnson)
Bronze
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 187
United States
Head Coach
October 4, 2019 9:10 am  

There's a LOT of mindless activity that I see at practices (including the high school level).  You need to decide how beneficial it is.  And one way to determine that, is to ask yourself "If we had to play tomorrow, does what I'm teaching today prepare us?"

Thank you for the reminder, Coach Potter!

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


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Wing-n-It
(@robert)
Platinum Moderator
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 3872
United States
October 4, 2019 9:14 am  

One challenge (i.e., problem?) I've found with youth coaching and "books or videos that teach football" is the book/video rarely takes into account the age of the players.  There's no "Chapter 1 for 7-8s," "Chapter 2 for 9-10s," etc.  And perhaps there should be. --Dave

Ok so when you set the book up I will help write chapter 1 (the 7-8s )

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


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Stick
(@stick)
Lurker
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 2
October 14, 2019 7:40 pm  

--For which scheme?  Blocking is not a "one size fits all" approach.

Right now I'm just trying to learn as much as I can before I even think about coaching kids, so the best answer I can give you is "all of them."

I've been looking at this with the mindset that kids should try to master the fundamentals that apply regardless of scheme, because their scheme might change when they get to junior high and high school. As a lineman coach, I don't know how much say I would have in determining the scheme anyway. If I can find a youth team that's willing to take me on as a lineman coach, I'd imagine my job would be to help the kids perform to the best of their abilities within the scheme that the head coach chooses. How much would be within my power to decide, anyway? For example, would the head coach likely dictate that we do zone or man blocking based on the plays that he wants to run, or would I make that decision? I guess it just depends on what your understanding is with the head coach, right?

I'd assume that most youth teams would want to go heavier on the running than the passing, but without knowing the head coach and players that I'll be working with, I can't say for sure which scheme is best.

Your response suggests that a lot of lineman skills and knowledge is scheme-specific, and that makes sense. I need to learn as much as I can about the O-line's responsibilities within all of the common schemes. So if you know of any other good O-line coaching resources for any scheme, I'm interested. And if it offers a good progression-based approach to teaching, I'm really interested in that.


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Dusty Ol Fart
(@youth-coach)
Diamond
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 7574
Illinois
Other
Club Admin
October 15, 2019 7:00 am  

There are a few things that can be worked regardless of scheme. 

Although there are still a few who block with Shoulders (Flippers) most have gone to hands blocking. 

3 Things that never change.

Fast Feet
Fast Hands
Pad Level

Just one of my final thoughts.

Dusty!

Not MPP... ONE TASK!  Teach them!  🙂


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 17030
North Carolina
High School
October 15, 2019 7:58 am  

Right now I'm just trying to learn as much as I can before I even think about coaching kids, so the best answer I can give you is "all of them."

--Learning what/how/why to teach before ever having done so is a lot like reading about how to drive a car without ever having done it.  The best way to learn is to jump in, because books and vids aren't likely to tell you the problems and conflicts you're going to run into along the way.  Clinics might address some of the challenges, but books & vids almost never do.  What will be of benefit, is having practical problem-solving skills that you can quickly apply.  The best coaches are the best problem solvers.  The worst coaches just keep doing the same thing the same way and then yelling at the players when it doesn't work.  I've seen coaches steer their team directly into an iceberg and then complain that the iceberg shouldn't have been there. ::)

I've been looking at this with the mindset that kids should try to master the fundamentals that apply regardless of scheme, because their scheme might change when they get to junior high and high school.

--While "their scheme might change when they get to junior high and high school," it's doubtful that a fundamental you taught them at 7 or 8 will still be of value years later, IF they haven't used that fundamental since you taught it.  Fundamentals need to be taught, repped and then re-taught and repped again; and that's just IN-SEASON.  Teach fundamentals based on the scheme you are running.  If you're looking to teach fundamentals that are the most universal, then look to the most popular scheme, which would be some sort of a Spread thing.  Forearm and shoulder blocking is pretty much a thing of the past.  And finding some sort of universality amongst all offensive schemes is pretty remote.  There's not even a universal pass set amongst Spread teams.

As a lineman coach, I don't know how much say I would have in determining the scheme anyway.

--You won't, unless you are also the header and/or the OC.  When I was the header and/or OC, I was also the O-Line coach.  In my 14 years as a header, I always determined scheme.  In 4 other years where I was OC, I also determined scheme and served as the O-Line coach.  1 year as an AC, I was brought in to teach the (DW) scheme that they wanted, but I was not the OC, although I did coach the O-Line and they were using my scheme.  And there were 3 years (including this year) that I spent as an AC that I had no input on scheme.

If I can find a youth team that's willing to take me on as a lineman coach, I'd imagine my job would be to help the kids perform to the best of their abilities within the scheme that the head coach chooses.

--That's generally how it works.  Get ready to teach a lot of base blocking.  ::)

How much would be within my power to decide, anyway? For example, would the head coach likely dictate that we do zone or man blocking based on the plays that he wants to run, or would I make that decision?

--More than 90% of the time, the header will make that decision.  But in youth ball, with so many headers being naive about blocking schemes, he may tell you what offensive scheme (Spread?  Power-I?) he wants to run, but he has no idea how to block it.  You could certainly help, in that regard.  But if that's the case, then you should probably be the OC, if not the header, anyway.  I have a friend at a neighboring high school, who is actually teaching "Double Wing blocking" to a non-DW team.  While they aren't foot-to-foot, his rules and fundamentals are very much what Double Wing teams do.

I guess it just depends on what your understanding is with the head coach, right?

--Yes, absolutely.

I'd assume that most youth teams would want to go heavier on the running than the passing

--Depends on the age group.  Regardless, even at the youngest levels, many still want to line up in some sort of Spread thing complete with (inconsistent) shotgun snaps, only 1 RB and several receivers that they'll never pass to.

but without knowing the head coach and players that I'll be working with, I can't say for sure which scheme is best.

--The best scheme is the one that you know how to teach forwards and backwards.

Your response suggests that a lot of lineman skills and knowledge is scheme-specific, and that makes sense. I need to learn as much as I can about the O-line's responsibilities within all of the common schemes.

--Good luck with that. ::)  Even within the same scheme, fundamentals can vary greatly.

So if you know of any other good O-line coaching resources for any scheme, I'm interested. And if it offers a good progression-based approach to teaching, I'm really interested in that.

--I'd offer to help, but not only is what I do Double Wing-specific, but it's barely used even within DW circles.  Hit the Glaziers, Nikes, AFCA or college-sponsored clinics in the off-season.  Or volunteer at a high school and tell the header you want to learn.  They won't help a lot with what's being used at the youth level, but it is a starting 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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Seabass
(@seabass)
Gold
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 1217
October 16, 2019 11:21 am  

Twitter might be the best resource for O-line coaches there has ever been. Some of the best O-line coaches in world post some of the best information you will ever find, short of being at their practices.

There are also more and more subscription based options for O-line coaches today. I think the O-line position might have more great resources available than any other position in football. I wouldn't have said that 3-4 years ago.


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Coyote
(@coyote)
Copper
Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 95
3rd - 5th
Coordinator
December 15, 2019 5:15 pm  

Greetings

May not be a lot of help here...  but generally speaking our main objective it getting square pegs in the square holes, and round pegs in the round holes.  This is especially true w/ our Oline.

With the Oline, we want to get the kid in the most natural spot for him, we look for OG's first,  then TE,  then C, then OT.    Often our 3rd graders at the Guards or TE are kids we know will be Backs as 4th graders.  Consequently, they usually block quite well by the time they get to be backs.    We also get a lot of grief from parents who think their kids are Backs.  We're kinda used to it.

But we know what we want in which positions and prioritize accordingly.  We draft, so we have a Combine.  During Combine we're looking for kids who can move. 

After stance and starts, we run a sweep drill vs bags.  All the kids - OL or not, line up on the snake at the OG spots and we drill them on sweep left and sweep blocking rt (we're a wing T team).  Kids alternate lines.  We looking for how well the kids move in space. 

Then run do the same with Cross blocking.  Then Gut.  Again, we're looking at how the kids move.  if they can move well in these drills, we're confident they can move well as Backs and Defenders.  But we prioritize finding OG's.

The Center - need a good snap, but really looking at his 1st step after the snap.  For us, its often a later step, due to the A-gapers really hugging the Center's shoulder.  [Somewhere most the league got the idea the way to take our OG's out of the pull, trap, kick out and Gut action is with double A gap and double B gaps.  Most teams doing this to us, the A-gapers are shading on the C's shoulders, almost like a double NT tackle look.  It doesn't work, but but they seem to think it does.] 

TE - looking for athlete can severe angle block, but tracks well to the 2nd level and can catch. 

OT - severe angle block every play.  Our lesser talents on the OLine go here.     

Hope this helps.

Umm.... why does that 6 ft tall 9 yr old have a goatee...?


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