Teaching a Center t...
 
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Teaching a Center to block after the snap  

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JustPlay
(@rjbthor)
Silver
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 524
October 22, 2019 6:06 am  

Here is what I was thinking about the sticky -

Each of these blocks gets practiced on board drills (half rounds, agiles or boards) where we emphasize the "short" step for base blocking and the "long" step for the down block.  Both steps need to drag the top of the grass because cleat replacement is CRUCIAL.  Without quick cleat replacement, linemen get driven backwards.  We want to get the cleats back in the ground, ASAP.  The higher the step, the longer it takes to get the cleats back in the ground.  The longer the step, the longer it takes to get the cleats back in the ground.  Can this be taught with little guys?  Yes, it can through board drills.

Linemen who overstride find that they get pushed backwards, pretty quickly.  Starting them from fit on the boards will teach them faster.  I demonstrate "low" cleats (my cleats dragging the grass) and short steps.  Then I demonstrate "high" cleats (high steps) and long steps.  Players then see the difference between the two, as I explain that getting their cleats back in the ground ASAP is paramount.  On board drills starting from fit, I tell Billy to give me "high cleats" and Tommy to give me "low cleats."  Billy gets pushed back because his steps were higher, thus taking longer to get his cleats back in the ground.  Then I tell Tommy to give me "short steps" and Billy to give me "long steps."  Billy gets pushed back because his steps were longer, thus taking longer to get his cleats back in the ground.  Then I have them start from fit, telling them "low cleats, short steps" and tell those players watching the drill to simply watch Billy's and Tommy's feet and nothing else, and you will be able to see WHY one player defeats the other.  1) Low cleats. 2) Short steps. 3) Fast feet. (Take as many steps as possible, in a short a space as possible.)

This is where a warm-up drill like "high knees" or even "butt kickers" during Dynamics can help teach/emphasize our points.  When we warm-up, we are looking for players to "finish last" in "high knees" or "butt kickers" because that means they are taking the most steps, getting the most reps in.  Our players compete to see who will "finish last," which means they are getting many more steps in, than if they were long-striding to finish first.  So by the time we talk about "short steps," our players know what we mean because it's been repped and demonstrated so many times in our Dynamics.  That's why we incorporate other drills (like "butt kickers" reinforces the "short steps" terminology) that we use in blocking.  (Just as our "high knees" dynamics helps reinforce our approach to Wedge, where we deal with bearcrawlers and submariners.)  To "finish last" also reinforces our LTHS (Long Term High Stress) approach to training, which teaches effort and intensity.  WoT (Waste of Time) drills like gassers only serve to get the drill over with, as soon as possible.  "Finish Last" drills like "butt kickers," "high knees" and "Battle Buddies" mean that players get far more reps in because they aren't trying to finish first; they're trying to get 300 steps in, instead of 30, which maintains their intensity longer, while giving them more conditioning.

Yes the blocking scheme is not universal, but training your center with these thoughts in mind I found very helpful.

nothing replaces effort. nothing replaces the mind. One with out the other is a waste of time.


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 16990
North Carolina
High School
October 22, 2019 6:44 am  

Yes the blocking scheme is not universal, but training your center with these thoughts in mind I found very helpful.

Well my hope is that everyone finds it helpful. lol. But it is better suited for the Double Wing section than general offense, simply because it pertains to the DW.  That said, since you asked me how I train my Center, I went with how I trained our Center in the DW.  Regardless, I'm glad it helped you.

--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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