Our Approach Toward Improved Blocking
Superior blocking techniques are what set stellar players apart from the rest of the line.
It also gives you the technical approach you need to play smarter instead of harder.
When you’re able to adopt proper blocking techniques and apply them to overall team blocking schemes, both you and the entire offensive line will have the advantage you need to dominate your opponent.
When run blocking, it’s critical you can locate your target before the snap of the ball.
Your aiming point should be your forehead at the top of your opponent’s numbers.
Your hands should be extended up to the side of defensive lineman’s shoulder pads just under armpits and your forehead and hands should hit your opponent at the same time.
When pass blocking, your body should be balanced, with your hands up and ready to strike the breast plate of defensive lineman. You must be ready to punch out of your stance and keep your feet moving as you mirror your opponent’s movement.
And while these are the very fundamentals of pass and run blocking, naturally the next progression after learning the basics will be for you to become intimate with three strategic blocking schemes commonly used by youth to pro offensive line teams.
The man blocking scheme is the traditional blocking approach that you probably already know and most everyone grows up learning and playing with first.
This scheme was designed to be used by offensive lineman who possess a lot of power and excel at running their opponent over.
It’s based on a theory that as a lineman, you’re responsible for your own block, and it’s up to you to win your individual battle.
Of course, this blocking approach is highly aggressive and really sets the tone for the game.
When your team leverages a man blocking scheme, the offense can wear down the rest of your defensive line very quick.
In the man blocking scheme, typically the center will set the stage by designating if he’s covered or not.
This scheme is very easy for you to learn and uncomplicated for you to execute because all you need to remember is what number you need to block, based on the Centers call.
Naturally since this scheme is the cornerstone of every offense, every defense will be prepared for it and it’s very easy for the defense to shift, load up and outnumber t you and the rest of the offensive linemen at the snap.
Plus, because it doesn’t require superior footwork skills, it tends to place unnecessary pressure on you to be one of the biggest players on the field.
Zone blocking schemes are a newer approach to improve upon the traditional man blocking scheme.
The zone blocking concept was specifically created to compensate for teams that lack big, hulking offensive linemen, agile enough to keep up with defensive shifts and to get away from shoving contests that placed unnecessary burden on the linemen.
The point is you don’t have to be on a line full of superstars to run the zone scheme.
Simply put, a zone blocking scheme is when the offensive linemen are assigned to defend a specific “zone” (area) to be blocked, rather than blocking an individual player.
Digging deeper, this means the offensive linemen are looking for specific areas of the field to block.
If a defender happens to be in your area, your mission is to block the defender in to gain control of the area.
If a defender isn't in your area, you should continue with their mission toward that area and offer up double-team assistance if it’s convenient.
Once you have gained control of your zone, if you’re not fully engaged, you can look to that secondary area for a defensive backfield player to block.
Teamwork is the key to a successful zone blocking scheme because emphasis is placed on the entire offensive line to work together to reach the linebackers instead of the one-on-one approach of the man blocking scheme.
The Zone blocking scheme allows offensive linemen to have the ability to adapt to any defensive.
It also requires more coaching and requires the team to have the type of running back that has the skills to read the zone patterns to find his cut back lane and opportunity to progress with the ball.
Combination blocking is used when two blockers team up on one defender on the line of scrimmage and at the same time pick up either the front side or backside linebacker.
The big advantage to combination blocking is that you only need to know if you’re covered or uncovered.
If you are covered you need to execute your block. If you are uncovered, you will determine if you need to plug a hole and if not, you’ll help the covered lineman get an advantage on the defender.
By leveraging this scheme, the uncovered lineman can stop a slant by the defender, which allows the covered lineman to re-direct and gain steps on the defender.
Because the uncovered lineman’s primary responsibility is to protect the linebacker, he must stay with the combo and only come off it when he’s able to touch the linebacker.
While these are the key fundamental blocking schemes we focus on equipping you with, we also work on advanced blocking techniques like:
- Drive Block
- Scoop Block
- Linebacker block
- Fold block
- Down blocks
- Reach block
- Trap block (short & long)
- Short trap
- Double team
- Scramble block
- Cut block
Our goal is to equip you with the fundamentals of proper run and pass blocks, common blocking schemes and advanced blocking techniques that will enable you to dominate and deliver when it’s all on the line.
After attending our clinics, you’ll be able to effectively adopt these blocking techniques and be equipped with the advantage…
…advantage to win more games and become the champion that stands out from the rest.
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