Having a problem offensive linemen coming off the ball slowly? This is a common problem with many youth football linemen. If you have an offense that is performing poorly it is almost always because the offensive line is performing poorly.
This is a drill used by many teams to get their offensive linemen to quickly come off the ball. I first learned about it from De La Salle High School in California. Yes, the school that had the 151-game winning streak. This is a great drill for guys coaching youth football as well.
The De La Salle football coaches believe, rightfully so, that the keys to great offensive line play is getting your two first steps down quicker than the opponents' two first steps. I noticed the speed the De LaSalle linemen came off the ball was pretty amazing during a televised game with nationally ranked Evangel High School from Louisiana. While Evangel had a number of Division I prospects on their offensive line and averaged more than 50 pounds more per man than De La Salle, De La Salle just dominated the line.
This is a drill they practice that youth football teams have used successfully to improve offensive line blocking and quickness:
Put your linemen in two groups. Have the players at the front of the line execute their first two steps quickly and perfectly, inside step stepping first at a 30-degree angle to the inside with knee to chest, all the while loading the hands to the sides at "Six Shooter" level. The second step is at the same angle, coming very quickly after the first step has been placed down. The second step also would be performed with bent knees and when the foot is placed down the forearms come up to deliver the blow along with the shoulder.
Once these steps have been repped, we add in the coach with the tennis ball.
The coach is at a 30-degree angle to the inside of the offensive linemen and about one yard along that 30-degree path away from the player. On the snap count the offensive linemen takes his first step as outlined above and then takes his second step along the line to the coach using the above technique.
The coach, on the snap count, drops the ball straight down from a height of three feet or so. The lineman must take his two perfect steps, while maintaining low pad level, knee to chest, using proper technique, and catch the tennis ball before it hits the ground. Vary the distance and height to force your offensive linemen to perform the drill to their individual speed potential. It is a great change-of-pace drill, it works and the kids love it.
See how this football drill helps your offensive linemen come off the ball quicker and allowing them to get their second step down faster than their opponent. This will allow you to execute your football plays with greater precision and effectiveness if combined with proper blocking technique.
Dave Cisar has more than 15 years of hands-on experience as a youth football coach. His book "Winning Youth Football a Step by Step Plan" was endorsed by Tom Osborne and Dave Rimington. His DVDs and book have been used by teams in all 50 states and five foreign countries to run integrity-based programs that enhance every player's football experience and win championships. Dave has spoken at over 60 coaching clinics and is always a top-ranked speaker. His web site, WinningYouthFootball.com, is one of the top destinations on the internet for youth coaches.