Youth Fundamentals: Base Block

| April 11, 2012 | 0 Comments

For an offensive play to be successful, nine or ten players must block their assigned defenders while only one or two will handle the ball. Most players are very unaware of the importance of blocking to the success of the play and consequently consider it to be boring and even pointless. For this reason, the coaches that teach these skills are charged with not only teaching the fundamentals of a successful block, but also conveying the importance of this skill and the potential for having fun as a blocker. Emphasize that during every play, ten players block while only one player carries the ball.

Note: We teach blocking with hands, not shoulders. If you are a shoulder blocking team, you will need to amend the coaching points for your coaches.

To teach the basics of blocking footwork, hand placement, and double teams. Blocking is to be conveyed as the ultimate sacrifice for the team and the most important skill for each offensive player to master.

Teaching Progression:

Step 1. Teach the “lead step, power step, drive, drive, drive and finish” footwork concept.
Step 2. Teach proper hand contact and body leverage.
Step 3. Apply proper footwork and contact fundamentals to a double team block.


Footwork Progression

  • Lead Step—First step of the block
    • Quick, six-inch step
    • Step in the direction of the block
    • Hands to go to holsters during the lead step
  • Power Step—Second step of the block
    • Quick 12-inch step with opposite foot of the lead step
    • Maintain leverage with a low butt and knees bent
    • Hands fire out at the target
  • Drive, Drive, Drive— Steps that are taken after contact until the block is finished
    • Blocker to stay low
    • Drive feet with short, choppy steps
    • Power from the core and out through the arms and hands
    • Maintain leverage and forward lean
  • Finish –Last action of a perfect block
    • Explode with hips driving upward through the arms into the opponent
    • Legs continue to drive through the whistle

Contact and Leverage Teaching Points

  • Thumbs Up
    • Make contact with the opponent’s chest plate with the heel of his palms
    • Use a punching motion to initiate contact
    • Thumbs point upward and fingers point out toward the arms
    • Keep elbows in to transfer more power into the block and avoid holding calls (Have them push on something with elbows in versus elbows out and the will quickly understand they importance.)
  • Eyes Up & Under
    • Keep your eyes under to see what they are hitting
    • Head should be below the opponent face mask looking forward at their hands

Coaching Points / Verbiage:

  • “Lead step, power step, drive, drive, drive, and finish”
  • “Thumbs up, elbows in”
  • “See what you hit”
  • “Drive your legs”
  • “Low Man Wins!”

More Info…

This information is foundational to what is taught in the Sports Camp in a Box: Football Edition product that we released onto the market roughly a year ago and is being used across the US and Europe.

If you would like to learn more about that product, check out the product details here.

Related posts:

  1. Youth Fundamentals: Stance & Start
  2. Vertical Double Team Technique for Power and Counter
  3. Top 5 Keys to Running a Successful Youth Camp
  4. Using Camps to Develop Your Future Players
  5. Using Camps to Develop Your Program

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Category: Camps and Combines, Player Development, Youth Football

About the Author ()

Coach Nichols has coached football at nearly every level from middle school to the college ranks (currently WR Coach at Hope College). Over his career, he has developed a reputation as a innovator and teacher of the game. He runs his companies, Full Throttle Coaching Solutions and Full Throttle Football, and Full Throttle Publications, to share his experiences with coaches around the world.

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