Being the offensive lineman in football means you do everything without getting credit; you hardly touch the ball unless something terrible has happened. On the other hand, you work the most challenging working head to head in trenches with some toughest players in youth football with the primary goal of getting bigger and stronger.
The offensive lineman has the responsibility of holding the defensive line to protect their quarterback. offensive lineman performance can result in winning or losing the game; they are far the most prominent and most substantial players on the field. The significant role of the Offensive line is to block for the player with the ball.
Blocking drills were always an essential part of football; keeping that in mind, we also understand coaching the offensive lineman correctly is also crucial in youth football. And this is because, when it comes to coaching offensive lineman techniques, it’s a unique unit within a team, where the rest of the offense relies upon to do their job.
The offensive lineman should work together and trust each other on each play of every game. This overall makes it very challenging for coaching the offensive lineman.
Around a decade ago, there was a time in American football where most of the players had more similarities than differences. A single-player was supposed to play multiple positions, and everyone had to know how to play offensive and how to tackle in the game.
As the game has evolved, football started wanting specialists in one position instead of someone who had all traits.
And with time, football became the sport of specialists having assigned duty along with the game.
Before we start with the offensive line drills, let’s see the fundamentals that every offensive lineman must know.
I cannot overstate the importance of a proper stance. Depending on your first footwork and the ability to make the first contact with the defenders, your explosiveness generation will be affected.
- Get off.
Get off is the first step offensive lineman take right after the snap, to put himself in a position where he can make a block.
- Strike (Second step of the opposite foot)
With that said, your offensive lineman needs to commit intense practice; Each individual must use their skills to execute the assignments of the given day; even if four do their job and one fails, disaster is imminent. It would help if you were doing a variety of different run blocking drills on each practice. This blog will talk about the best offensive line workout program and conditioning drills for Youth football.
Offensive Lineman training workouts.
Football is known for its hard work. It becomes a lot more complicated for an offensive lineman, where the primary focus is on becoming strong and becoming more explosive. And workout for strength and agility plays a significant role in the youth football offensive line performance.
Here are some offensive line-specific strength training exercises.
Uphill speed ladder.
One great way to take advantage of the sunny days of summer is to use the outdoors and integrate your training with hill workout. Exercise on a hill dramatically increases your workout’s intensity and can do wonders to your overall conditioning workout and helps you with speed, acceleration, and lower body strength.
Many football players are working out on a hill, including players like Jerry rice and San Antonio Spurs. You can try out these three exercises if you want to take your game to the next level.
- Uphill sprints.
Uphill sprints are one of the popular hill-based exercises for athletes, they’re simple, but they are super useful because they force you to increase your leg and shorten your stride to climb the hill.
- Downhills run.
Running downhill is the most fun way of workout; this is simple and doesn’t strain your body much, but it has many benefits in running faster and overall conditioning.
Your muscles elongate to help you control your speed, and your body gets used to proper running technique at maximum velocity.
- Uphill speed ladder.
Performing the same speed ladder drill during your workout session would turn your training stale. In such cases placing a speed ladder on an uphill becomes more fun and challenging, which helps you with footwork and coordination with lower body strength.
Resisted high knees.
In speed training, the aim is to move your body weight as fast as possible that will help in activating fast-twitch muscle fibers causing them to contract quicker. The faster the contact, the more quickly you move; make sure that you are maintaining a suitable sprinting mechanism.
In resisted high knees, you are going to use speed bands, and it feels as if the muscles in your hip flexors, quad, glutes, and hamstring are holding back, and when the speed bands are removed, your muscles would be explosive because they would feel light, and able to produce a blast of speeds.
Tips for the resisted high knees.
- Keep the back upright.
- Drive the knees up as fast as possible.
- Work at maximum intensity for 12-15 seconds burst.
Overall resisted high knees would help to improve sprint technique and stride length.
Shoulder rotation helps increase the range of motions. It prevents muscle injuries for youth offensive lineman, resulting in football players’ crucial exercises to practice decreasing muscle soreness.
Drills for Youth Offensive Lineman.
Set and punch pass blocking is a perfect offensive lineman drill for youth football; players can pass blocking during their offseason. A successful pass blocking is a combination of balance and body control, which helps the quarterback get more time. It will teach offensive lineman to set and deliver a punch in a way that will slow down and stun the rushing defender. Many times, creating a block for even six seconds can create a long offensive gain.
- Motive Behind the Drill: The motive of pass blocking is to give the quarterback as much time as possible to judge and give a good throw.
- Set up: Align three players with exaggerated splits on the line in a standard formation, place defensive players holding hand shields across from each offensive player.
- Procedure to do the Drill: As everyone is lined up for the drill, the offensive lineman will deliver a punch by lowering its body and taking its elbows inside. The rushing defender slows down, resulting in giving time for the quarterback. During the footwork, snap the upper body to pass the blocking posture, find the target with your eyes, deliver a powerful strike to the bag, tight elbows in, thumbs up, and finish the drill.
Offensive line Double team drill.
- Motive Behind the Drill: The double team drill’s motive is to teach offensive lineman the double team block when defensive linemen use the turn sideways and get the skinny technique.
- Set up: Place two offensive lineman foot to foot and hip to hip as if they have already taken the first on the block. Align a defensive line sideways with one shoulder in the crevice between both offensive players; this simulates the body posture taught to defensive linemen to defeat the double team.
- Procedure to do the Drill: As the coach commands, both players will stick to hips, extend the arms and work the feet to get upfield moving on a double team block. As players get movement in the defensive player turns and wiggles, players must work extremely hard to stay hip to hip, shoulder to shoulder and generate the upward lift and backward movement needed for a successful double team block
Instruct your players to avoid grabbing defender’s jerseys or shoulder pads. A legal block requires a player to prevent grappling or to pull on a uniform at any point. An excellent way to reinforce good blocking habits is to make habitual offenders run laps for each penalty.
Single leg ball Squat Drill.
- Motive Behind the Drill: Single leg ball squat is one of the Effective Football conditioning tests, which helps you strengthen the core of your legs and majorly focuses on single-leg strength and stability.
- Set up: For this, you need one Swiss ball and flat wall to which you can place and squat.
- Procedure to do the Drill: Place the Swiss ball against the wall and put your back in the ball by pressing it through your back. If your one leg is weaker and one leg is more potent in this drill, it helps develop both legs’ same strength.
For an offensive Lineman, both legs should be equally stronger to run faster, and this Drilling helps you achieve that.
While pressing yourself into the Swiss ball, lower your body by squatting with your one leg, start with your more muscular leg, and gradually move to the weaker.
To have an effective Football conditioning drill, try to make your back straight while you squat, and also, as you get better with both the legs, start with lifting weights and continue squat.