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We always have water balloon fights at the end of the first or second week to show the guys "you've

made it, now relax". -Piggyback races are great. -Agility drills against the coaches (handicap yourself so they have a chance to win, unless you're built like Fish or TX bull and you're already handicapped, ha-ha gotcha!!) losers do push up or up downs -Every time I gave our kids the "option" of what drill to do next they always said hitting. Hey, why mess with that right? Whatever you do ... do NOT lose the Frog Jumps ... HUGE increases in speed and explosion are due to that drill ... of course they hate it, it is working some muscles they have never used so it hurts... That being said, make sure you 'condition' your kids to think that the important drills are FUN ... if you show them it is fun and make sure it is fun ... then they will ask to do it ... ... If you make it work, they will resent it and you know where that will get you... Coach Dave Potter will tell you to make sure you make the hard drills out to be easy and make the easy drills out to be the toughest thing they will ever do ... this way they will feel successful on the easy drills and they wont dread the tough ones ... I think it's important that the players are capable of doing everything you ask. By enjoying the success in their drill work ("what's hard is easy and what's easy is hard"), they have fun and look forward to practice. We always used this approach at the Mighty-Mite level and it worked very well for us. Since our kids were confident in themselves, they wanted to be there. The "work" was fun because they were successful. I think one thing that may be helpful for the Bobblehead Coach to know is that you can use the child's inexperience (with football and hitting) as an asset. If your approach as a coach is "high octane" and positive, then it becomes the only approach that those kids have ever known. Thus, it's easier to mold the mind of the uninitiated. I would much prefer to coach a child who has never played the game before, and have the opportunity to teach him our approach, as opposed to teaching the kids with experience who come to us from other organizations. Those kids have to be "reprogrammed" and it takes much more time to do so (at least, for me it does.) Case in point: we have 30 players on our roster. 10 of those players have come to us from other organizations. It takes us much longer to get those guys' minds right. 1) Pad level. With shoulder blocking you are GUARANTEED LOW PADS. We aim for the belly button/hit with the top of the shoulder pad. Thats much lower than youd get trying to place hands into a sternum. Again, low pads, low man wins. 2) Hard surface to DELIVER THE BLOW. Kids have little upper body strength and most cannot do 20 good pushups let alone bench press the weight of the defender across from; inevitably they end up in a belly up position (we do king of boards drill all of the time, I KNOW they cannot lock out, they cant.) 3) Safety- this is probably too low on my list but as an o lineman I am sure I used my head and neck as a battering ram and so did my jr high kids that I coached...its so tough, darned near impossible to keep the head gear out of it if you are using hands on a head up defender. This is probably just poor technique but then again as I am just now watching the Nebraska o line tape they cant seem to keep their head gear out of the blocks

either...oooh there goes another face to face crack. My neck kills me when I do king of boards with my stud tackles. (We had a 240 lb freshman that killed everyone so every now and again id go against him, and I'm 292 or so now...I was probably 255 then. anyhow, I beat him but man my neck was sore and I could bench over 400 then.) 4) Aggressive- its a fast teach. The whole idea of using shoulders for both blocking and tackling goes right back to what Bo Shembeckler (spelling?) used to say about "you teach blocking and tackling the same way the same day" or something like that. For the record Im not a chest plate tackle guy either. Kids are very willing to strike a man with their shoulder pad and pinch with the ear hole to elbow and run their feet...they arent so good at running their feet after getting belly up and stood up. I think it makes em tough. I believe anyone that has seen ANY of my teams will say that my o line was the best in the county regardless of size and skill...they want to hit and they want to block and make holes. They are scrappy...btw, one of my lineman was all state for the varsity a few years later...first one ever produced at that much for failing to prepare them. 5) Repeating the same skill- ah, this is where we reverse exactly what the hands guys say...he says "use of hands repeats the skill for pass blocking" also disguises run/pass doesnt it? Well, we use shoulders on traps, down blocks, gap blocks, double teams, counter kick outs, logs too...and again, we shoulder tackle...repeating the same football body position over and over again...just in theory I suppose. 6) I have coached both methods...they both "work" but I know that the High school scoring record was set by a shoulder blocking team (14 game season- Bloomington) and in my own personal experience the shoulder blocking teams I have had opened much better holes than the hands teams AND SUFFERED FAR FEWER HOLDING PENALTIES. That is always a consideration...and of course its the real reason hands blocking is "effective" because guys are taught to grab and lock up on cloth and chest plates. Now, seriously dont take any of this as a personal attack, I have had these discussions with dozens of guys and my points dont change, the argument gets better with time as guys around the country using my systems continue to whiparse using shoulder blocking (low pads, shoulder to hip/ribs and pinch with the ear, not fist to chest tittie fighting that you may have seen taught?) Anyhow, its all good.... if I was the varsity head coach a) Id provide my entire feeder program with several clinic weekends to get EVERY STAFF member on the same page as far as techniques, blocking rules, plays, terminology, system, drills provide them with manuals, player and parent handbooks, practice outlines, plans, schedules, expectations and philosophies, dvds and videos and game film.... everything they would need to COACH MY WAY because Im an ego maniac of course lol...every member of the coaching staff would be part of THE TOTAL PROGRAM....INTERCHANGABLE STAFF, I COULD WALK ON TO THE 8 YEAR OLD FIELD AND COACH , THEY COULD COME TO MY FIELD AND COACH OR THE 12 YEAR OLD PRACTICE AND COACH ETC.... that to me is the biggest benefit of a true feeder program...same language and interchangeable staff....imagine, coach a and b coach the 8 year olds...the 12s need some help so they go up and teach "trap" and "counter trap" EXACTLY AS I WOULD COACH IT. Now, would any feeder team openly accept all my wild ideas about the double wing and shoulder blocking??? You bet your arse because I have the video FOR EVERY AGE LEVEL to prove it works with any age group...and Id win (at least I like to think so) ...if they didnt want to jump aboard and come along for the state championship ride thats ok too...Id just ask that they treat the kids well and teach them sportsmanship and blocking, hard running and tackling...make them love the game...and id recruit like hayle. Any how, great discussion.... I hope you seriously dont feel attacked here.

The defender wants space, not the blocker. The more space you give the defender, the more room you give him to maneuver. Typically, defensive linemen are better athletes than offensive linemen. I want my linemen to get into their block and drive with their legs and hips.

Blocking is accomplished with feet, legs, and hips... not hands.

I do things in orders of three for that reason. I always install BB Wedge, Super Power (seal), and WB counter (kick) during the same week. The reason I do this is to teach the concept so of the working in a series. And I explain to them that with just these three plays we should be successful. Once we do the install, walk through, and reps I note the weak areas and I allot more time to those areas. So if wedge looks like crap then I allot more time to teaching wedge but still rep the SP and Counter as well. I wouldn't simply focus on one play because I think kids get way to bored with it and you lose more then you gain. With three it allows me to teach things in series. Example would be after I felt those three were good (say 75%). I would then install three more plays that worked with the first series (i.e. BB Trap, Power Pass, and such). My main focus would be on the first three but adding the next three after 75% allows the kids to refocus and it gives the install some new energy. What I want is by the time that those next three are at 75% my core three should be at 85%. That way I now have six plays and more then likely that is about the time the season is starting are I am a few weeks out and I feel good about going into a game with those six plays. By the first game I might have 9 to 10 plays installed but my focus is always on getting those first three as close to 100% execution as possible. I was the same way with the spread system we installed this spring as well. TRAP, BUBBLE SCREEN, and SLIP SCREEN were the first three plays we installed and we got really good at running those plays. Then I added the read off the trap, Smash, and Fade-Out. That gave us a pretty complete series of plays and we built off it. H.S. coaches like Coach Dodd, South Lake Carroll TX, Coach Roll son, Mater Dai CA. Coach Terry Edison, De La Salle CA. It is their definition of "winner" that's great. Teaching a kid with no parents to trust makes him and the coach winners. Teaching a group of kids to love each other and not point fingers when they struggle in a game is making winners. Pushing academics and life lessons above all else is creating "winners" and that does make you a GREAT COACH, DP. Dan, I'm not sure what you mean by "edge" in your question about the funnel. Anyhow, we make sure to emphasize that the guard "hug the curve" formed by the SAB of the play side, and to sprint thru the sternum of the first player to show up in the funnel. This might be the Mike LBer or it maybe the backside LBer. We throw a flipper while trying to sprint right thru his sternum. This goes right along with what we emphasize across the board, that is that getting off the ball and if nothing else "blocking air" will create a hole for the back. We also emphasize to our backs that if this happens, the back is responsible for running this open space created by the blocker sprinting. Most of the time, the funnel runner (be that a guard, FB or our tackles on our 1/2 spin counters) will run into some defender in the funnel. What ever you do, don't let them sit in the funnel and look/wait on

some defender to show. We have never used the 2-point stance with our offensive linemen.

I use the 2-point exclusively and I have nearly four seasons now with good success. If taught correctly it makes a bigger slower linemen a step or two faster then his defensive counter part because he does not have to move up and out only out. The key is teaching him to stay low in his stance and still get leverage on the defender. Since I use SAB the angle gives me some additional force if the blocker gets lazy and starts to block have the stay on top of that. As far as a LB shooting the tunnel (hole). The pulling linemen should stop that remember that the pulling guard's objective is to get his inside shoulder on the outside shoulder of the last blocker on the SAB whether it be the OT or TE. The BST is aiming to get his inside shoulder on the BSG's outside shoulder (this is guide only) but it reinforces that fact that we want to create a wall of blockers from the center, PSG, PST, PSTE, then the BSG, BST and drive every thing inside while the FB and QB seal the outside off.

Here is how I teach the stance (try it yourself):

Stand up with feet shoulder width apart and toes pointed forward. Lift the heels slightly off the ground. Drop your hips down as if sitting on a chair bending only at the knees and hips (don't bend at the waist). Both arms are cocked with the palms open and just past the hips. The chest is over the knees. The head is up. Initially it is best to teach the stance by telling them to drop one of the hands and have them brush the ground with their fingertips. If the fingertips can brush the grass they are low enough. A matter of fact when I drill the stance I will tell them to "brush grass". This is a great difference maker for those bigger kids that simply don't have the athletic ability to get out of a stance fast enough. It gives them that extra step they need to be effective. As far as pass or run that has nothing to do with it. It is all about giving the offense and Oline an advantage using less athletic kids.

Coaches I have seen quite a few new coaches on the forum and I wanted to give them a few tips for running their youth teams.
Keep practices running at a fast clip - don't stand around discussing stuff with your coaches while the players sit around waiting on you. Practice tackling everyday - it is the one skill that if they learn it wrong they can get hurt, not to mention tackling is defense

Work your centers but don't make them hate being a center and find a player that is proud to be the #1 guy and reward him COACH ALL THE KIDS NOT JUST THE STARTERS I took this one from Urban Meyer - Be enthusiastic - act like you want to be there even if you have 100 other things to do Don't make your playbook to big - if you read the successful coaches posts they all say get your 5 base plays in and rep them

Pancake drill-- pile up as many bags as you can to make a landing pad. Have one player squat down; back to the landing pad holding a shield both arms thru the straps, the shield should be high enough to cover his mouth. The other player is about one yard away from him in a three-point stance facing him. On go he drives thru that shield holding player and lands on top of him on the pads. The shield-holding player does not resist and just gets pan caked. Teaches blocking and also lets the lil guys feel a full-blown hit. They love this drill. I hope my type written words are making sense.

I think your best bet is to go with sab blocking, simple to teach and real powerful. Do you have Jack Gregory's sab presentation? It is a power point program if you don't have it I will send it to you. The thing that I am not familiar with is 9-man football. I guess you will have something like this?

xxoxx x o x o

I have used marking paint and a wand to mark out the 45 degree lines, then have the players line up behind the lines and bounce a tennis ball, have them try to catch the ball on one bounce about two or three yards out, players are in a three point stance. You will see some that will fire out and catch it and some that won't. It also teaches them to stay low if you keep the ball bounce low. I would also line the players up in a straight line and have them take a knee, the first player on the right is in a three point stance on go he pulls around the entire line. You can also mirror him making sure he is looking at you keeping his eyes focused for linebackers. Once the entire line goes go the other way.

One drill that we incorporate into our blocking progression is a "ONE KNEE" drill. The offensive lineman will put one knee down on the ground. The defender will align in front of them them with a hand shield. On the signal, the OL will explode into the defender by driving off of the up foot and stepping with the foot, which had the knee on the ground. At the same time he is shooting his hands to get into proper fit position. Emphasize the down foot stepping and the hands making contact all at the same time. We do this as a two part drill - first, have them fire into a proper fit position - second have them fire, fit and continue to drive, bringing their hips and finishing the block. This has been a great drill to work on TIMING, FIT, LOW PAD LEVEL, KNEE AND ANKLE BEND, and HIPS AND DRIVE TECHNIQUE. It is a simple drill but has been good for us. Burgess.... one drill we used to end our oline sessions with that the kids loved was the sumo drill...lay out a length of hose into a small circle, align two linemen in a down stance across from each other, and the first lineman to drive the other out of the circle wins. Really emphasizes firing out of the stance and driving the feet to finish the block (probably the hardest thing to teach the young kids...they all want to hit and stop). They will learn REAL quickly that if they want to win, they need to stay low (as long as you set the match-ups so their size is proportional and big kids can't wrestle smaller kids out of the circle). This drill was by far the kids favorites at the youth level.... The game has evolved so much and linemen are required to do so much more then base block; my linemen are required to move in 8 possible directions. So the key is the stance. Remember all action starts from the stance and if your linemen are having a difficult time blocking the first thing you should do is check their stance. I am always amazed how little the stance is taught at the HS level and the lower levels. I work the stance everyday. My linemen are required to be in a left handed and right handed stances. For example, my left guards and tackles must master the left-handed stance and my right guards and tackles must master the right-handed stance. I teach a short 4-step progression. I have a grid with 5 yards by yard squares. I will line them up 4 across on lines and 4 deep, 5 yards apart. The 4-step progression: check your feet, stagger, sit, and reach out. 1. Check your feet: Feet should be no further apart than shoulder width. A stance that is too narrow takes away stability and a stance that is too wide will take away lateral movement as well as power. I want the weight on the insteps of the feet, which allows for balance and power. It also allows the offensive linemen the ability to move inside and

outside more effectively. 2. Stagger: (right and left handed stance) I teach a 45-degree stagger; however, the degree of stagger will vary with each individual lineman. (For example, I had a lineman who was 6' 8" 360 lbs. his stagger was toe to heel). The toe of the set foot, which is the staggered foot, is from the instep to the heel. I know some coaches do not teach the stagger or right and left handed stances, but this is the reason why I teach it. It allows the offensive lineman to pick up and outside defender (5 tech, wide 5, 7 tech, 9 tech, or ghost). It allows the offensive lineman pick up the set foot in the direction of the wide defender without false stepping. It also allows the offensive lineman to be firm inside on the post foot by protecting the inside and making and inside pass rusher try to work through the lineman's inside hip. 3. Sit: They will bend down and place forearms on thigh boards. Back should be flat, with power producing angles in the ankles, knees, and hips. 4. Reach out: They will reach out placing the down hand on the ground. Five finger bridge. Down hand is slightly outside the set foot eye or inside the set foot knee. The off hand: the elbow of the off hand is placed outside of the knee of the post foot, which will square the shoulders. Hand is relaxed and ready to strike. Head is up but not straining. I want them to look through the eyebrows to see as much as the defender as possible. Scan the defense rotate the eyes 360 degrees.

.... Biggest thing in a stance is comfort must be comfortable and be able to produce power.

Stay after your man with short driving steps (instep to instep) until the whistle blows. Your block is useless unless you are able to sustain it long enough to allow the play develop or express itself. FINISH OFF YOUR MAN! "FEET, FEET, FEET, you have to accelerate your feet and finish.

I learned something that was so simple at a clinic while at a clinic that I asked myself why did I not think of that - and better, why did I not teach that to my kids.

On all fakes, have the back grab his jersey, above his waistline with his ball hand. It will give the appearance of holding the ball, and insist that he runs three yards past the LOS or into contact like this. It also helps that the back "rock the cradle" that was already

posted. This old time college coach showed us video of the fakes done with this technique and w/o it. The fakes with the back holding his jersey faked a lot of us out at the clinic. Again, I know it is a simple thing - and you might already do it - but in my short time of coaching I never taught it. Coaching Points: 1. Check to make sure linemen are dropping their hips and dipping. 2. Check to see if linemen are maintaining inside leverage on the defender. 3. Check for base, balance, and leverage. 4. Check to see if linemen are following through.

With the younger kids I do a lot of fit & finish drill the OL into the defender; have them roll the hips & power step for several steps while the defender stones them as much as possible. Then, on a cue from me, the defenders lighten up slightly and try to escape in whichever direction I point.... the OL have to speed up their feet and maintain contact, and then when the defender turns his shoulders to really pursue the play, the OL works for the pancake.... Pretty basic, but thought Id throw it out there for what it's worth...

Earle Bruce, former Ohio State coach wrote an article "Fundamental Execution Is The Key To Victory" for AFCA Summer Manual one year. He listed these things as "the basic fundamentals of offensive football": 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Stance and starts. Blocking Center-QB exchange. Catching and handling the football. Throwing the football. Running. Putting the ball in the end zone.

Oh, "skelly' (Not "Skully" from X-Files) is short for skeleton...i.e., you do run skeletons (set up drills to mimic power or counter plays for example where

the backfield is involved with no line.... a passing skelly is the same thing, backs and TEs, no linemen against a defense with no linemen.. B R R C W M F YOU HAVE THE OFFENSE HUDDLE, BREAK HUDDLE, GIVE THE DEFENSE 3 SECONDS TO MATCH UP AND RUN SOME MOTION OR SHIFT OR BOTH AND THEN THE PLAY. This upcoming 2005 season will be similar to last year with such a large roster. S Q C S C R TE


Hip Extension Drill

Set Up:

Offensive Line and Blocking Shields.


Player is on his hands and knees, with toes pointing backwards. Opponent standing in front of him with blocking shield. The offensive linemen fires out and little upwards making contact with his shoulder pad against blocking shield.

Coaching Points:

Watch players toes they must be point backwards, DO NOT allow him to push off with his feet/toes. Full hip extension is what we are looking for here.


Teaches players how to use his big muscle group in drive block (hip, back & thigh). ialization is in order. That is not necessarily a bad thing as the coaching staff has experience in this area. The 2-way player will be rare guaranteeing each Shark a minimum of 15 plays per game which is the new mandatory play rule this season. Specialization requires extra effort from everyoneplayerscoaches and the parents. Mandatory Team RulesGeneral:

Two Hut Drill

Set Up:
Five O linemen, five defenders, Five blocking boards. Place O lineman in 3-point stance w/ board between feet. Each defender covers an O-lineman in a 2-point Stance.

Each O-lineman takes their first step and second step and gets in a fit position after the first hut. Coach then checks the fit position to see if it is correct. If position is correct, Coach gives second hut. Olineman continues block. The goal is first to get into a good fit position and second to roll hips and finish block on second hut.

Coaching Points:
This drill can be worked versus an inside shade, outside shade, or a head up defender.

Check O-lineman's hips - must not rise to get into fit position. Check hands - must be placed in proper fit position.

O-lineman must not cross feet over board throughout the entire block.


Objective is to execute the proper feel, steps, and position of a run block. This allows the coach to check the position of his player at different points of the block.

DEFENSE Put your two inside tackles in a 2i/inside shade of the G's. Have them go straight forward with A-gap responsibility. DE's - 1 basically becomes an extra LB. When we got into slaughter rules we could only rush 4. The DE's became wait & read LB's. As soon as they saw the ball coming their way they were free to attack. You might want to have the DE on the TE side come and the other just stay. You could call the DE stay. You could call both DE's always go, and have 1 of the 4 DT's punch and slide while the other 3 go. Don't get caught, like I did, in the mindset that what is in the playbook is gospel. You can change what the book says and still survive. Lots of possibilities here. Tapioca - very short fast cross over steps. Get the foot over and down quickly. High rate of turnover on the feet and the hips are rotating quickly. Carioca - very long cross over step. Get the foot over with maximum length to fully stretch the hip. Do Tapioca first then Carioca. This works the hips in two ways, quick turnover and length. Both are needed, as an athlete will rotate his hips in both ways during lateral and multi-directional movements.

LEVERAGE I think "Leverage" is a term that is used in several instances... some ideas... 1) An o-lineman gets leverage on his opponent by keeping his feet under, having power angles, hitting on the rise... 2) A defensive lineman gets leverage by playing with proper alignment and technique allowing him to control a blocker and maintain gap control 3) A defender "leverages" the ball by outflanking it and having it on his inside pad 4) A linebacker sheds a block with his inside flipper and with his inside foot up and outside leg back up and has leveraged the runner to cut inside to help... 5) Boosters use money to "leverage" the AD and principal and Super to hire the spread coach instead of the double wing coach.

We use a few simple drills for evaluation, but not conditioning. We lay out 4 cones, 10 yards a part in a square. The kids are given a football and one at a time they start at one corner of the square, sprint to the next corner, cut hard and sprint to the diagonal corner, cut hard while switching the ball to the outside arm sprinting the next corner, cut hard and sprint back to the starting point... X x

I also do a similar agility test in that I have a line of boys, the first one lies on his belly, arms extended to the side, I have two footballs laying 30 feet away next to one another. On command the boy must get up and sprint picking up one ball, sprint back to the start point and put it down, sprint back to get the second ball and sprint past the coach...its a shuttle run. Ball Lying down--------------------------------------------------Ball

Then we do another agility drill (we like to do 2 or 3 as sometimes kids do well in one drill sort of getting lucky).... simple pro agility drill. Place 3 cones, each 5 yards for the last. The athlete starts at the center cone and on command sprints to touch the cone to his left, then cuts and sprints past the middle cone to touch the cone to the right, cuts and sprints past the middle cone where the coach is standing to click the stop watch. Finally, we test them for pure speed...40-yard dash.

We also like to do some toughness and strength drills... O X We put down some blocking bags lengthwise xxxxxxxx/ xxxxxxxxx

The O and X each get into a 3-point stance straddling the bags; the boys should be 3 feet apart. On command each fires from the stance and places face mask to chest and hands to sternum (quick hands is a real plus) and they attempt to drive block the other off the end of the bag. You win by forcing the other guy off the bag, or forcing him to step over the bag of if he goes so low that he falls on his face.... you may not at any time turn your shoulders to "Ole" the other guy and be considered a winner. We do

best 2/3. This is a version of "king of the boards". You can do this without pads if you have the boys holding hand shields but you do risk broken noses and concussions. Not smart.

We also like to let them play touch football or even basketball to further evaluate their athleticism. Sometimes kids with good test numbers cant translate it to real reaction and movement...sometimes kids with average numbers can improve their rating with their awareness and reaction and coordination. Testing alone just isnt that reliable. Pulling Drills

Some simple stuff... Set up a row of blocking dummies, say 6 dummies, spaced 1 yard apart.... have the kids face one direction and sprint, back pedal thru the bags in a zigzag pattern.... you will find out quickly who is athletic and agile...

.... Markham has quite a few lil wrinkles that he doesnt run much...very interesting use of his QB on some run plays...i.e., right wing in motion, he stops short and the wing, fullback AND BACKSIDE GUARD lead the QB thru a b gap blast play. Nice lil play that packs a punch. He also ran a lil play similar to that but with the FB trapping play side. ANYHOW, I put a VCR and TV in front of my treadmill so I could spend more time looking at Markhams stuff as I drop some blubber. If you think you know the DW and havent seen Markhams older stuff, YOU HAVE NO IDEA JUST HOW POTENT THIS OFFENSE IS. All double wing systems are definitely not created equally; the stuff Markham is doing or has done is really something. Funny, he doesnt cover a lot of his cool plays on his instructional series.

Heres a quick rough draft to get you thinking... To start with - figure 24 periods (5 min periods) per practice. 1 period is roll call and light cals 1 period every day for the first week should be in teaching stances and alignment 2 periods is tackling every day that leaves you with 20 periods. 12 offense, 6 defense, 2 special teams maybe... 3 periods- o-line work on:( 3 minutes each)

Pulling/tes working on cut blocks Double-teams w/eyes inside Traps Drive block Down block During those same 3 periods your backs work on: Alignment Motion footwork and timing Ball security/handoffs and tosses (good idea to borrow the center to get snaps to the qb here) Stiff arm/shoulder/forearm - hard running Blocking/faking Receiving Next 3 periods are directly related to the scheme. Run the power to the right - the o-line should spend 3 periods on applying the rules-and walking thru the blocks. Bird dog and freeze the first step (coach make corrections and quiz the kids on rules and where they are stepping and why), you can walk thru vs. cones, then progress to bag holders/shields, walk, slow motion, jog and finally run. Loads of reps.. Make sure they know the power rules inside and out. During that same time the backs are repping the daylights out of the power to the right, coach up the details...put emphasis on: Motion, hit the sweet spot as the toss arrives Qb footwork, fb angle, shoulder for kick outs etc. At the end of 15 minutes Id imagine your backs should be looking pretty good running those plays vs. shields/air...

Now, you have 6 periods of offense left... Bring the o-line and backs together...put together a cone defense or a defense of bag and shield holders. Have the qb call the cadence and everyone take one step and freeze...check all for steps, low pad level, blocking rules and assignments etc.proceed with "step, step, step" and be sure the backs are patient and not ahead of the step at a time they must be taught how the play works. Over and over again you will insist that backs run inside the kick out and BEHIND the pullers. Its a power play, not a speed play. Id progress from one step at a time to a slow motion walk thru for several reps with the first and second o, then when I was satisfied id begin half speed reps against stationary bag holders, then id have the bags give "some" resistance and run the play full speed (no blitzing or running away with the bags etc.thats assinine) live reps yet. Its day one and you have one play. Rep the daylights out of it quizzing the o-line and giving the kids different looks, 53, 52, 62, 71 defenses to start. That should take you to two periods offense left...btw, running the video camera for all that is a good idea. For the next two periods, do the same thing and install the motion, just plain old 41 wedge. Lots of walk thrus ., very progressive. Lots of reps. Hows that sound for a first practice just for offense? Course you could always hold off on defense for a couple of days and install the power left as well. Experienced DW coaches will probably progress much faster putting in both powers and wedge quickly.

1. The system is blitz proof 2. No matter what kind of athletes you have the game suddenly becomes a matter of wills 3. If you guys can eliminate the turnover I'm not sure anyone will stop you on any drive 4. You had the best O-Line in the league simply because you were coming off the ball lower and harder, without splits there is a lot of margin of error which allows you to be even more aggressive 5. If you all could complete a pass it would have been deadly 6. It is different then any other double wing team because you can stretch us horizontally with your sweep play (rocket) 7. No matter what we did with our end it seemed as if he was wrong


Anymore, I teach chest plate tackling. I have a routine I go through without pads to teach form in mass. I teach this to everybody regardless of position but especially to the D-backs (my coaching position), and the LB's. You can teach tackling form without pads: Make 4-5 lines of players. On signal, players get their eyes to the sky, arms punching up and through on air, elbows in, hands out, simulating grabbing cloth and rolling of hips (or thrusting of pelvis, same thing). Make sure they raise the rear foot heel. That will automatically thrust the hips forward. Have them hold that position and the coaches with walk around to EACH player and check for proper positioning of elbows, hand pelvis and heel. The kids will grunt and groan because it may be uncomfortable at first. But keep them in it until everyone is checked. Do this three times. With the same group, starting from a low staggered stance, simulating approaching a runner, teach them to walk though the runner using the principles taught above. Start with walking as though they are tackling a runner. It is important to teach the players to open their legs as though the runner's body is inside their legs. Each line of players will walk with exaggerated high knees, legs open for five yards. Make sure they keep the form taught previously while walking. Repeat coming back the other way. Repeat the same exercise but this time jog through the imaginary runner again with high knees and open legs. Repeat the exercise a third time, this time full speed. You can teach punching through, eyes to the sky and grabbing cloth: All players must be wearing a shirt. Make two lines facing each other. The defenders will kneel in from of their partner with their face in the partner's stomach, eyes to the sky. The partners pretend to hold a ball with their right hand. On command, the defenders with punch through (under) the arms of their partner and grab cloth. They will hold this position and squeeze the elbows in as far a they can. They will actually grab the partner's shirt as high as they can. The coaches will walk around and check each player insisting the defenders hold the position. When all groups are checked, relax the players. Repeat twice more. Repeat process for lefthanded runner. Switch partners and repeat three reps. You can continue this from a defenders standing position, but I recommend using a shield now. The offensive partner should hold the shield so that their mouth is behind the shield. And their eyes are above the shield. The defenders approach the runner first walking. The defenders, as in form tackling, use high knees with their legs open around their partner. Repeat twice. Switch partners. Repeat the exercise with defenders jogging. (I don't go full speed with this).

New Double Wing coaches need to learn the concept of the offense and not focus so much on who blocks whom or what rule 'X' coach has used to win back to back championships ... learn the offense ... learn that somehow, someway you need to seal up the inside and kick out the outside and create a seam ... learn to send as many bodies through that seam as possible to shield your runner from the defense ... learn a few counter plays that show the same action but hit in different areas so you can attack an overzealous defense or a defense that uses an unsound scheme to stop that overpowering off tackle play ... learn that factors such as geography, age, league rules and coaching ability are all extremely important considerations when deciding the best way to run the Double Wing ... learn HOW & WHY this offense works and apply that knowledge to your situation in a way that makes your team successful regardless of how anyone else is doing it ... I have spent 11 years begging 8-10 yo's to not dive or go to their knees when tackling and Coach Bill Williams tells all tacklers (youth, HS, College and the Dallas Cowboys) to start their tackle when they can "step on the ball carriers toes" or "smell the ball carriers breath" & the kids seemed to understand that logic.

One more trick for you, take the kid that everyone kind of looks at as the weakest of the bunch. Really work with him and the first time he does it almost right or right, MAKE A HUGE DEAL OUT OF IT. Whoop, holler, scream, and slap helmets and backs. Make sure EVERYONE knows it was Dorky Jimmy that did it right. The other kids who are "cool" will get a little pissed at themselves for getting shown up by Dorky Jimmy and try harder to it the way he did so you'll whoop and holler for them. I installed the XX wedge, power, & counter in the same amount of time last season so yes it can be done. I had to simplify the blocking calls so the G&T could remember who is pulling on power & counter. The way I did it was Ray 34 Nick (left guard's first name) power. Lee 27 David (right guard's first name) Power. Counters were the same except the numbering for the backs and the opening for the QB. Like your situation it helped that I knew what defensive front my offense would be facing. When they show you an even front wedge, when they show the odd front power & counter. Good luck-

Jon I installed the XX wedge, power, & counter in the same amount of time last season so yes it can be done. I had to simplify the blocking calls so the G&T could remember who is pulling on power & counter. The way I did it was Ray 34 Nick (left guard's first name) power. Lee 27 David (right guard's first name) Power. Counters were the same except the numbering for the backs and the opening for the QB. Like your situation it helped that I knew what defensive front my offense would be facing. When they show you an even front wedge, when they show the odd front power & counter. Good luck-Jon

We used the machine gun drill a ton last year to drill our DE's but we essentially always ran sweeps 3 or 4 on 1 to teach our DE's to fight up field and stretch the play out. This year I have been working on revising the drill to run both a sweep and a power and have the DE learn to squeeze the power and stretch out the sweep. It would look something like this:
Cone 1

X x
cone 2


The offense would run either a power or sweep and their goal would be to run between the two cones, if a power they want to force the DE out wide enough or deep enough to get outside cone 2, and if a sweep they want to pin the DE inside enough to get inside of cone 1. The defensive end would work to force the offense to run outside the cones by squeezing the power down basically by holding his ground on just the other side of the LOS with hips square taking on the kick out blocks with his inside arm or stretching the sweep out by fighting up field and laterally against attempts to reach him. Once they get the drill down I would have the running back occasionally bounce outside of the kick out to reinforce to the DE that he has to keep his hips square ready to handle the bounce. Ed

Cage drill... set up a box, 5 yds by 5 yds. Have a defensive player and offensive player square up. On the whistle, the offensive player has to stop the other player from movig anywhere inside the box, the defensive player can't use his hands and must stay inside the cones avoiding the offensive player at all times. Run this for aout 5 seconds. Great for WR/DB and also for OL space awareness Receivers have to place both arms behind their backs and keep the defender who has a hand shield from getting around them to any direction. Start between two cones space 35 yards apart, and gradually increase those distances as the receivers get the hang of moving their feet to stay hooked up. For many receivers, pushing a guy means blocking them. You have to drill them almost as linemen would be, but with different stances and drills that are stance specific. Most people don't ask their receivers to block a DB 10 yards downfield...they just want them to cancel each other out. Getting a hat on a hat and keeping it there. However, if you have a physical receiver, he can intimidate some DB's and really open things up for you outside, but there aren't too many physical receivers out there at the HS level.



I will most likely put my 2nd best WB's at the TE spots. Last night I was brainstorming and this idea came to me.What if we line up like normal, then have the Wings shift on and the TE's shift back into Tight Slot. Then run our normal plays. This way I could get those boys some carries, and maybe catch the D off guard. Just a thought.
Coaching the drill: Position One: Begin with the feet shoulder width apart and slightly staggered (either one foot slightly further back than the other). Position Two: Bend the knees, not the back, to a 90 degree angle so that hips are parallel with their knees. This is a weightlifting squatting technique. Position Three: Bend at the waist setting belly on the thighs. This will naturally bring their hips up slightly. Their back should be as flat as a table. Position Four: With a flat back, do not let them pick their bellies up from their thighs, roll their neck back so that their eyes are looking forward. Coaching Point: Necks rolled back and bellies on thighs try this for five yards. The lineman's legs should fatigue pretty quickly. Over time lengthen the distance from 5 yards to 10 yards and so forth. This drill will help them in the chutes, and get them comfortable with going out on linebackers low and ready to explode up through them. Don't let your lineman go out on linebackers half way cocked; have them stay down!!

I coach MS and I think I have it narrowed down to a few things: 1) Tackle 2) Block 3) Be where you are supposed to be 4) Don't drop the ball (ie give the other team the ball) 5) Penalties>> If your team does those things better then the other team it doesn't matter what scheme or formation you use. And I agree that practice management is more important then scheme.

No one outside the trap gets blocked. EVERY player on the play side goes to second level and goes after a linebacker. This takes DOZENS of reps to get right.

Have the trapper run through the center's hips. If he pulls he'll be too deep to get 'underneath' the trappee and root him out of the hole if he sits and doesn't charge. Make sure the B-Back stays low. They have a tendency to pop up when the ball is snapped and attract the eye. A good trap runner should think like a quail. Quail hide and are rarely seen until they move. As long as he sits still, the defense won't see him, but the moment he explodes you're going to see heads swivel towards him When teaching or drilling tackling you can fool your players into thinking they are hitting at full speed by moving them closer together. Eight-yearolds, for example, should do a full speed hitting drill from no further away than three yards. You can tell them all day to go full speed, but the laws of physics make it simply impossible to make it to top speed in such a short distance. There just isn't enough time to accelerate.

oh, and regarding center sab...well, thats coaching. you need to give the kid more experience at SNAPPING AND STEPPING AT THE SAME TIME. most kids, heck all kids will snap and then step...too late, its got to be simulaneous. do my exchange drill where you have to centers face each other and each tries to snap and reach the other, then off set them and have each snap and down block the other, swap sides and do the same thing in the other direction...this gives you reps at the qb/c exchange, allows the qb to work footwork and of course teaches the centers to SNAP AS THEY STEP. dont be afraid to have the center cut backside. oh, just a way to increase leg drive and strength. we pair up, one guy tries to run up the hill, his "partner" will stand behind him, crab his hips and try to hold him back. just provides resistance.

Box Drill Six Cones and 2 -3 footballs

Place two cones in a line about 12-15 yards apart. In between these cones and 3-5

yards to either the left or the right of the line between the first two cones, make a 3 x 3 yard box. Split the players in the drill into two lines behind the two first cones. One line is the ball carrier and one line is the tackler. On the whistle, the first player in the ball carrier line and the first player in the tackler line race to get inside the box. The ball carrier can make any football move inside the box and the tackler must bring the running back down beofre the running back can exit the box from the opposite side he./she entered.

X is cone - used for spacing

X -----X----X -----X----X X

Rotate sides of the box each day you run the drill to work tackling from differnt sides

-------------------Mike Bryant

Oct 20 2006, 08:57 AM Post #3


Originally posted by j9murphy However, I am interested in what techniques other coaches use to get that light tom come on. So far I have heard people say stick with the technique, and sooner or later the light will come on or the kid will quit playing (probably by the time they hit middle school). However, those of you that have been coaching far longer than I have, is there anything that occasionally works for getting that inner fire to burn in kids (not adults or high school kids) I'm not talking about just hard hitting, but that passion to do whatever it takes...

Two words: Setting Goals. Some kids aren't playing for fun. They play to win. When "win" is removed, they lose interest. I once played on a losing team. We all hung in there for every game until, finally, we were eliminated from playoff contention but with still a couple of games to go. How did we play in those games that no longer counted? We played flat. We had kids that didn't show. Nobody much cared. There were a lot of kids that fit description. They actually played fine, as well as they coud anyway, right up to the hour we were eliminated. And then everybody was finding something else on game day - Even our stars. This comes from setting a single goal - Win the trophy. Fail to achieve that goal and you have no more reason to be out on the field. It's over. Pack up and go home. Move onto something else. The season's over. I don't set my team goal as "winning the trophy". I never once mention the "importance of winning". I would rather mention the importance of TRYING. My goals for the team are, in order: 1) Get better 2) have fun

Notice how "get better" comes before, "have fun". If you don't get better, you won't have fun. Getting better is part of the fun. If you just go out to have fun, you'll get run over. But having fun keeps them playing. It keeps them trying. They don't give up. They'll try out for the Middle School team. So I set goals for each game - how many first downs did we give up last week? Let's give up less. How many fumbles did we cause last week? Let's cause more. These are very easily achieved goals and, if you obtain them, it's reflected on the scoreboard. It's very easy to make a team 10% better. But a team that gets 10% better is really 20% better, because if you hold the ball 10% longer and score 10% more points, the other team holds the ball for 10% less time and scores 10% fewer points. That's a 20% swing. You can go from losing to winning with an average team with just 10% improvement. The difference between finishing in first place and finishing in the middle of the pack is actually very small. On occassion, I have used tackling as one of our goals (Which is the subject of this thread). And the goal is something like "mojo". I've only done it a few times but I did it for the same reason. We were going to go up against a team that was just going to cream us. You can't use "get better" goals in this situation. You're not going to look better than you did last Saturday when you took on the last place team in the league. You're going to look worse against the best. If we set "get better" goals we will fail to meet them. So I change the goal to "get tougher". Our goal is to shock them. Our goal is to make them not want to play us again. Our goal is to make them know they were in a game. If we can't win, we will at least make them sore. I do this for two reasons. First, I always want to achieve my team goals and, if winning isn't practical, then we'll play for pride. Second, big powerhouse teams that you know you're going to lose to bring something else with them to the game - INTIMIDATION. They come in with winning expectation while you come in with losing expectation and maybe fear of their big running back. If your boys ever go into a game intimidated and with a losing expectation it's gonna get ugly. You better just stay at home and let someone else coach it. If you're going to coach it, then coach to get rid of intimidation. If a star back intimidates a defense, he'll run for 300 yards. But if a defense intimidates a star back, he'll run for 30. If a defender wants to intimidate a running back its simple. Just make him remember you. I'm not very often in this situation - About once every three years. I'm not going to claim I beat Goliath. No. Most times we did as expected and lost. But teams that were used to being up 30-0 at halftime would find themselves up 6-0 at halftime and we could hear the other coach screaming at his players and we knew they were going to remember playing us. That was our goal. I always give my team specific goals for every game and winning is never one of them. They are realistic, achievable goals by which meeting, our players become better and more confident. I remember one team I had was 8-0 and hadn't given up a touchdown all season. We always started every Monday with our goals to get better based on last Saturday's game. By that time, I had run out of goals. They had achieved everything. Nobody was going to beat them. They were a monster machine of football. So I had nothing to say about the last game and started to move on to drills. They stopped me. "Coach," they said, "What do we have to do to get better?" This caught me by surprise - Not just the question but the SERIOUSNESS with which they

awaited my reply. Every eye was on me. Every player was eager to hear how they could get better. They wanted to get even better. Getting better was FUN. Again: 1) Get better 2) have fun Kids that have fun naturally get better. Gets that get better naturally have fun. If you want kids to "drill" the ball carrier, you must give them the proper tools/form to make that hit and then you must make it fun. In other words, get better at hitting and have fun doing it. If your kid gets hurt making that tackle too, then he's not having fun and he'll stop drilling the other guy. When he has FUN drilling the other guy is when his teammates all come over afterwards and CONGRATULATE HIM ON THE HIT. Recognition has a lot to do with motivating a player. You can motivate him to make that hit. The "Captain Crunch" bar is an example. Just make the kid want to do it and he will. Now I'm not the "mojo" expert here. Mahonz is. Take what he says over what I say. Mine is the "parent friendly" method. Mahonz is talking about something which I believe is entirely different. There is the "blood and guts" approach and it most definitely does work. Just don't have any social workers on hand to witness when you teach it. I responded to your post merely to provide you with choices. Because you will find there are "extreme ends" to the sides of this issue. I have no objection to Mahonz's technique (Although others might). I could assist him and not hesitate to teach