I love all types of blocking: crack backs by receivers, wedge blocking on special teams, stock blocking on the outside, traps and chop blocks (cuts) in the trenches and even zone blocking. Along with tackling, it serves as one of the basic fundamentals of football. However, despite its importance in the game of football, blocking has become somewhat of a lost art.
Blocking can be quite a complex action to perform, and this is perhaps the reason it is being neglected by so many coaches/trainers and athletes on every level. However, if these same coaches and players realize its significance, then there is a chance that blocking will resurface as a priority for teams. To put things in perspective, ask yourself which would you rather have, great blocking with an average running back or an amazing running back with poor blocking? The choice is simple.
All the speed and moves in the world by a skilled ball carrier means nothing if that individual doesn’t receive descent protection from the blockers up front (or even down the field).
One of the most challenging tasks on the football field is blocking people in open space. Wide receivers have all too often been given a pass when it comes to blocking, but plays that stretch out to the edge make their task quite important. For increased success on the edge and in the open field, focus on drills that teach receivers how to lock on to a defender in space and execute proper blocking.
In order to make blocking a priority, coaches must stress it’s importance at all times. When watching film, during practice and even in the game, acknowledge the benefits of good blocking and point out the players doing the right thing. Reward them with praise and helmet stickers or other merits to reinforce the importance of this action.
As a coach, trainer, former athlete and huge fan of football, I recognize that not a lot of fame and glamour come with blocking, yet it’s proper and consistent execution can be the difference between winning and losing.
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