Winning Youth Football

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Youth Football Defensive Line

Another individual group that gets overlooked at the youth football level a lot of times is the defensive linemen. Most of the time ,they get grouped in with the offensive line, as most youth football programs only have one line coach. As a result they spend most their time learning their blocks and play assignments

Any coach will tell you that you can never have enough offensive linemen. Still, you need to have the ball in order for your offensive line to be out there so you got to get some stops on defence.

The problems begin when they are put in a defensive role. Most of them will not use their hands, will not line up properly, tackle poorly, or will not wrap up their opponent. Some of them have a hard time to make the switch from offence to defence.

Again, it comes down to practice planning and making sure as the football coach that you allot practice time for the defensive line. Let's face it; most small programs play some linemen both ways. It's important that they know what they are doing as much as the offensive linemen. One on one drills in practice are ideal if you are the lone line coach, each player takes a turn on both sides of the ball and gets reps in both a defensive and offensive role. Also after working on blocking fundamentals tell your linemen you're going to switch to block shedding drills after they take a lap.

While they're in their lap, they can think about defence and make the switch mentally. When they arrive back, have your defensive drills ready to go and get right into it. Now they're thinking defence!