Saturday, December 31, 2011

Most Effective Football Offensive Line Drills and Skills

 The offensive line is the key to any team's ability to move the ball consistently. A team may be loaded with talent at the running back, wide receiver and quarterback positions, but if it can't sustain its blocks, those talented players won't get a chance to demonstrate their abilities. Offensive linemen have to work get stronger, quicker and better in the off-season with drills and exercises.
Technical Skills
The off-season requires a commitment by the offensive to make technical improvements. A big part of the off-season is about getting stronger and quicker, but technique is at least as important. The offensive line can work as a group to get better by working on timing and footwork.
In this workout, the linemen are in their standard position from left tackle to right tackle. The coach portrays the quarterback and lines up behind the center. In the first drill, the coach calls signals and takes the snap. The offense charges 5 yards, using quick, choppy steps as it would in a game situation. Then the line simulates pass blocking, with each lineman taking a quick drop step, followed by another drop step before firing out a two-hand punch into the chest of the defender. Linemen have to be sure to bend at the knees and not the waist for balance and power when pass blocking.
Strength Training
Offensive linemen need to visit the gym three times per week for heavy strength training in the off-season. Seattle Seahawks strength and conditioning coach Chris Carlisle says players should conduct weight training workouts at a fast pace because that's how football is played, and training routines must follow the same pace. The best workouts include the bench press, the squat and the clean.These will give the offensive linemen the strength and power to deliver blocks effectively.
Quickness Training
Offensive linemen are almost always the biggest and heaviest athletes on the football field. Nevertheless, the telling factor that separates good offensive linemen from average ones and great players from good ones is quickness. This means a commitment to conditioning and endurance, so offensive linemen don't lose their form. The shuttle run has to be a staple of any training regimen. Start off at the baseline of a basketball court and sprint to the free-throw line and pick up a waiting football. Sprint back to the baseline and drop the ball. Sprint to mid-court, pick up another football and sprint back to the baseline. Take a 30-second break and repeat the set at least twice. Play competitive basketball at least twice per week to build quickness.
Contact Drills
While the off-season might be a time to heal from injuries and get stronger and quicker, contact needs to remain in the offensive lineman's off-season training regimen. Hit with a partner at least once per week. You don't have to make it long session, but putting on the shoulder pads and popping with a teammate -- either another offensive lineman or a defensive lineman -- will help you get ready for contact in training camp. A 15-minute session is sufficient during the off-season.

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