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Author Topic: Defensive line drills for shooting hands  (Read 300 times)

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Offline Thenab90

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Defensive line drills for shooting hands
« on: October 02, 2017, 07:52:29 PM »
A few kids are not leading with shoulder and shooting hands on opponent. Any good drills for hand placement ?

Offline Dusty Ol Fart

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Re: Defensive line drills for shooting hands
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2017, 11:42:12 PM »
Leading with the shoulder?  Not sure what that means? 

Regardless of Offense or Defense, Dominant hand position!  INSIDE!  Fast Hands, Fast Feet!  Depending on Technique, I may not want hands on the OL at all!  Rip, Club Rip, Swim. 

I play Gap Control Defense.  Make your Gap useless to the Offense and I'm quite content!  In other words, its quite OK to teach them never to engage the OL directly.  I hate the "Square Dance" that often ensues by doing so!   

jmofo
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Offline CoachDP

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Re: Defensive line drills for shooting hands
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2017, 09:31:31 AM »
its quite OK to teach them never to engage the OL directly.  I hate the "Square Dance" that often ensues by doing so!

^ This.

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Offline Thenab90

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Re: Defensive line drills for shooting hands
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2017, 12:56:28 PM »
Of course we all want to teach them to have a quick first step and not engage with OL but when happens when you run into a good lineman?That Swim move shit ainít working. I like teaching  to shoot your hands on opponent/ bull rush/control your man/ Anchor gap.

Offline coacharnold

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Re: Defensive line drills for shooting hands
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2017, 01:26:54 PM »
A few kids are not leading with shoulder and shooting hands on opponent. Any good drills for hand placement ?

As a HS coach I'm not a fan of just shooting gaps, even though I think it's acceptable with the 8 and under crowd because there's so much else to worry about with the little ones.  Once you get past that, a good punch and then a good shed is important to protecting yourself against traps and actually playing blocks appropriately.

As for ways to work it... the #1 thing is to work stance, get-off, punch, and extend every single day and coach it in every single drill.

If you have access to a sled, work the punch there.  4 pt. extension and 6 pt. extension are ok for this, but I'd rather just have them just get down in a stance, hit the sled and pop it--this isn't really a drive.  The sled should actually rise up slightly and make a "pop!," even with 9 and 10 year olds, if they're hitting it properly.  Make sure they're stepping with the proper foot and keeping hips and eyes in their gap as well.

Then you can move to working the first 2 steps and punch against live bodies with the "popcorn" drill.  Each step should be short and fast, like saying "popcorn."  Do this first in slow motion to teach the drill.  Just like teaching OL, have the kid go through his steps on the whistle.

Line up an OL across from them in an "athletic position" with his knees bent and butt low, about where an OL would be on his first or second step.  On a whistle, have the kid fire out of his stance, take one quick 6" step and punch the breastplate to put their hands in the right spot as he does it--make sure his elbows are in tight to his rib cage and that the punch comes up from the bottom of the breastplate like an upper cut.  Check his technique and correct any hand placement or footwork issues.  The second whistle brings brings the other foot while they extend out and bring the hips.  Again, stop and check the footwork AND punch/extend technique, correcting any mistakes by positioning the kid where he needs to be.

On grass, it'll usually be somewhere between 1st and 2nd step where the punch actually lands, but this gets them in the habit of knowing they need to do it on the snap.  Again... foot, hip, and eyes need to be in their gap.

Another thing to just work a lot of good punches in a short amount of time is to line up kids with a partner on his knees across from them and do "Punch Drill."  Have each kid hunkered down on his knees, leaning forward slightly, and about 1' across from each other (you can "shade them" slightly if you play shades).  On a whistle, both kids have to throw a good punch to the opposite kid's breastplate and clamp down on it for control.  The one with the fastest hands, tightest elbows, and best technique is going to win this.  Blow the whistle and the players will clap their hands on their thighpads, then load them at the bottom of the chest to do it again.   You can bang out 10 of these in about 20-30 seconds during warmups or at the start of indy.

Once you've actually taught the punch, if you have a sled, you can make them go back to it and have them do "1-2-Punch" on it.  Take those first 2 steps, get foot/hip/head/eyes in the gap, extend out with the arms and hips, and then try to drive the sled or run their feet for a few quick choppy steps until you blow the whistle.  This teaches them to attack the blocker and find the ball instead of just flying upfield and creating seams or bouncing off the blocker to the wrong side.

Then you can run Oklahoma with them and work it there, too.  That's a fun one.

From there, it just becomes a matter of reinforcing the technique in other drills.  Teach them how to get full extension with arms and hips, then rip off a block and escape when they see the ball threatening their gap.  The last thing you want is them dancing and becoming wired to a blocker.

Offline Thenab90

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Re: Defensive line drills for shooting hands
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2017, 12:09:22 PM »
Excellent breakdown coach. I coach 11-12 year olds and our league is a very competitive so we see lineman that actually know how to block. You arenít just gonna shoot gaps that easily. Gotta be able to have a good punch/bull rushup/ and be able to shed. Thanks again coaches.

Offline Dusty Ol Fart

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Re: Defensive line drills for shooting hands
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2017, 12:52:29 PM »
Of course we all want to teach them to have a quick first step and not engage with OL but when happens when you run into a good lineman?That Swim move shit ainít working. I like teaching  to shoot your hands on opponent/ bull rush/control your man/ Anchor gap.

I ask the same question about Bull Rush/Anchor works against a Good O-Linemen?  Sometimes your Freddies aren't as good as their Joe's and vice versa.   Imho a Wild Ass Dash through or "Shooting Gaps" is not Gap Control. At the same time neither is getting stalemated and turned.

Gap Control means getting to the heels of the OL in my assigned Gap, head up, ready for the ball. I want to see the inside runs get bounced outside.  It means we are doing our job right. It would be truly awesome if you can turn all your kids into true 2 gap players (as you describe).  Best Move I teach is a simple Rip or Club/Rip.     

Not MPP... ONE TASK!  Teach them!  :)

Offline ZACH

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Re: Defensive line drills for shooting hands
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2017, 02:04:51 PM »
"Clap, clap"

Simply put, have them clap then shoot hands. I used this before and worked well, every rep snap clap...offense too... hands become less of an issue
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Offline defensewins

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Re: Defensive line drills for shooting hands
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2017, 04:53:04 PM »
A few kids are not leading with shoulder and shooting hands on opponent. Any good drills for hand placement ?

This issue pops up for my guys from time to time...we go to the lev sled and go through the following progression:
1- throw hands to lockout from knees...hold for two seconds (I check their hand placement on each one).  Work both sides.  They should not be moving their hips on this, as I want to focus on throwing hands first.
2- from a stance, throw hands to lockout without moving feet...hold for two seconds until coach tells to release (again, checking hand placement).  Work both sides.
3- from a stance, throw hands to lockout, but this time feet are moving. Work both sides.

We use the lev sled...If you don't have one, you could easily have a player hold a shield and get the same work done (I've done so when I couldn't use our Lev Sled).

Offline Bob Goodman

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Re: Defensive line drills for shooting hands
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2017, 02:57:29 PM »
Didn't I just read someone here post a great drill for that?  Pair off, shoot, and whoever's hands get inside placement on the opponent wins.

Offline CoachDP

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Re: Defensive line drills for shooting hands
« Reply #10 on: Yesterday at 10:25:13 AM »
The last thing you want is them dancing and becoming wired to a blocker.

Which is why we don't engage them in the first place.

--Dave
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Offline CoachDP

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Re: Defensive line drills for shooting hands
« Reply #11 on: Yesterday at 10:43:30 AM »
Of course we all want to teach them to have a quick first step and not engage with OL but when happens when you run into a good lineman? I like teaching  to shoot your hands on opponent/ bull rush/control your man/ Anchor gap.

If you like teaching to shoot your hands/bull rush/control your man, then what does happen when they run into a good lineman?  We use our hands to push away the hands of an o-lineman as we pursue.  We cross face the o-line and get skinny, turning our back to the lineman we're lined up on.  This turns our back to the lineman that has him and the o-lineman is subject to blocking in the back if/when he tried to block our guy.  Mostly though, we work on being quick.  If we're quicker than the O-line, great.  However, it works just as well when we're not quicker than them, and here's why:  Most O-Linemen are not used to defensive linemen who are as quick as we are.  So even if they are quicker than our guys, they aren't used to having to play at the speed level that we force them to play at.  As a result, they may play even faster against us (than what they're used to), but they aren't as effective against us (as they are against other teams) because it forces them to work so much harder/faster.  How this works out for us is that in our last game, their o-line could block us in the 1st Half.  But because we keep pressure, by the 2nd Half their O-line can't keep up their pace (not used to working this hard) and we were able to blow up plays in their backfield.  This made our blitz unstoppable.  By the time we were playing them in overtime and they fumbled, our Safety was able to recover the ball in their backfield, that's how tired they were.

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Offline Prodigy

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Re: Defensive line drills for shooting hands
« Reply #12 on: Yesterday at 10:56:33 AM »
There's a drill I've seen that we haven't actually used that may be useful.  It's "running the ring" where you cone off a ring or even use PVC in a big hoop to create a ring.  The idea is that when the defensive lineman runs the ring he will be slanting his shoulders so that they are not square, he becomes a smaller target to block and getting small or narrow makes it easier to hit and fill gaps.  Something we teach is for the kids to throw an uppercut through the gap.  This angles the shoulders into the gap rather than being square...outside arm into gap.  Try it yourself.


Also, we subscribe to the Coach Potter approach of ignoring offensive lineman...and least what we know about it.  Our first defense does not have any sort of man assignment, whereas our second defense actually does, they have to "find their man, hit their man, find the ball".  Our first defense has to cover an area, then flow to the ball.
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