Blocking With Your Hands Or Elbows – Coaching Youth Football

I will analyze a few generic ideas about blocking for pee wee football in this post. I will review a couple of the unique tips and styles coached by teams throughout the USA. Many of the styles are OK while others are worthless. This will be a basic post describing how crucial it is to coach blocking the right way, particularly for the junior kids.

A wise ols coach stated “To succeed in football make sure your block and tackle better than your opponent”. From the NFL to Pop Warner this is the key to succeeding in football. It does not matter how sophisticated or slick your offensive system may be, if the offensive linemen do not block well, your team will not have success. There is always that one exception, and in pop warner football, it is the squad that has the God-given greased lightning speed for their ball carriers.

If you are coaching young players and have the fastest player in the league, then you do not need great blocking. Get your speed back the ball and watch him out run everyone to the end zone. Most teams are lucky to see this caliber of players once a decade so it is best to prepare the team as if you will not have the fastest player in the league. As the teams get older and more experienced you can coach up game plans to rein in that quickness, but when the players are young, it is almost impossible to stop.

The age old blocking argument comes up each year on whether or not the kids should be coached to block using their hands or use more of an old school techniques where the players put their hands at their own chest and stick their elbows out. I like to show it in both variations and let each kid use the style that works best for him.. If you do your job correctly and teach the proper three-point stance, the style preferred by the players will not matter.and will become a matter of personal preference.

The little kids genuinely prefer the old school elbows out style. I believe it is an improvement since it will stop our players from holding an opponent and it makes it harder for an opponent to get around them. I like to show the kids to grab their own jersey when using the elbows out method.

If the players decide to use their hands when blocking it is crucial to coach them not to snatch onto anything. I opt to coach this block as a punch block by making our linemen form a fist. As you begin your block instincts take over and you may hold if the defender is running around you. By making your kids form a fist, it will stop the reflex, which is to grasp the defender’s jersey.