Midget Football - Teaching Set Pattern Blocking
What is the supreme style of blocking to instruct pee wee football players? An increasing number of coaches decide to use a particular pattern blocking assignment, like GOM, and cannot believe it when their offensive line fails them. Set pattern blocking rules like GOM (gap - on - man) seem like the ideal style to run, at least on paper. Most coaches fail to recognize that if your opponent has extremely strong players in certain positions, your GOM blocking patterns may be useless. For illustration, let us say the defensive tackle on the right side of the defense is whipping your offensive line and rushing into in your backfield. Your scouting report shows you where the dominant players on defense will be lining up.. A set pattern like GOM has no backup rules to counterbalance for a stud headache defender. Most likely you will need to double team this stud, and depending on which position you use to double team, the remainder of your offensive line will be following patterns that might permit some defenders to rush unblocked.
A related coach from some other program asked us the following question, "We are toying with the idea of zone blocking our offensive line, and I understand a nice amount, enough to be threatening. I am the offensive line coach. I like the mentality of double-teaming on the strong side. What is the best way to have the players to realize who peels off to get the linebacker? You must be aware of what is happening away from the action? Are any offensive lineman required to block alone? When using the 5-3 defensive gameplan make sure all of the defensive lineman will be blocked? Is this too complicated for young players and should I use a more basic head up assignment?"
Our response is 100% to utilize zone blocking. Man blocking is substantial and unavoidably needs to be taught the correct way to the kids, but zone blocking allows for more valuable designs and sets up double team blocks mechanically. The exchangeable reward to zone blocking is you can teach your lineman to start with a double team block and then inform one of the lineman to leave the double team block and go block the next defender.
If you are sold on using zone blocking, then you must get the rest of the staff on board. All assistant coaches need to agree to the blocking schemes decided by the head coach. The running backs coach must demand that the backs learn how to carry the ball when the offensive line is zone blocking. The running backs need to be aware there will be many more chances for cut back runs, so if you teach the backs the right running fashion, you can predict some large runs.
Jim Oddo has been coaching youth football, ages 4-14, for over 23 years. Find over 400 FREE tips and great articles on every aspect of youth football at http://footballplaybooks.info. In addition to coaching tips, there is a wealth of information regarding Youth Football Blocking.