Defensive Line Techniques
- Have an explosive stance. Having a good stance is the first key aspect of solid defensive line play. The youth football player has to have their weight slightly forward and explode on ball movement. The first step needs to be with the inside foot to avoid a false step.
- Watch the ball. The offense can go on any snap count they want. The defense needs to fire out when the ball moves. Have the kids work on exploding out of their stance on ball movement.
- Attack. Football is all about attacking. It is important that your youth football defensive linemen get a good fire out on ball movement. Develop an attacking attitude.
- Play with hands. As the defensive lineman takes his first fire out step his hands need to come up from hip level and jolt the offensive linemen. It is important that your players launch their hands up to jolt the blocker, extending the arms inside, and lose the block. Do not go around blocks go through them.
- Stay low. There is an old expression that you hear throughout the football universe- “the low man always wins”. Staying low is important but, players must keep their knees bent and feet under them. If the defensive lineman gets too low or leans to much forward the blocker will just put them on their face. The feet should be shoulder width.
- Always keep feet moving. The defensive linemen must never stop moving their feet. Always fight and drive. If your defensive linemen stop their feet, they will not win.
- Always maintain inside hand position. Leverage begins with inside hand position. All the power when engaging linemen come from inside hand placement. If your hands are wide and outside you will have no power on your jolt or rip move.
- Get off the blocks. It is vital that you get off the blocks of the offensive linemen. Work on grab pull, rip, and swim moves everyday. Have to get off the blocks!
The game of football is won at the line of scrimmage. If you control the line of scrimmage, you control the game. It is important that you do defensive line work in practice, a little bit every day (individual periods with position coaches).