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Run Blocking: Creating Running Lanes

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    Sports Tips


In football, run blocking is a crucial skill for offensive linemen, tight ends, and even wide receivers. Effective run blocking isn't just about brute strength; it involves a combination of perfect footwork, precise hand placement, and relentless drive. In this article, we'll delve into these techniques to help you create the best running lanes for your ball carriers.

Footwork: The Foundation of a Good Block

Footwork is the cornerstone of successful run blocking. Good footwork establishes balance and stability, enabling you to sustain your block. Let's break it down.

Key Points of Footwork:

  1. Stance

    • Start in a three-point stance: feet shoulder-width apart, weight balanced.
    • Keep your back straight and your head up.
  2. First Step

    • The first step is crucial; it sets the tone for the whole block.
    • Take a short, quick step toward your defender, aiming to land on the inside ball of your foot.
  3. Drive Phase

    • Keep your feet moving to maintain leverage.
    • Short choppy steps help maintain balance and control.
    • Keep a low center of gravity by bending your knees.

Hand Placement: Precision and Power

Hand placement can make or break a block. Proper positioning and strength in your hands ensure you can control and steer the defender.

Steps for Effective Hand Placement:

  1. Initial Contact

    • Aim to strike your hands inside the defender’s chest plate.
    • Thumbs should be up, like you’re holding a steering wheel.
  2. Lock and Lift

    • Once initial contact is made, lock your thumbs into the defender's shoulder pads and lift.
    • This helps in gaining leverage and controlling the defender’s movement.
  3. Engage Core

    • Engage your core muscles to add power to your hands.

Driving Through Defenders: The Kill Move

Driving through your defender requires a blend of aggression, leverage, and technique.

Drills to Improve Driving:

  1. Sled Drills

    • Use blocking sleds to practice driving through.
    • Focus on maintaining low pad level and exploding into the sled.
  2. One-on-One Drive Block

    • Pair up and practice one-on-one drive blocks.
    • Work on engaging hands and driving feet on every rep.
  3. Leverage Drills

    • Work on staying lower than your defender to maintain leverage.
    • Practice angle blocks where leverage is even more crucial.


Mastering run blocking requires dedication to technique and continuous practice. Perfecting footwork, hand placement, and drive will create running lanes that can significantly improve your team’s ground game. Remember, it's not just about being stronger; it's about being smarter and more technical with your blocks. So, lace up those cleats, hit the field, and start creating running lanes like a pro!

Practice Makes Perfect—keep working on these fundamentals, and you'll notice a substantial improvement in your blocking performance.

Additional Resources

TechniqueKey PointsDrills
FootworkFirst step, drive phaseSled drills, cone drills
Hand PlacementInitial contact, lock and liftHand punch drills
Driving ThroughEngage core, maintain low pad levelOne-on-one drive blocks