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Run Blocking Drills: Improving Power and Precision

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    Sports Tips

Run Blocking Drills: Improving Power and Precision

Run blocking is the unsung hero of a successful running game in football. A cohesive offensive line can be the difference between a breakout play and a loss of yardage. To achieve this, players need to master both power and precision in their blocking techniques. Whether you're a player looking to elevate your game or a coach aiming to build a formidable line, these drills are designed to fine-tune those essential skills.

Importance of Power and Precision

Power is crucial for creating push against the defensive line, while precision ensures proper targeting and engagement with defenders. Balancing these aspects allows for consistent and effective run blocking. Here’s how you can bring them together through targeted drills:

Drill 1: The Gauntlet Drill

Purpose: Improve initial contact power and follow-through in blocks.


  • 6-8 blocking pads
  • Line up the pads in a staggered format to mimic a defensive line


  1. Stance and Start: Players begin in a three-point stance.
  2. Engage: At the whistle, the player explodes from their stance and engages the first pad with equal force.
  3. Drive: Continue through each pad, maintaining low pad level and driving with legs.

Table - Gauntlet Drill Breakdown:

PhaseFocusKey Points
StartExplosionLow pad level, fast burst
Engage Pad 1Initial HitStrong hands, chest-to-chest
Engage Pad 2Sustained PushMaintain leverage, keep feet active
Through PadFollow-ThroughDrive through, finish strong

Drill 2: Ladder Footwork

Purpose: Enhance footwork precision and agility.


  • Agility ladder


  1. Basic Steps: Begin with two feet in each square, focusing on quick, controlled movements.
  2. Lateral Movement: Transition to side shuffles, ensuring feet stay inside the ladder squares.
  3. Change of Direction: Incorporate directional changes at the command of the coach, emphasizing quick foot placement and balance.

Table - Ladder Footwork Progression:

PhaseMovementKey Points
Basic StepsTwo Feet InQuick, controlled movements
Side ShuffleLateral StepsBalance, feet stay in ladder squares
Directional ChangeCoach's CommandQuick reaction, foot placement certainty

Drill 3: Combo Blocking

Purpose: Develop precision in executing combo blocks with a teammate.


  • Partner pairings (one offensive lineman, one defensive player)
  • Blocking sled


  1. Communication: Pre-snap communication between linemen on target defender.
  2. Initial Double Team: Execute double team block on defensive lineman, focusing on shared leverage.
  3. Peel Off: One lineman peels off to second-level defender, ensuring the initial block maintains its strength.

Table - Combo Blocking Steps:

PhaseRoleKey Points
Pre-snapCommunicationIdentify target, clear call-outs
Double TeamInitial EngagementShare leverage, strong initial hit
Peel OffSecond-level MoveSmooth transition, maintain strength in block


Improving run blocking requires a harmonious balance of power and precision. Incorporating these drills into your training routine will enhance your ability to execute effective blocks, pave the way for the running game, and ultimately lead to more successful offensive plays. Whether you're the bulldozer or the tactician, mastering these skills will elevate your role in the game.

Remember, it's not just about the muscles; it's about the synergy between power and precision, transforming chaos into calculated execution on the gridiron.