Teaching the Rip Move for Block Destruction
The swim move is the most commonly taught technique for beating blocks in youth football. As for us, we do not swim. We will be teaching the rip move for block destruction. Block destruction is one of the main ingredients to a strong defense. I feel the rip move is the strongest move for block destruction. We pride ourselves on ripping through blockers with violent hands. Do not run around blocks, dip and rip through blocks.
Five main areas of youth football defense:
- Block Destruction (engage-rip through).
- Gap control/pursuit.
- Goal line defense.
- Avoiding giving up the “BIG Play”.
The Swim Move
I do believe the swim move is a great pass rushing move. With that said, there is one key reason why we do not even bother teaching the swim move to our players:
- Performing the swim move will make the defender stand straight up, taking away leverage. You’ve heard this saying before, “the low man always wins”, for the most part that is correct. The team that controls the line of scrimmage, will control the game. Doing the swim move will make the defender come up high, allowing the blocker to get under and push the defender right out of the play. Most of the time when a youth football player is using the swim move he will take himself right out of the play by going too wide. So we don’t even bother with the swim move. The swim isn’t a bad move to use in space but we do not even teach it to our secondary players (safety and corner-backs).
Teaching the Rip Move for Block Destruction:
- After engaging the blocker, rip your inside arm up while driving (pumping legs) through the blocker. This will knock the blocker back. This will also keep the defender’s low leverage while having the rip arm force through the blocker. The defender will hold his ground with a strong rip move. Make sure your defensive linemen are not coming straight up because your D-linemen will get pushed around.
- Engage the blockers, do not try and go around them. Going AROUND blockers will create running lanes. The blocker will just push your defender right out of the play. When a players swims around a blocker he will leave his gap voided.
- Jab and rip through. Example: say we are ripping to the right. The left arm needs to extend/jab into breast plate or arm of the blocker while dipping the shoulder. The right arm will then punch the shoulder pad of the blocker, followed by the left arm ripping up through. It is vital that this is done with fast and violent hands. It is crucial that the kids keep their legs moving, ripping through the blocker. ‘Bring your feet with you when you rip through.’
- Work on controlling gaps in practice.
- Practice squeezing and getting into pursuit lanes.
Engage and rip through!
Teaching the rip move for block destruction is the way to go!