The Rip Move is a great way to deal with a blocker while still maintaining your responsibility. The key to the Rip Move is the timing of the move and the overall physicality of the player. If the player uses the Rip Move without ever being physical or misses the timing it can be a disaster. On the other hand, if a defender adds the Rip Move as a secondary tool to defeat a block and works his timing it can give him a valuable tool to deal with blocks.
Teaching the Rip Move in Youth Football
The thing that allows the Rip move to work is the defenders physicality. In order for the defender to successfully rip through a block he must present enough of a threat of destroying the block the blocker will load up and attempt to throw a physical block. If the blocker doesn’t have to worry about being physical in his block than he will sit back and adjust to the rip. This is why we always talk to our players and tell them that their primary block destruction move must be to press the blocker. By pressing the blocker they control their leverage and set up the rest of their moves.
The other issue that comes from the Rip move is the timing of the move. If the defender rips too early the defender will simply cut off the block and go opposite of where the defender has ripped. Again this is why we teach our defenders to press any blockers and then resort to the rip move when the runner has committed either inside or outside of the block.
We begin our rip move progression by teaching it from a Press position. We have our players take on a block with their inside foot forward and pressing the chest of the blocker with their inside arm. This allows them to keep outside leverage. As they are driving the blocker back they need to get their eyes on the ball carrier. Once he commits they are clear to rip.
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The major coaching point for us to have the rip move start with the non-ripping hand. If the defender is going to be ripping to his left, then his right arm will rip through the blocker. This means that he needs to start the move with his left arm. He must press his left arm first to open a space. Once he has pressed the opposite shoulder he is free to rip through with his arm.
The second coaching point we use is to get the hips through. We want the defender to rip and get his hips clear of the blocker. We teach this by telling the defender that he needs to step with the ripping side foot all the way through to the heel of the blocker. This will put him in a situation where his hips are through and he is in a position to make a play.
The rip move can be an effective move but it’s critical that it is combined with the pressing block destruction. This allows the defender to put the blocker on the back foot and control contact.