Technique Football Camp | Defensive Line Progression Drills


Last month we had our first ever international youth football camp in Vienna, Austria. We focused on the very basic techniques and broke the kids up by position. Each position group was put through three different progression drills. Here is a look into our defensive line progression drills:

Drill # 1: Stance 

Every defensive linemen will begin the play in their stance. Having a good stance will allow your defensive linemen to fire out on ball movement. Solid defensive line play starts with a quick get off. When the kids are in the correct stance the get off will be explosive.

Drill Setup

Line the defensive linemen up across the field and fix their stances. Once the stances are good, we’ll give them numbers 1-2. You can line the kids up across the field or you can get them in lines.

Technique Focus

  • Dominate hand on the ground.
  • Hand that isn’t down cocked and up ready to engage.
  • The same foot is back. ( hand side foot is back).
  • Back should be flat, weight on toes.
  • Head turned inside, ready to explode on ball movement.

Related Content: 10 Fundamentals of Defensive Line Play 

Drill # 2: Rip Move for Block Destruction 

We teach our players how to utilize the Rip Move when it comes to beating blocks. We teach our kids how to dip and rip. We will never teach our players to swim because when you use the swim move, you lose leverage and come up too high. Many times kids that utilize the swim move will just get washed.

Drill Setup

Put the kids in 2-4 lines and have them execute the rip move on ball movement. Make sure that the stances are good, the get off is good, and that the kids are executing the proper technique for the dip and rip move.

Technique Focus

Fire-out Defensive Line

  • Rip move demonstration for players.
  • Players will get into two line based on the numbers they were give after drill # 1.
  • Focus on first step, dipping shoulder, ripping arm up, and bring feet through.
  • Do this a couple of times until the kids have good form.
  • Kids rip move on air. After they rip through they run to the cones (cones set up across from them).
  • We will rip to the right 3 times, then rip move left 3 times.
  • Coach that is snapping the ball turns around and does the same thing coming back.

Drill # 3: Stance, Fire-out, and Rip Move

This drill will work all the techniques taught in the previous drills. It’s important that you take everything you taught and make the kids put it all together in game like situations. This drill will do just that.

Drill Setup

Put the kids into two lines. You will need two blocking shields and two tackling dummies. If you don’t have access to field equipment, put a coach or another player in front of the players.  Have a coach hold the ball and once the ball moves, the players execute the rip move on the dummy/blocking shield.  If you don’t have enough coaches have the kids hold the blocking shields.

Technique Focus

Stance Fire-out, Rip Move, Tackle

  • Coaches need to make sure that all techniques that were taught in the previous drills are being implemented by the players.
  • Need a good stance.
  • Need a good get off on ball movement.
  • Need a good dip and rip
  • Aggressively tackle the dummy.
  • Be upbeat, make it fun.

(See Also)  Best Defensive Line Drills for Youth Football 

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