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How To Become The Most Feared Offensive Lineman In Your League


While there’s nothing glamorous about being an offensive lineman, it is a position that allows you to be aggressive and physical every single play.

There’s nothing better than dominating another player in a man-to-man matchup, driving him into the ground as your running back sprints untouched through the epic hole you just created.

This position isn’t easy. To be a great offensive lineman, you need strength. You need agility and finesse. And you need more tenacity than every other position combined.

Here are 4 ways to become the most feared offensive lineman in your league.

1. Improve Your Stance

The key to determining who wins the battle between the offensive and defensive lineman is the first step. To achieve the quickest first step, your stance needs to be constructed in a way that allows your body to quickly react.

Since the center is in charge of assessing the defense and snapping the ball, his stance requires feet shoulder width apart and even with each other.

Guards and tackles will have a stance where feet are still shoulder width apart, but slightly staggered, meaning the outside foot will be farther back than the inside foot. The outside foot should be positioned so that the toe is aligned with the heel of the inside foot. This allows for a quick reaction, either backwards for pass blocking or forward for run blocking.

In certain situations, depending on the coaches’ preference, one hand may be on the ground in a 3-point stance, which is used mainly for run blocking scenarios since it allows you to be the “lower man.”  In pass blocking situations, it is common for the inside hand to be on your thigh while your outside hand is in a “ready to strike” position.

Correct stance posture is essential to determine the strength of your base of support. No one will be able to push you around when your base is strong.

2. Master Your Footwork

A great lineman not only has a lot of power, he also has feet that are as delicate as a ballerina… albeit a very large ballerina.

As we mentioned before, the first step is often the key in determining who wins the battle. Quick feet are essential for getting your hands on the defense before they reach you, getting into an effective pass blocking position, and running out in front of your running backs and quarterback to clear those smaller defensive backs out of their way.

To improve the quickness of your feet, there are a variety of advanced linemen techniques that can be utilized, the most common being running footwork drills through a rope ladder. Setting up cones and running drills like the shuttle run also improve feet dexterity. Make your feet quicker and you become more dangerous.

3. Learn the Power of Leverage

Arguably one of the most important characteristics of a dominant offensive lineman is his ability to consistently gain leverage on his opponents.

Leverage gives even the smallest lineman the ability to put a large defender on his back. In a run-blocking situation, the lowest man always wins. When a lineman gets under the pads of his opponent, he has the leverage to move the defense in any direction, and 9 times out of 10, he’ll win the play.

Gaining leverage requires an offensive lineman to be able to fire out of his stance quickly AND with accuracy. It requires frequent repetition, which is why most offensive line coaches start each practice by having their players practice exploding from their stance into practice dummies.

To practice firing off low, coaches often have players practice under a chute, which is a contraption that does not allow the player to stand up. The more practice under the chute, the more accustomed you get to staying low on the field. With the proper usage of speed, power, and leverage, you will be an unstoppable force.

4. Gain Physical and Mental Toughness

The first thing that comes to mind when you think of an offensive lineman is toughness. To be completely dominant, it is essential that you be the toughest person on the field.

The offensive line is a violent position that requires physical and mental toughness every single play. A running back, quarterback, and wide receiver can get away with not touching a single defensive player on some plays, but an offensive lineman`s sole responsibility is to engage with the opponent play after play.

Being physically tough is the combination of strength and aggressiveness that translates into shear power on the field. Being physically tough is earned in the weight room and out on the practice field.

Being mentally tough is the ability to overcome fatigue play after play and to out-will your opponent over the course of the game. It's the ability to follow through on your assignment every single play. There is no limit on your mental toughness. You can be as tough as you want to be and there is no such thing as being “too mentally tough”.

They Will Fear You

For a player, the offensive line is one of the most exciting positions on the field. There is nothing more satisfying than being dominant on the O-line.

If you consistently improve your stance, master your footwork, utilize leverage, and increase your toughness, you WILL be feared on the gridiron this fall.

Never stop working. Never stop getting better.