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Building a Better Full Back 1) Choosing a Full Back 2) Full Back Coaching Strategies 3) Taking Advantage of a Gifted FB.

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Presentation on theme: "Building a Better Full Back 1) Choosing a Full Back 2) Full Back Coaching Strategies 3) Taking Advantage of a Gifted FB."— Presentation transcript:

1 Building a Better Full Back 1) Choosing a Full Back 2) Full Back Coaching Strategies 3) Taking Advantage of a Gifted FB

2 Some basic assumptions You are coaching a youth football team You have all the usual limitations that youth football presents : limited practice time limited attention spans limited personnel choices weight/position restrictions You run at least these 8 basic plays: 1- Power (Toss)2- Trap 3- Counter 4- Sweep (Lead, Buck, Jet) 5- Wedge 6- G (Belly) 6- PA Pass (Toss action)8- Straight Drop Back Pass

3 Choosing a Full Back Is he a Runner or a Blocker?

4 Choosing a Full Back Hes a Blocker First The DW is built on the Toss play, therefore we need a strong blocker at the FB position. Our downfield and flank attacks require effective blocking from the FB position. Most Sweep, Pass, and Counter plays require Fill or Reach blocking skills from the FB. Pass Sweep Sweep/C ounter The FBs Kick Out is an integral part of the Power play. Without it, we go no where. He must be able to block many different types of athletes with equal effectiveness.

5 Choosing a Full Back The DW can not exist forever on Power, Counter, and Sweep. At some point you will need a good Trap, Wedge and/or G play to take advantage of a given defensive technique or alignment. Hes a Runner First A strong running game from the FB position commands the entire defensive fronts attention- making his fakes much more effective. A good fake is worth two good blocks The Power play is powerful and effective by design.. It does not necessarily need a blocking specialist at the FB spot to make it go. It merely needs an adequate kick out block…this can be taught. A strong running game from the FB position relieves pressure on your WBs. Defenses must shift some of their focus to the more immediate threat from the FB.

6 Choosing a Full Back So…. Is he a Runner or a Blocker? In a perfect world, he is great at BOTH. But the Double Wing can support one or the other if it has to.…You should never put just a blocker here if you have a kid on the team that can do both. In my world, he is a Runner ….who must block effectively if he wishes to remain a Runner.

7 Choosing a Full Back What do I look for when selecting a Full Back? INSTINCT- This above all else. I cant coach it, so when I find it, I put it at FB. That thing that some kids have that makes other kids miss tackles. Have your kids play some kind of fun team game (like Deer Hunter or Keep Away) and watch them. The instinctive athletes are usually obvious in these kinds of games. Athlete Type- 1st- Athleticism. Can he play with strength, speed, and balance? 2nd- Blocking Ability. Is he aggressive and coachable enough to adequately handle his blocking assignments? 3rd- Size. The relevance will vary w/ each athlete but a good starting point would be for the average DE in your league to outweigh the FB by no more than 30% (this assumes a weight restricted ball carrier league)

8 Choosing a Full Back I must use my best athlete at the FB position and resist the temptation to put him at WB or QB. Thats a LOT to hope for in a youth athlete… These kinds of kids dont grow on trees and Im usually lucky to get one or two of this kind of athlete. so this usually means one thing: ** Instinct, Athleticism, Blocking Ability, and Size **

9 Choosing a Full Back A great runner will threaten more potential points of attack from the FB position than he will from the WB position. ….But this is not a bad thing

10 Your great runner can hit 7 possible points of attack from the Full Back position using just 4 basic plays. 2-Trap4-G3-Trap5-G6-PA Pass 1-Wedge 7-PA Pass 9 when you consider that Trap can be run at 4 different holes (2,3,4,5) Trap

11 Your best athlete can only hit 3 potential points of attack from the WB position…. And it takes 4 of your 8 basic plays to do it. Sweep Pass Off Tackle Power/Counter

12 Choosing a Full Back My best runner will threaten more potential points of attack from the FB position than he will from the WB position. ….But This is not a bad thing Defenses can more easily overload a WBs limited number of potential points of attack.

13 BB ETT C TTE B C Defenses can more easily overload a WBs limited number of potential points of attack than they can a FBs. Making easier to negate your stud player.

14 Choosing a Full Back My best runner will threaten more potential points of attack from the FB position than he will from the WB position. ….But This is not a bad thing Defenses can more easily overload a WBs limited number of potential points of attack. Usually, my best athlete will be more than capable of running and blocking with equal effectiveness. Even if my best athlete doesnt block as well as he runs, it will be easier for me to teach him to block well than it would be to teach a pure blocker to run well.

15 Choosing a Full Back Overall Restricted- All players must be at or below a given weight or all players must fit within a given weight range. -AN D- and there are no specific restrictions on player size by position. Usually, all teams possess relative parity in size. Weight Restricted Leagues These sort of restrictions are actually an advantage for a DW Full Back because player size, and therefore Defensive End size, is limited by the rules. Restricted by Position- Unlimited weight league. There are no limitations on player size -EXCEPT- for Ball Carriers. These positions will normally have a max weight they can play at. In these leagues you will have some limitations on whether or not your best runner can play the FB spot. - If your best runner is an 85 lb. kid in a league full of 150 lb. DEs - Hes probably not going to work as a FB. Figure 25-30% weight differential with the average DE in your league as the baseline size requirement for your FB. (Its not as bad as you think) Never fail to give a gifted runner whos a small kid a chance to try the spot if hes snarly enough….There are some awfully tough small kids out there.

16 Choosing a Full Back Even if my best athlete plays both WB spots COMBINED (flopping him) I can only give him 6 potential points of attack from the base set of plays. - That same kid at FB hits a minimum of 7 potential points of attack from the same base set of plays. I think of my FB in the same terms an I formation coach would think of his Tail Back. I want the Full Back to be an equal threat to hit any spot along the front at any time. Final thoughts on selecting a Full Back

17 FB Coaching Strategies Improving your Full Backs running ability Building Explosion and Speed Teaching the moves Play Mechanics

18 Building Explosion and Speed FB Coaching Strategies Frog Leaps and Bunny Hops: Done as group drills early in the season or as team conditioning later on. Builds leg and lower body strength. Builds power- either from a set position or when delivering a blow on the move. Teaches players how to uncoil their bodies during contact to develop maximum kinetic energy.

19 Building Explosion and Speed FB Coaching Strategies Frog Leaps and Bunny Hops: Done as group drills early in the season or as team conditioning later on. Builds leg and lower body strength. Builds power- either from a set position or when delivering a blow on the move. Teaches players how to uncoil their bodies during contact to develop maximum kinetic energy. Squeeze Drill Done with all Running Backs over the coarse of the entire season. Teaches Runners how to be All shoulder pads and knees when running in traffic. Teaches ball security. Teaches how to take (and deliver) a blow when running with the ball.

20 coach Squeeze Drill Waiting players 1 yard Gauntlet w/ 6-8 players 3) A ball carrier will attempt to run down the middle of the Gauntlet. Making sure to keep his body wrapped over the ball and to expose only shoulder pads and knees…he should meet the Squeezers squarely, making sure to keep his shoulder pads lower than those of the Squeezers. Squeezers 2 yards 1) The Gauntlet- Arrange 6-8 players 1 yard apart from each other and facing in. They should all be on one knee without sticking their feet or legs into the running lane. They may use one or both hands to attempt to strip the ball from the runners grasp. They are NOT to attempt to tackle or knock the runner down. 2) Two Squeezers align 2 yards behind the Gauntlet and 2 yards apart from each other. Each has a hand shield. They are each to take a SINGLE step inside and attempt to squeeze the runner and prevent him from passing between them.

21 Building Explosion and Speed FB Coaching Strategies Resistance Running Done with all Running Backs over the coarse of the entire season. Develops a Runners speed and acceleration. Teaches runners to stay behind their shoulder pads Frog Leaps and Bunny Hops: Done as group drills early in the season or as team conditioning later on. Builds leg and lower body strength. Builds power- either from a set position or when delivering a blow on the move. Teaches players how to uncoil their bodies during contact to develop maximum kinetic energy. Squeeze Drill Done with all Running Backs over the coarse of the entire season. Teaches Runners how to be All shoulder pads and knees when running in traffic. Teaches ball security. Teaches how to take (and deliver) a blow when running with the ball.

22 coach runner 20 yards 1) Mark 2 lines 20 yards apart. Use any type of resistance harness, fit under the arms and across the chest plate of the shoulder pads. Allow 10 ft of rope for the coach hold on to. 2) The Runner should lean his weight against the harness and then attempt to sprint forward. Making sure to use good form- keep the upper body quiet and out in front of the feet The coach should offer enough resistance that the runner is just able to move himself ahead. coach runner 3) When the runner hits the 10 yard mark. Release the tension on the harness without actually dropping the leads and allow him to sprint the rest of the way. coach runner Resistance Running

23 The best moves are the ones my Runners can use instinctively. The best moves rob little or no up field momentum from a Runner. The best moves are the ones that my Runners can learn easily. I teach just 2 basic moves to my Runners … Stiff Arm- Simple, effective, versatile, and easy to teach and use. You may find that your tall kids have more success with it than the shorter kids do. Cut Back- Also simple and effective, but even more versatile than the Stiff Arm. Generally speaking, just about all runners can to use this move to enhance their game. Teaching the moves FB Coaching Strategies

24 Teaching the moves FB Coaching Strategies Why do I avoid teaching moves like the Spin & Juke Step? *** Because these moves are much more INSTINCT dependant. I can teach a Runner how to do a spin move but teaching him the instinct for using it is not so easy. *** Because these move are more likely to rob up field momentum from a Runner, especially if not used exactly right. *** Because these moves take much longer for the average player to master than the Cut Back or Stiff Arm does. However…If I have a kid that has the natural instinct and ability to use the Spin or Juke, I will almost never discourage him from using them…I just wont burn up a lot of practice time trying to teach the rest of my Runners to do it like he does.

25 Teaching the moves FB Coaching Strategies The Stiff Arm 1) Teach it to ALL of your ball carrying players. 2) Teach it to be used for re-directing a Tacklers momentum instead of for delivering a direct blow to the Tackler. (Use the Tacklers own momentum against him.) 3) Teach it using a Thumb Down position with the hand. 4) Start small- teach it using the Stiff Arm drill before moving on to add live tacklers.

26 coach Traffic Cone Heavy Bag Waiting Players Runner Heavy Bag Stiff Arm Drill 1) 2 cones are set 10 yards apart from each other on any yard line. The coach puts himself over the inside cone and is holding a Heavy Bag style tackling dummy (if a Heavy Bag is not available, a regular tackling dummy will do). A Runner places himself 5 yards away from the inside cone, holding a ball in his outside arm. On the coaches signal he takes off heading straight for the outside cone. Traffic Cone Think of this as if the runner is pushing himself away from the bag… instead of pushing the bag away from him. 2) The coach will heave the bag at the Runner, alternating between knee high and shoulder high throws. He should vary the angle at which he throws the Bag as well. 3) The Runner should attempt to use his inside hand (thumb down) as the lever with which to use the bags own momentum to deflect it away from his body. If any part of the bag touches any part of the runner, he is tackled.

27 Traffic Cone Waiting Players Runner Stiff Arm Drill Traffic Cone Tackler When my Runners show they have mastered the mechanics of the Stiff Arm, I replace the Bag with a live tackler and run the drill with full contact or thud mode. Depending on what part of the body the tackler has exposed to the Runner- The ideal aiming points for a Stiff Arm are: 1- Top of the helmet (not the facemask) 2- Top of the shoulder plate 3- Chest plate

28 Teaching the moves FB Coaching Strategies The Cut Back 1) Teach it to ALL of your ball carrying players. 2) Practice it in a variety of drills and situations. 3) Spend equal amounts of time practicing it in both directions.

29 Triangle Drill Traffic Cone coach Traffic ConeTackling Dummy coach 8-10 yards 5 yards 3 yards 1) 3 Tackling dummies stood on end and arranged in a 3x5 triangle. 2 traffic cones are set 8-10 yards outside the center dummy. The coach stands in front of the center dummy holding a blocking shield. 2) The Runner starts from 5 yards in front of the triangle. As he approaches the first two dummies the coach should quickly step into one or the other gap- making sure to protect himself w/ the shield in case the runner goes the wrong way. 3) The Runner should cut AWAY from the coach and through the opposite side of the triangle. We want him to bend his path back up field and around the traffic cone once hes completed his cutback. Runner

30 Traffic Cone Tackler RunnerSide Line Cut Back Drill Any Yard Line (also a great defensive drill). 1) This is a live (full contact) drill, though it can be done in Thud mode also. Place a traffic cone 3 yards away from the sideline on any yard line and a second one 20 yards away from the first, along the same yard line. A Runner and a tackler align over the inside cone facing each other, and on opposite sides of the line. 2) On the coachs signal the Runner takes off and is free to use any move he can (juke, change speeds, shoulder fake, etc.) to force the tackler to over run his pursuit. If he does force the over-pursuit, he should immediately cut back to the tacklers inside. If he cant, he should turn the run up field as soon as he hits the cone set near the sideline. 3) The tacklers job is to prevent any up field move at all by the Runner. His first job is to avoid over pursuing, his next job is prevent the up field cut by the Runner. 3 yards 20 yards

31 Play Mechanics FB Coaching Strategies There are some techniques that dont necessarily have to be used to insure a good FB, but they do add form and function to the position. Taken individually they might seem insignificant, but collectively they are a hallmark of a well coached FB. There are many, many aspects to the Full Backs specific play mechanics. Ill address one of my favorite ones: The Cross Over Step -

32 Fine Points FB Coaching Strategies The Cross Over step puts a little bit of polish on the FB position. Teach the Cross Over step for all plays where your FB opens in the same direction as the motion call. It takes very little time to teach. It gives the QB and pulling lineman an extra foot or so of clearance by getting the FBs hips turned away from them. It helps put the FB on a proper banana path to the DE. It gives a more uniform look to all of your plays, enhancing your misdirection by giving a consistent Power look for the first few steps of every such play.

33 FB Coaching Strategies Improving your Full Backs blocking ability Improving the basic skill Making the Kick Out more effective

34 FB Coaching Strategies Improving the basic skill I make liberal use of the Pancake Drill (Pit Blocking). Its one of the best drills for working on the different techniques involved in blocking. I can get many full contact reps in with little chance of injury. It has many variations that can be used to emphasize many different skills. It teaches players to finish blocks. The players love this drill.

35 Pancake Drill BlockerDefenderTackling Dummies 1) A defender aligns 1 yard in front of a row of 6 tackling dummies laid down as shown above. A blocker sets him self a yard or two from the defender in whatever stance is being practiced at the time. 2) The blocker will execute whatever technique is being practiced at the time. The object being to finish the block by driving the defender into the pads on the ground.

36 FB Coaching Strategies Improving the basic skill I make liberal use of the Pancake Drill (Pit Blocking). Its one of the best drills for working on the technique of blocking. I can get many full contact reps in with little chance of injury. It has many variations that can be used to emphasize many different skills. It teaches players to finish blocks. The players love this drill. Head Placement is everything. More often than not, all a FB has to do is make sure his head placement is correct to insure a decent block. I stress Head Placement in every blocking drill. I want the FB to place his helmet inside defenders helmet on Kick Out and Lead blocks, and outside the defenders helmet on Reach and Pass blocks.

37 FB Coaching Strategies Improving the basic skill I make liberal use of the Pancake Drill (Pit Blocking). Its one of the best drills for working on the technique of blocking. I can get many full contact reps in with little chance of injury. It has many variations that can be used to emphasize many different skills. It teaches players to finish blocks. The players love this drill. Head Placement is everything. More often than not, all a FB has to do is make sure his head placement is correct to insure a decent block. I stress Head Placement in every blocking drill. I want the FB to place his helmet inside defenders helmet on Kick Out and Lead blocks, and outside the defenders helmet on Reach and Pass blocks. Dont forget the Feet! More than 75% of a players power comes from his lower body. Moving the feet after initial contact is imperative if the FB wishes to get any movement on the man he is blocking. I know my FBs arent keeping their feet moving when they hit, bounce back, then recoil and deliver another hit… A sure sign of lazy feet.

38 FB Coaching Strategies Making the Kick Out more effective Teaching Kick Out mechanics: Take the correct path. Banana route… Go toward the LOS before going down it. The Crossover step helps with this. Head in the hole- like I said before, Head Placement is everything. Turn up field if no one shows for the Kick Out. Dont over extend and lead the WB and pullers too far outside.

39 FB Coaching Strategies Making the Kick Out more effective Teaching Kick Out mechanics: Take the correct path. Banana route… Go toward the LOS before going down it. The Crossover step helps with this. Head in the hole- like I said before, Head Placement is everything. Turn up field if no one shows for the Kick Out. Dont over extend and lead the WB and pullers too far outside. Make liberal use of the Pancake Drill when teaching Kick Out mechanics. It can be adapted to practice many different nuances to the Kick Out block.

40 Pancake Drill 2 feet 4 Yards 1) A traffic cone is set 1 yard in front of the tackling dummies. A second cone is placed 4 yards away and 2 yards deeper than the first cone. A third cone is set 2 ft. x 2 ft. to the outside of the second cone. The blocker aligns in a 3 pt. stance next to the deepest cone. The defender stands next to the first cone and in front of the tackling dummies while holding a hand shield. 2) On the coachs signal, his first step is to be a crossover step with the backside foot making sure to step toward the LOS. He should bend his path around the second cone so that his path arcs toward the defender. He should aim for the defenders INSIDE shoulder. The correct Head Placement here is to have his helmet INSIDE of the defenders helmet. 3) As always- I insist that the FB keep his feet driving and finish the block by driving the defender into the pads. 2 Yards Have the defender turn sideways and brace against the hit. This provides good practice against a common DE technique. Bring in one of your lineman and have the players practice their Kick Outs against larger players.

41 FB Coaching Strategies Making the Kick Out (EVEN MORE) effective These techniques can be easily adapted into your basic play mechanics to improve your Full Backs Kick Out blocks. Whether you are trying to improve sub-par blocking abilities or simply trying to give your FB every possible advantage, these two little tricks can make a world of difference. - Brush Bys are used to temporarily distract a Defensive End. That is: we do not want to directly impede his up field momentum. Instead, we just want to interfere with it a little. The goal is to pass so close to him that he must first (if even for just a split second) divert his attention to the player executing the brush by and away from the approaching FB. This simplifies the FBs block since the DE can no longer focus all of his efforts on defeating the Kick Out. Brush bys should be employed by the WBs primarily, but since I sometimes run my Power plays very tightly, the TEs should know how to do it also. The Brush By- Using the threat of a Down or Reach block to make the Kick Out easier.

42 FB Coaching Strategies Making the Kick Out (EVEN MORE) effective Bench, Bend, & Dig- For whatever reason, a FB will sometimes find himself stalemated on his Kick Out. When ever the FB finds himself in a situation where his block has been negated, we want him to: Bench - Extend his arms fully (as in a bench press) and push the DE away. Bend - Arch his body into the DE (roll the hips) while extending his arms for maximum leverage. Dig - Dig in with his feet and attempt to drive his legs. Defeating the Stalemated Kick Out Making the Kick Out when all else fails Get help for the FB. (Have the QB double team the DE)

43 Taking Advantage of a Gifted FB Getting him the ball in open space Enhancing your existing FB plays

44 Getting him the ball in open space Taking Advantage of a Gifted FB Throw him the ball! - The FB is the hardest single receiver to account for in the DW. Since I put my best kid at FB, I want to take advantage of this by finding ways to throw him the ball in places where he can do the most damage. I make him the second option on my PA passes instead of the third. It takes an exceptional youth QB to quickly read 3 receivers anyway, I might as well reduce the number of reads he needs to make while improving the chances of getting the ball to my best kid.

45 1 2 (3) Make the FB option number 2 on your Play Action pass. Option #

46 Getting him the ball in open space Taking Advantage of a Gifted FB I design pass routes intended to clear out a specific zone for him. I sometimes use my TEs and WBs to run off defenders and slip the FB in underneath them. Throw him the ball! - The FB is the hardest single receiver to account for in the DW. Since I put my best kid at FB, I want to take advantage of this by finding ways to throw him the ball in places where he can do the most damage. I make him the second option on my PA passes instead of the third. It takes an exceptional youth QB to quickly read 3 receivers anyway, I might as well reduce the number of reads he needs to make while improving the chances of getting the ball to my best kid.

47 Design pass routes intended to clear out a specific zone for the FB. B EET T C S B B B C WB TE

48 Getting him the ball in open space Taking Advantage of a Gifted FB Throw him the ball! - The FB is the hardest single receiver to account for in the DW. Since I put my best kid at FB, I want to take advantage of this by finding ways to throw him the ball in places where he can do the most damage. I use plays that others might not ever consider. Plays like a Full Back Sweep are practical additions to my playbook when my FB is a fast runner I make him the second option on my PA passes instead of the third. It takes an exceptional youth QB to quickly read 3 receivers anyway, I might as well reduce the number of reads he needs to make while improving the chances of getting the ball to my best kid. I design pass routes intended to clear out a specific zone for him. I sometimes use my TEs and WBs to run off defenders and slip the FB in underneath them.

49 88 FB Sweep

50 Getting him the ball in open space Taking Advantage of a Gifted FB Throw him the ball! - The FB is the hardest single receiver to account for in the DW. Since I put my best kid at FB, I want to take advantage of this by finding ways to throw him the ball in places where he can do the most damage. I make him the second option on my PA passes instead of the third. It takes an exceptional youth QB to quickly read 3 receivers anyway, I might as well reduce the number of reads he needs to make while improving the chances of getting the ball to my best kid. I put him in motion to expand my options w/ him. (also adds a nice twist to some of my other plays) I design pass routes intended to clear out a specific zone for him. I sometimes use my TEs and WBs to run off defenders and slip the FB in underneath them. I use plays that others might not ever consider. Plays like a Full Back Sweep are practical additions to my playbook when my FB is a fast runner.

51 FB Motion.

52 Getting him the ball in open space Taking Advantage of a Gifted FB Throw him the ball! - The FB is the hardest single receiver to account for in the DW. Since I put my best kid at FB, I want to take advantage of this by finding ways to throw him the ball in places where he can do the most damage. I make him the second option on my PA passes instead of the third. It takes an exceptional youth QB to quickly read 3 receivers anyway, I might as well reduce the number of reads he needs to make while improving the chances of getting the ball to my best kid. I put him in motion to expand my options w/ him. (also adds a nice twist to some of my other plays) I will cross train him to play WB occasionally to run Sweeps or down field Passes. I design pass routes intended to clear out a specific zone for him. I sometimes use my TEs and WBs to run off defenders and slip the FB in underneath them. I use plays that others might not ever consider. Plays like a Full Back Sweep are practical additions to my playbook when my FB is a fast runner

53 Taking Advantage of a Gifted FB Enhancing your existing FB plays The G Play: Hit the hole HARD. The Cross Over step should be employed to help the FB keep his shoulders as square as possible. Cross over, then plant the second step and hit the hole. Practice having the FB bend the G play outside just after he clears the first level of the D. This can make for some big gains if you can get a decent block on the play side LB by your play side WB. Use Heavy (Tackle Over) formations to create defensive bubbles. Use this randomly and dont over use it…..If you practice aligning in Heavy formation as you break the huddle instead of shifting to it, youll have better odds odds of catching the defense off guard. You can also use a Wings On call to gain a similar advantage.

54 Taking Advantage of a Gifted FB Enhancing your existing FB plays The Trap Play: PATIENCE, PATIENCE, PATIENCE! Dont rush this play. Teach the FB to use the pulling G as his Go cue. As soon as the Gs butt crosses his face, then he can go...Once he does go, go hard and fast! Traps generally do not do well with FBs that do not accelerate well from a standstill. Dont Advertise- Stay low and dont pop up prior to taking the handoff. Focus on getting the LBs blocked. Always use your play side WB and TE to block LBs. Dont send either one of them after a Safety, or any defender aligned deeper than the play side LB, or the MLB in a one LB defense. Wouldnt you prefer to have your FB running one-on-one against a Safety rather than a LB???

55 Taking Advantage of a Gifted FB Enhancing your existing FB plays The Wedge Play: Keep the knees high- Step On or Over anything that gets in the way. -AND- Always be on the lookout for seams that might develop in the Wedge. The Wedge can be a big yardage play. There isnt much a FB can do to improve the Wedge play other than: ….But in the end, a great Wedge IS ALL ABOUT THE PLAY OF YOUR LINE

56 Building a Better Full Back This presentation is posted at: Follow the Offensive Resources link Questions or comments- Kevin S. Thurman


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