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Offensive Lineman first week technique

Summer football is here!

At least in Illinois it is.  I know a lot of schools in the south and west have spring ball but us lucky midwest states have summer ball!

So I ask the question, what do you guys do on the first day?  What do you work on as far as technique?  What do you plan for?  Do you start basic or start blasting them right away?  Well here is the offensive line first day technqiue work specific for High School offensive lineman.

I know it’s very basic but I want these kids engrained with this in there heads.  So I make it easy so they can just play football!

Check out the video and let me know what you think!

In the Trenches,


Lineman Summer training

Since the summer is 1.5 weeks away I thought I would help you out.

I understand that the summer is coming and things are about to get pretty crazy.  Football is going to be at an all time high, if you are like Illinois we start full practice in that first week and start our workouts.  Then in July we just move to workouts.

So here is the problem many coaches get in.  They push their kids through to much and burn out their CNS without even knowing it.  What happens when you burn that CNS out complete without training it is that the motivation and that fast twitch explosive feeling your lineman have will be gone.  And we all know how important it is to feel good to play good and mentally be strong.

So what coaches do is blow the kids out during the workouts and then push them to the end of the world and off the cliff during practice.  Doing that 3-4 days a week are crazy.  You will tear your kids up.  So how do you find that balance?

Well from an offensive line and strength and conditioning coach’s perspective.  I’ll let you know!

Plan your technique work (practice work) accordingly.  If you are a good offensive line coach then you will be able to get a feeling for your athletes.  The first thing you can do is watch the workouts (lifts)  was it an upper or lower day?  Was it a more explosive or more strength day, was it conditioning?  Was it fast twitch, low rep, high rep, high sets low reps….You have to see what these workouts are like.  You have to be an observant coach.

Here’s an example, if it’s a lower body day and they do mainly strength work, that means their legs may be blown out (shaky) and very vulnerable.  So sitting in their stances for 5 mins at a time wont help teach technique.  So these days you do lower rep strictly technique footwork stuff.  Don’t think their legs will get stronger when they are all ready beat down, it will make them more tired and more sore so they move slower the next day.  If this happens then their workout will suck the next day and so will their practice, thus making your team worse.  Get my drift?

The next few posts I am going to be doing is going to be about footwork technique drill to do on your first few days.  What are the things YOU need to do as a coach to make sure your athletes have the fundamentals.  Stay tuned

In the Trenches


Off-Seaons squat progression for lineman- Back Squat

Yes! It’s finally here! The Back Squat!

Some of you guys are like FINALLY this guy is nuts all I wanted to see was some info on the back squat.

Well it’s here now.  It’s the last in the Summer progression, this is the lift that we finish everything off with.  Now we can start going heavy.  But not right off the bat.  In our summer program we will end up having 4 weeks of back squat.  So again I will progress the sets and reps.

Check out the video on how to implement the Back Squat to finish off the summer program!


In the Trenches


Off-Season squat progression for lineman- Front Squat

Probably one of my favorite lifts for the core

The Front Squat!

Try doing 5 heavy sets of front squat without a belt and tell me how your abs feel.  The should be bulging out of your stomach if you go heavy enough and challenge yourself.

That’s why I love throwing in the front squats in the summer.  Check the vid for my reasons!


In the Trenches


Off-Season squat progression for Lineman- Overhead squat

So back on track now, here is something to help you with your summer Strength and Conditioning

I see a lot of coaches jump straight into regular back squats, no progression, just jump right in.  Here is the truth….your kids aren’t strong enough or have good enough technique for that.  I’m going to show you a simple progression that leads up to a back squat that will get your lineman strong as hell!

First up in the Progression is the Overhead Squat!

Yes I said it.  the OHS is one of the best bodyweight/barbell squats out there.  Now I say bodyweight loosely there.  Most of the time you won’t be adding weight unless your lineman are mobile, agile, and hostile.  It takes a lot of practice to get good at these.  But the first 2 weeks of summer camp I rock out the overhead squats.  Check the video below why it’s so important!


In the Trenches


The Summer is Coming!

Hey the summer is coming are you starting your squat progression right?????

Here is the bottom line, I talk and talk about coaches not teaching the squat right especaially football coaches.  Everyone wants to put weight on the bar and do quarter squats.  It’s one of those things I cringe and cry about every time I see it.  So I’m going to give you a little squat variation progresssion.  What each squat will do for you at that time and how it helps with progression.

Here is the list of squat variations I use with my lineman as a summer off-season progression

Overhead Squat
Front Squat
Back Squat

Now this is at a high school where I don’t have any boxes and there will be about 4-5 kids at each rack due to size and equipment of the weight room.  I will add in a few other squat variations such as….

Zercher squat
Goblet squat
Racked Squat
Box squat

There are a bunch of variations. I will hook you up with some videos and teach the 3 big ones I do for my lineman and why I do them.

The summer schedule for me is only 2 months long I have about an hour to an hour and a half with the kids 3 days a week.  So we squat 1 day a week maybe a 2nd light day depending on the recovery of the athletes.

But for now check the video out below and get your MIND RIGHT!


In the Trenches

Tricky Conditioning for Lineman

I have been asked a few times about conditioning for Offensive and Defensive lineman

That seems to be the number 1 question leading into the summer this year.  It’s all about the conditioning it seems like.  And for good reason.  Many, and I mean MANY coaches leave the lineman out to dry when it comes to conditioning.  Many coaches especially in high school just have these big guys do 20+ yd sprints over and over again or have them run gassers over and over again.  Punish them with more “sprints” for running the longer sprints slower.

That it self is another posts.  And we will get to that issue.  But first I want to hit you with a question.  Do you know what a tempo is?  In football this is used a lot in practice.  ”Keep the tempo high, I want practice to run smoothly”  things like that are said by a lot of head coaches.  Well the same is true in the weight room.  Not all of your conditioning needs to be done on the field or track running.

Here is my tricky trick for you from the trickster himself.  Tempo in the weight room.  The lineman won’t even know what hit them.

Here is what I’m talking about.  Lets say you have 45-60 minutes in the weight room, You want to get your core work done (squat, bench, deads, cleans, etc…)  But you have around 100 kids in a weight room the size of your garage.  Here is how you do it.  Tempo your sets.  This means 2 things.

1st:  Tempo the rep it self.  This builds work capacity and loaded conditioning.  Also builds incredible strength if you use it during any eccentric phases.  If you are in a small room and organization is your most important factor.  Make EVERYONE do the rep at the same time.  You can do this by blowing 1 whistle to stop, and 1 whistle to start.  It might be mundane but it will get the results you want.

2nd:  Tempo the supersets.  That means don’t let the kids stand around and talk.  Always give them something to do.  Keep them moving.  This higher tempo builds work capacity (aka conditioning) These kids will be able to work harder for longer and recover faster.  Here is an example of what I’m talking about.

After core work on a lower body day

B1:  Bulgarian Split Squats:  4×10 e/ leg
B2:  KB Swings:  4×10
B3:  Sled March/Plate Push:  4×20 yds

Boom!  4 sets of something like this will WRECK your lineman, and quick.  Their legs will be wobbly and their lungs will be burning.  Make sure there is no rest between sets.  They are trying to get this done as fast as possible with perfect technique.  Start the split squats with just bodyweight until they get low enough and don’t get tired as easy.

1 thing I DON’T want you to do is try and add the tempo into their Core lifts.  Those lifts are meant for strength.  You can superset them but make it something that is for the brain, or recovery.  Their focus should be lifting as much weight as they can.  Here is an example of a Upper Body day for my lineman here.

A1:  Close grip Board Press:  6×3
A2:  Banded Face Pulls:  6×20

B1:  Hammer Grip battle ropes (waves & slams):  4×25 e/ arm
B2:  Modified BPA (band pull aparts):  4×25
B3:  Bench press grip push-ups:  4xsub max reps

C1:  Neutral grip pull-up holds:  3xmax time
C2:  3 Level push-ups (7 reps at each level):  3x

D:  KB Farmer walk: 2 x max lap around building

There it is.  An upper body day that will condition and wreck your kids uppers.  We cover strength and conditioning along with some prehab work.  Make sure the athletes aren’t standing around it will defeat the purpose of the supersets.  Give them just enough rest so that they are at about 85% recovered from the previous set.

There is my little trick for ya, a little conditioning outside the field.

In the Trenches


Strength and Nutrition

2 top make or breakers for Offensive and Defensive Lineman

Today we are going to take a more holistic approach to our lineman.  A little deviance from our daily path.  I want to talk/rant about the strength and nutrition of our lineman.  You are probably saying well coach thats one heck of a broad spectrum there can you be specific?  Hell ya I can!

We are in a nation of weakness now.  A nation that used to be a powerhouse both physically and mentally.  It’s unreal to me that there are things going on in this world challenging our physicall strength and we can’t answer.  MANY MANY MANY middle school and high school kids and even athletes have poor overall strength.  The obesity, diabetes, heart disease problems in this country right now are crazy.  And yet people want


to blame the others around them.  Instead of getting their own strength to change their life styles.  Lineman coming into high school not being able to do a push-up, squat, run 1 20 yd sprint.  Having a LACK of strength entering into their (for most) first year of sports.  You expect to be good without your strength.  Think again.  If you are a coach or a parent who is on this blog, I want to tell you something.  HAMMER IN THE BASICS.

No one cares if their workouts are “cool” if they don’t give RESULTS.  So stop looking for the next FAB workout to do with your kids.  It pisses strength coaches like my self off when you guys doing things just to look “cool” really?  Get the results, that’s all that matters.  Strength is a skill all people have to learn, some more than others.  Some people have to learn this skill for a life time just to get decent at it.  But the BASICS (push-ups, pull-ups, squats, deads, sprints, jumps).  Can be mastered and done by ANYONE, yes even a 50lb overweight kid.  It takes good coaching and some common sense.  And please don’t be “That Guy” who thinks they know it all and doesn’t need help figuring it out.  Coaches need Coaches.  Strength needs to be learned and mastered, Take your time doing it right!

How do you get strength without nutrition?

It’s an insane thought, but your muscles need nutrients.  Crazy to think you build muscles by putting good things into your body.  Eating right is the easiest and fastest way to getting stronger.  A simple reason I want to talk about this is because I see EVERY kid that comes to me with NO knowledge of what to eat.     So here is a little advice coming from a guy who loves food!


Eat what’s on the outside:  Meaning eat the things that are on the outside of the grocery store (veggies, fruits, meats, nuts, etc…)

If it has a bright color eat it:  Any fruit/veggie with those bright colors are high in vitamins and nutrients.
Take the time:  Take the time to make your food.  If it cooks in 2 minutes it probably isn’t good for you.  Think of the stuff they put in it to be ready in 2 mins.  EVOO your self to sleep:  Extra Virgin Olive Oil, use this instead of any other butter/lard try getting it in a spray form.

Stop eating FAST FOOD:  Not much else to say on that.

Guys here is the bottom line.  We as offensive or defensive lineman are already big.  I am personally tired of seeing these ex players with huge ass pouches on their stomachs looking as if they just got done giving birth and they have the left over skin from it.  Take pride, you guys worked your asses off all your career just to let your self go for the rest of your life.  What drives me to get stronger and leaner is that I want to be an example for my kids when they grow up (I don’t have any yet).  I want to be an example for my athletes as well, those things drive me everyday.

If you are a athlete who is having trouble with their fat loss/lean out.  Here is my advice.  Don’t try to much.  Stick to one thing and give it time to work.  Rome wasn’t built in a day.  It takes a minimum of 21 days to break a habit.  If you have been doing it for your entire life then it will take longer to break.  But you have to give RESISTANCE to it.  Don’t give in easy, fight for it.  Keep your eyes on what’s important.  Ya it will suck but FIND THE STRENGTH

All right enough of the doctor phil stuff.  Check it out.  2 things we need to get better at.  Getting Stronger and tighten up our Nutrition.  Get on it!

Also congrats to some of my fellow Wildcats.  Jace Daniels and Zach Anderson.  Both got invited to rookie camps this weekend.  Both are hardworking deserving kids who will dominate this chance they have gotten.  Good luck fellas.  PoundGreenPound

In the Trenches,



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