Blocking Motivation

by Chuck Klausing

    At my clinics and seminars, I ask the following question.  "think of the top coaches and name a few of their characteristics?"  The answer may vary from disciplinarian, organized, motivates or to a good teacher.

    Many people that have watched my teams said we were great at blocking.  They asked me why and how I taught it.  Perhaps, the secret was how I motivated the teaching of the shoulder block.

    I believe most people divide the block into three parts.  They are:

1.  Approach

2.  Contact

3.  Follow Through

Many times I have watched the Olympic Gymnasts, Skaters, and Divers being graded on a ten-point system.  I said to myself, why not grade my players on a similar system.  

I divided the shoulder block into ten points:


1. Stance

2.  Take off-starting count

3.  Step 1 - I believe the first step in a right shoulder block is with the left foot.

4.  Step 2 - I believe in the near foot near shoulder.


5.  Roll shoulder 0 I teach to roll the shoulder parallel to the ground.

6.  Head Up - and press to shoulder - So important to prevent injuries

7.  Body square with power angles

Follow Through:

8.  Accelerate - accomplished with good sled work

9.  Roll hips

10.  Press out - with arms when stalemate

I have used this motivating teaching method with pros, colleges, high schools, and youth teams.  Many start with "0" but with good teaching, become a "10".  It makes me feel good when I walk by a practice and a player will ask me to grade their blocking.  

    A perfect block is a "10"!


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