Defensive Line Throw Hands Drill


The purpose of this Defensive Line Throw Hands Drill is to develop violent use of the hands to attack and shed off the blocker, keeping good balance to break away to different pursuit / tackling angles.


The players form two lines – the defensive linemen who play on the defensive left form the left line, and the defensive linemen who play on the right go to the right line.

A player holding a hand shield just above his knees stands in front of each line, the first lineman of each line gets into his stance.

The coach kneels between the players and simulates the snap of the ball.

On movement of the ball, the defensive linemen get off and shoot their hands into the hand shields.

The defensive lineman strikes the shield with the heels of his hands and drives the shield upward, at the same time he drives the shield holder, who gives moderate resistance, backwards for two or three steps, then releases and sprints to the tackling dummy, standing 3-7 yards (varying during the drill) behind, and 3 yards to the outside the original position of the shield holders.

The defensive lineman should then execute a form tackle on the dummy.

Good drill to be run without and with pads

Coaching Points

  • proper stance
  • length of the first step
  • emphasize the explosive/violent punch of the hands (without leaning) and make sure that the shield is driven upward.


  • Football
  • Hand shields
  • Stand-up dummies