To work on good body position, quickness and hand placement of the Offensive Linemen when firing out of their stance.
- This drill is best performed on firm and smooth ground – not good on natural grass. But you can do it easily in the parking lot or in the qym (with the Offensive Line Players wearing sneakers instead of cleats.
- The offensive lineman gets into his normal stance.
- The coach stands about 3 feet (distance might vary, depending on the quickness and size of the offensive lineman) in front of him (and a little to the side, so that his stretched out hand is right in front of the offensive line player.
- In his outstretched hand the coach holds a tennisball – you have to experiment with the height as well.
- Then the coach drops the ball (he might do it with a warning sound, so the player knows it has been dropped, because usually he cannot see the hand of the coach holding the tennisball.
- The player may not start before the ball hits the ground and bounces up.
- Then the player fires out of his stance to catch the tennisball. He should catch the ball with outstretched arms, thumbs up and together.
Distance to the offensive line player and height of the hand when dropping the football has to vary.
(Yes you have to test and find out yourself – the bounce of tennisballs also varies a lot with the ground they are bouncing from).
But it also varies with the part of the fire-out you want to work on:
Is it more the “staying low” then you might stand a little closer and lower the launchpoint.
do you want to work on the “arch”, that is starting low but then rise into the blocked defender you might have to stand farther away from the offensive line player and rise the launch point (maybe even overhead) and teach the offensive line players to always aim for the current position of the tennisball and not to where it will be when they catch it.
That way they naturally raise with the tennisball while firing out.
- maybe a footstool or similar for coach to stand on for extreme high launchpoints (usually not needed)