Learning how to be an offensive lineman in football will make you a very valuable resource. The offensive line is the foundation of a football team’s offense. As an offensive lineman, your mission is to keep the defensive players off both the quarterback and running back enabling passes and running plays. You will use your body as a shield, placing yourself between the defender and the ball holder, driving the defensive players out of the way and off the line of scrimmage. The offensive line consists of four positions; center, guard, tackle and end.
- Bulk up and buff up. The offensive line is the key component of a powerful offense and a winning team; however, the line is only as strong as its weakest link. To be an offensive lineman you need to possess several qualities. Size and brute strength are key factors for a powerful lineman, as you will be hitting on every play. You will want to be big and strong to block effectively, as the successes of your quarterback and running backs rely largely on this ability. You need to devote a great deal of time to eating and lifting weights to ensure size and strength.
- Improve your speed and agility. In addition to size, swiftness, footwork and agility are also crucial. You will spend countless hours practicing and running drills to improve your speed and precision. Regardless of your size, if you are not faster than the defensive lineman is, you will not be able to prevent him from getting to the ball. Your speed off the snap and lateral movement is key to being an effective lineman. You must be balanced and stay low. The low man always wins.
- Use your head. Not only do you need to be strong, quick and agile to be an offensive lineman, you need to be intelligent and have great critical thinking skills. Any position on the offensive line is a difficult position to play. You need to memorize all of the blocking schemes, pass protections and audibles. You need to be able to recognize changes in the defensive alignment and alert your teammates so each member of the offensive line can adjust accordingly.
- Check your pride at the locker room door. While the offensive line is a strategic component of the team’s offense, there is often little glory for the lineman. Your job although important is often times thankless. As an offensive lineman, you will often go unrecognized until you make a mistake. The offensive linemen are the unsung heroes of the football team. On the flip side, the offensive lineman is the only position that gets to hit someone on every play!
Stay motivated and dedicated. Train harder, work smarter, and do not forget to eat more! Remember that you will not be the star on the field, but also know that your team cannot score any points without you and your fellow offensive linemen. You can help make a winning team.