The key to the cross block is making sure the two linemen working the cross block work well together. In most schemes, the outside offensive lineman attacks the inside players blocking target first, then the inside offensive linemen comes behind the outside offensive lineman to block the outside offensive lineman’s initial blocking target. It is important that there is very little depth gained by the inside offensive lineman, he has to mesh just off the heels of the outside offensive lineman, hence the need for great teamwork.
Obviously for the youth football lineman this is something you would not teach until they were very solid doing the base blocking techniques, know their base blocking rules and only after you have them set in positions. You would practice this against tall dummies with the two partners working with each other exclusively, making sure the head placement was on the inside of the defender for our inside offensive lineman and outside the defender for out outside offensive lineman.
Unlike other offenses we do not cross block on specific plays, but we do allow our players to cross block if we see it would give us an advantage and we make a specific call. When you want to cross block just add a “tag” to the play, something like “Creek or Cable” anything with a C in the front to let the 2 kids at the point of attack know they are going to cross block.
We rarely cross block and teach it based on the age and experience level of the kids. I had an age 8-10 team with about 50% veterans, that was a team cross blocking made sense with. Nearly all my 11-12 or 13-14 age teams learned to cross block as the season progressed.
This technique is also a nice change up for even your two wideouts like in our Mesh Formation. Stalk blocks tend to be as successful as the quality of the players performing them, cross blocks can foul up the keys of the defensive backs and provide your receivers with easy blocking angles even on wide sweep plays.
If you have the right age and experience level and your youth football team is progressing well with your base schemes, the cross block may make sense. Coaching youth football well means you have to figure out if your team meets the criteria or not.
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