Coach Brian Jansen
Youth Football Coach Brian Jansen Reviews the Colt
Football Blocking Shield Increases Muscle Memory for Offensive Line and Other Positions
Q: How do you use the Colt in your daily practice or progression?
A: Well, I coach youth, and one of the biggest things with youth is creating muscle memory. One of the ways I use the football shield for offense and defense is to give them a realistic look. I like using linebacker shields, but the problem with linebacker shields is there are no arms and they’re grasping the outside as far as an outside lineman versus the inside. So as far as the offensive line is concerned, this blocking pad gave them a visual or a target that they needed to get inside the arms versus so often with a linebacker shield and grabbing on the outside. As far as defense is concerned, what it really taught me to do is extension. It allows them to make sure they get away from the arms as far as when they’re going to go into a rip or a swim type of technique. The blocking pad created that actual length as far as the arm is concerned, both for defense but for offense it allowed them to get a target inside the arms as far as where the breast plate would be.
Q: Do you think this football equipment allowed the youth players to be aggressive?
A: Absolutely. When you coach youth you ask a youth to go through a drill half speed because you’re trying to train your defensive or offensive lineman. It’s very difficult for a youth to do that. They either don’t want to be beat up by their best friend or they don’t want to give an effort to the point where it will give a realistic look. What the bag allows either myself or one of my assistants or other players to do is allows us to go live without having to worry about the player we’re using as the dummy. Either going full-go, not giving a realistic look to the player we’re trying to teach, or not doing anything at all and just letting the guy do whatever he wants. This football blocking pad allowed me to control the speed that I wanted to, as far as when I’m coaching a player.
Q: How do you utilize the blocking shield with the offensive lineman?
A: I use the football blocking pad in a couple of different spots and one of the places I use it is for my center. The thing with the center is they’re much closer to the defensive line than other lineman. What we try to teach our centers is quick hands. Well, you put a dummy or linebacker shield in front of them without arms, their hands aren’t as quick. But when you put the Colt in front of them, it forces them to use their hands quickly, to get it up quickly, they’re not just going through the motions because those arms are going to be on them really quick. Overall, what I liked about the bags in offensive lineman is I can adjust the pad level. Sometimes when you deal with youth you have a 6’ 1” kid or a 5’ 4” lineman, it allowed me to adjust that bag to whatever level I needed to when we were doing our line and progression drills. They had a target to practice, inside the bag, inside the arms, but it allowed me to adjust the level as far as when we did some one-one pass blocking.
Q: How have you used the Colt on the defensive side of the ball?
A: Yeah, there was actually a drill that I came up with called getting long. It’s about creating muscle memory and showing the player what’s wrong and then teaching them what’s right. When it came to defensive lineman, I had them get inside the bag. Often, you ask youth to do a rip or a swim and that arm is choking them or pulling their helmet, but by then I ask them to get long, so they visually saw those arms getting away. Then, following their use of the Colt, asking them to do a rip or a swim was so powerful because they finally understood it. Once they got long and their extension, they were able to do their rip or swim technique and they understood the value of getting away from the offensive lineman. One of the other ways I used the blocking pad was I coached our defensive ends; one of the biggest things about teaching youth sports is keeping the edge. With the Colt, I was able to attack them and force them to keep the edge. We also set up passing situations, and having an offensive lineman try to realistically give when they know there’s a pass rush or they’re going to do different techniques or get around because they know what the defensive end is going to do. The Colt allowed me to teach that defensive end to aim for a specific target, whether it’s the elbow- knocking it down and ripping it through- but the pad always taught them to stay on the edge. That arm gave them more of a realistic feel, without beating up one of my other offensive tackles, of keeping the edge, attacking the outside shoulder, and fighting that arm so they don’t get turned in for doing a potential sweep.
Q: What is the advantage to having a target jersey?
A: Incorporating the jersey helped teach where the breast plate was, because adding the jersey gave the players something physical to grab. On offense I would say “attack the number” and on defense it was “attack the mascot” as far as grabbing, ripping, pulling. Whether it’s the swim or the rip technique, having a target to attack really gives and creates that muscle memory very quickly. Saying attack the mascot here or there, the football blocking pad really allowed them to create muscle memory.
Q: Where are you using the Colt as far as your application in basketball?
A: My 13-year-old son is a post player. I also use it with my daughter who is a post player. I use the training equipment underneath the basket for a rebound and having them fight through those arms to both finish the shot and create a foul for the potential of 3 points. It allows me, without physically beating them up, to have the dummy to be there as something they have to fight through. As far as posting up is concerned, putting it in their back and getting the feel of that, as well as when there’s a shot at the basket they can roll off a player and get the arms out of the way so they can box-out that player by utilizing the arms. Finding out where the arms are, the leverage, where they need to move is key to teaching them to post up down low.
Q: Do you think the Colt gives a natural effect as far as realism is concerned?
A: Prior to the Colt with arms, I used a linebacker shield. As a man coaching girls, I wanted to maintain separation with them and the blocking pad helped me with pushing them. I still use the shield, but also using the Colt adds the dimension as far as where is that arm, where do I feel it, do I roll left or right. Figuring out if they’re going to drop step to the right or left. Utilizing the Colt gives them a push one way or another, teaching them where the drop step will be left or right if they receive a pass from the outside and they post up inside. It gets a lot more realistic- you don’t have to worry about bending your fingers back or arm bent back, it allows them to beat up the bag without anyone else getting beat up.