Football Drills: Using Blocking Sleds for Power and Speed

If your line lacks depth, needs to build strength or could just use a little practice working as a team, the five-man sled could be your solution. Here’s why.

There’s a whole world of football training equipment out there, but none can be quite as important to a squad’s success as the five-man sled. The clang of player against metal and well-worn track marks in the grass have been heard and seen across practice fields for years, and with good reason. This weighted, movable sled is not only a great way to train multiple players at once, but it’s also a fantastic tool to help players develop their ability to “strike and drive” off the football. It’s not like hitting a light dummy or a trainer holding a pad. This is crashing into a large structure, hearing the sound of each attack and truly grinding it out, preparing for the season’s battles in the trenches.

Lined up with a five-man sled as if going head-to-head against an opposing team, players can effectively train their blocking techniques. This aid gives them the opportunity to drive their feet against resistance and create a point of attack safely thanks to the padded dummies. They can pop their hands through with a full extension and drive the sled back with more controllable results than if they were going head-to-head with other players or teammates.

The five-man sled adds another layer of teamwork to your unit, since moving this contraption is not a job for just one person. It takes a uniform effort to push the sled back, forcing the five linemen to work as a unit in order to get a solid travel. Everyone should be cohesive and share the weight, so that the sled can move backward in a straight path.

The five-man sled is a pivotal piece of any football team’s training. So, consider incorporating a few sled drills into your next practice and add some depth to your line. Listen to that ring of a hard-hit sled as you watch your linemen build strength, camaraderie and skill.