Developing a presnap routine elevates an offensive lineman’s game

By LeCharles Bentley | Posted 7/28/2016

Playing on the offensive line is similar to golf. Both are high stress tasks built upon consistency.

Without that constancy, performances veer off down the path of anxiety, doubt and poor performance.

The best golfers in the world have a preshot routine that sets the stage for constancy. In the same way, the key to offensive linemen tapping into their peak performance capabilities is to build a presnap routine that’s centered on the most functional stance.

In order to give yourself the best chance of success each snap – the same way golfers seek to give themselves the best opportunity to per stroke – build your routine. Here’s how.

  • Take your time. Great offensive linemen are never in a rush, but they play with a sense of urgency. When you’re in a rush to get into your stance, it’s common to overlook the little details that affect the bigger picture. Are your hips turned? Is your knee pulled inside your mid-foot? Is your butt too low? You need to spend time away from the game going through the process of getting in and out of your stance. I know it sounds boring. It should be. But somewhere between boring and focused lives consistency.
  • Film your setup. Instead of spending all that time posting on Snapchat, use technology to make yourself a better player. Video yourself rushing through getting into your stance, then video yourself taking your time. Film with back and front views. You will be surprised by the difference between the two. Once you identify the inconsistencies, focus on those areas to correct. This is your point of reference. When something doesn’t “feel right” in your stance, systematically go through your checklist to identify the problem. This process required some effort on your part, but it’ll be worth the investment.
  • Emphasize setup during skill acquisition. It’s not uncommon for players to rush through skill acquisition. Plenty of NFL players are constantly reminded to slow down and focus on the process, not the end result. It’s just as important, if not more important, for younger players to make the process a priority. Taking the steps to master the process while away from the game will transfer to the field. As offensive linemen, what you practice is what you become.

Developing a routine is truly next level development. There are hordes of NFL offensive linemen who do not have a routine.

The players who are transcending to the next level of performance don’t do so by accident. It happens because there’s a concerted effort to make it happen.

Developing a routine could be your first step.

LeCharles Bentley is a former Pro Bowl center and guard who played six seasons with the New Orleans Saints and Cleveland Browns. Certified in strength and conditioning, sports nutrition, functional movement systems, fascial stretch therapy and Olympic weightlifting, he operates LeCharles Bentley O-Line Performancein Chandler, Ariz., and is Nike’s lead offensive line performance coach.