The tactics, techniques, and procedures of OLine Skills are learned physical traits.  Steps, visual targets, strike points, angles, leverage, and demeanor all need to be learned, trained, and practiced to have success at the position.  But it is the inherent trait of being selfless that makes the position and the men who play it truly special.  We close every Alercio OLine Clinic discussing this topic.

Offensive linemen are servants who facilitate the success of others.  Linemen find pleasure in helping others achieve success, and then celebrate that success together.  When our QB, Jake Cady, was named Gatorade Player of the Year, it was our offensive linemen who celebrated. Though Jake’s name may have been on the certificate,  it was as much the linemen’s award and their happiness was their reward.

When our local paper asked me to describe each of our players who made the Vermont Shrine team with one word.  I used Dominant to describe one, Versatile for another and Selfless to describe my son Shane. Shane later let me know he was disappointed with the adjective compared to the others. It wasn’t until his first day of training camp of the inaugural football season at the University of New England when he saw on Coach Lichten’s presentation on the traits of successful teams and successful teammates, the top trait of a Nor’easter football player: “SELFLESS.”

If you are looking to create a winning culture on your team, in your organization, at your school or within your company, you need everyone to be more like offensive linemen. It’s truly amazing what we can accomplish when we elevate the good of the team above self.

Coach Rich Alercio is available to discuss coaching philosophy, X’s & O’s, or teach his O-Line “techniques in the trenches.” Contact Coach at and share with your colleagues and friends. Thanks for supporting this blog and joining our conversations, and as always, thanks for your time! 

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