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How to Play Center in Football

By Contributor

A common moniker for the center in football is the quarterback of the offensive line. A center in American football needs to get his entire fellow offensive lineman in the correct position. In addition, the center must snap the ball correctly and in an instant block on oncoming defense. Obviously not just any player can handle the center position in football.

Possess the correct body type. Generally, centers are not tall in comparison to the other offensive line positions. Most scouts will say the ideal center height is six foot one. Although there have been shorter and taller centers than that, it is the ideal height. Also football requires and player to be bulky--generally 225 pounds at the high school level, 265 pounds at the College level and 295 pounds at the professional level.

Have an above average intelligence. The center must know what everyone else is doing on the offensive line, as well as his own assignments. In addition, a center reads the defense in seconds before a play begins and chooses what pass protection play is best. Thinking quickly and well is necessary for any center in American football.

Be able to move well in very close quarters. The center usually has the most players in their area. The ability to move and make decisions quickly in the midst of a mass of moving humanity is crucial for success.

Play with a high pain tolerance. Most players in football sustain injuries during the course of the games. There is saying in football, "A player must know the difference between pain and injury." While this might be true in a sense a football player must take care of himself and not risk permanent injury.

Understand the physics of the center position. Playing center requires hours of work on technique and balance drills. Understanding leverage and physics is a necessary task to compete at a high level.

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