Intro– Quick introduction to Roles and Positions
Find part 1- The Guard at this link
Find Part 3- The Flanker at this link
Welcome Back. We’re still talking positions so if you were hoping for something else, say porn for example, you are about to be disappointed. Also why are you looking for porn at this blog? That’s just weird. No instead of exhibitionist sex acts we are going to be talking about The Center, The Big Man, The Rock, The Anvil, The Hinge, The Mother Fucking Monster you Crush your enemies against. The Center is position of many names, most of which I just made up. Not made up is the importance this position plays. The Center has only a few duties but anyone taking them on had better have their shit on point or your whole line will fail and I give you 9 to 1 odds your whole team will be eating dirt within a minute. So for those wanna be center’s let’s see if I can give you some advice to get you Striking Eagles good.
What does a center need? They need Strength, Size, and Stability. More than any of that the ability to take a fucking beating. In a basic play a flanker is primarily sent into the backfield to make runs and open opportunities a guard is told to wait off the shoulder of a center in safety and capitalize on opportunities, and a Center is told to advance along the rail to a position and hold it no matter what happens. I.E. Walk into the field of opponent fire and stand there taking damage. Do not push past that point to engage them, but hold the spot while the play develops. It’s sometimes a shit job. Hang out on the rail, just in front of line, in long pole range, but not in return striking range, and just take the hits till a call gets made. A Center is a damage sponge.
But that’s not all a center does. That’s the most important role in 10’s and 16’s but 5’s things get a bit more fluid. Line position isn’t really held as much and line engagement doesn’t really last past initial contact. A center may still be the meat shield and being able to walk down the rail and hold a position is a necessary skill…but it’s no longer sufficient. In the bigger battles a center can get away with just following instructions, letting the line commander tell them to advance, how far and how fast (notice I didn’t say retreat?), to attack or to hold. A 5 v 5 is far too fast for a line commander to give instructions so the Center needs to be able to make decisions on his own. And, for the most part, they need to be conservative safe choices. The center is not the high risk high reward position. Its the guy that holds up the rest of the team, the foundation the guard line is built off of. If he drops, there is no line anymore.
Unfortunately for the center that often means he doesn’t get to make the big plays. A center is usually not the finisher. Offensively he’s an assist man. Sure a good center can pretty much over power any guard or flanker foolish enough to line up 1v1 with him, but usually it’s a dual titan clash and if the other center is any good it’ll take a bit to put him down. That’s why the center’s job is more about pulling aggro for others to get opportunities. Whether that’s grabbing two dudes and holding them in a headlock while the rest of his team takes down the remaining there or moving ass to rail while holding a dude and exposing his back to some serious bombardment from the polearm and ax ordnance. There are very few finisher centers and even fewer who do it through punishing. A center is mostly about that stand up grapple grind game. You press on them till they can’t go, and then force them down.
Of course there are exceptions. Bam Bam for instance is a very mobile center. In general centers tend to be more lumbering but he can put a little pace in his step and has some alright foot work. This allows him to punch into lines that haven’t fully formed up yet or for his team to make whole unit movement where they wheel around and catch a flank. In order to do this you need a few extra things though. Guards that can hold their own against big dudes. Movement like that might end up where both centers line up on guards and the moving center needs his guard to be able to hold up till the center has finished his man. A fast finish is the other key thing. An axe may not work great here as alot of those finishes come from striking vulnerable targets. However a bad charge and check, a heavy shield punch, or some great falchion work can turn a striker to a quick finisher, which will allow this style of mobile center to work. This is not for the newly initiated center though. This is some high level shit right here.
Now that doesn’t mean the standard center never gets to move or to get some epic takedowns. If a center can get lined up against a guard, or even better a flanker with nowhere to run, it can lead to some spectacular drops. This most often happens when a smaller flanker heavy team is lined up against them. If one or two guards can lock some flankers in a quadrant the center can approach bringing a slow wave of death and when get there put on a burst of speed to run them over like avalanche hitting a skiier. There is the risk here though that as all those flanker break free and the chaos riegns the Center can be caught from behind and taken out by a 110 flying ball of fury and steel. So when trying this need to be aware of dude potential. Catch a charge striaght on and they bounce off like water drops. Catch it from behind and you’re eating dirt like a chump.
To sum up, the focus for a Center is to control the rail, hold that position, and stay standing. You are a mobile fortress more than a tank. An aircraft carrier with guards being your guns and flankers being your planes. You need to stay up so that your killers can do their work.
Key Skill for a Center
Key Skill number 1: Monster Strength. You are going to go strength on strength against the strongest guy on the opposing team. You need to be able to match and exceed that strength. Especially because you may be going strength on strength against 2 or even 3 fighters. Push and pull some sleds. Deadlift and squat like your job depended on it because your team does. Military Press, Bench Press, push ups, flys, you need that chest to push fuckers away. Pull ups, lat pull downs, and even curls cause you need to pull bitches in. Protien it up, cause you need to get Strang.
Key Skill Number 2: Lockdown grind. You get the opposing center or a guard lined up against you on the rail? Time to enforce your will on them. Push on them, grind on them, drive them into the rail. Make them weak, tire them out, and most importantly keep them fucking occupied while someone comes up to execute that victim.
Key Skill Number 3:Double Head Lock. Real simple. Grab two guys. Hold them. Let them stabilize you as they work against each other. Cause if you are surviving a 2 on 1 that means your team has a 4 on 3 and they are probably cleaning house.