Start with an Active Warm-Up
What we’re trying to work on here first is our ball security–keeping the ball tucked tightly to the body with our fingers over the edge of the ball. Instruct your players to do knee dips in order to get a great stretch in their quads. It’s not a race. We want them to go slow to get a really good stretch. Remind your players to keep a straight back and to keep their heads up.
High knees is the next step for warm-up. We’re trying to work at a forward body lean at the waist. We want our head and eyes forward, shoulder lean, and shoulders square. Your players should focus on getting their knees as high as possible while still maintaining good posture.
Popcorn Drill for Agility
The popcorn drill is a fun drill where the players are working on agility in catching the football. The coach is going to throw them as many balls as he can while they’re moving laterally. The players should do their best to catch every ball–ideally, at least five in a row. Remind your players to focus on the following:
- Working on lateral movement
- Not clicking their feet
- Keeping the head and eyes up
High Knee Drill
For this drill, you’ll want to set up high bags so that your players have to really focus on getting their knees up as high as possible. Have the coach stand over to the side and flash different numbers with his fingers, which the players will then have to call out–this is so that they must keep their head and eyes up.
Ladder Drills to Work on Quick Foot Fire
While you can use ropes for this drill, we prefer using ladders because they cause less injuries than old-style ropes. during this drill, we’re trying to work on crossing over on breaks and quick foot fire.
Lay a ladder down on the ground and instruct your players to step through the rungs as quickly as possible. We want to plant and drive toward the direction we’re going without clicking our heels. With this drill, we’re working on quick change of direction and always want to keep our head and eyes up.
A good way to progress this drill is to have a coach over on this side flashing numbers–just a quick two or three times to force the players to keep their eyes up. This is a stick-it drill. We’re trying to stick both feet in the pocket.
Do you think your running backs will get a lot out of these football drills? Which ones are you most looking forward to doing with your players?