How to Improve Your Running Back’s Game

Today, I’m going to go over several youth football drills ideal for the running back.

piggyback youth football drill

Piggyback Drill

Piggyback Drill

In this youth football drill, and every drill we do, we want to have a football because we want the idea of taking care of the football.

The defender is going to come up. When you run the football, you’ve got to have body lean, and you’ve got to pick your feet up. We don’t want to ever feel like that anybody’s going to knock us backwards. When we run the football, we’re going forward.

We’re going to take one man behind him, and he’s just going to take his arms around him, and he’s going to lock his wrist in his other hand and grab hold of his waist.

When they start, he’s not going to run with his feet–he’s going to pick his feet up. As he picks his feet up to drag, this guy’s going to sprint with him. Some people call this sailor crawl; we call it piggyback.

We do this and we try to score. We tell them if they don’t score, they come back and go again. If you have a really good player, get two guys on him.

score youth football drill

Score Drill

Score Drill

During this youth football drill, we’ve got a football in our arm and we want to secure that ball. Next thing, like we talked about piggyback, we want to have good body lean because we’re going forward every time.

When you get close to goal line or short yardage and you’ve got to get that extra yard, we want to beat the last man to the outside to the goal line. We don’t want to put a move on, come to the inside. Why? Because they’ve got their whole defense inside.

They’re pursuing you inside out. You make a move and get in here and get high, you’re not going to score.

Walter Payton always said the best way to break tackles is you be the tackler.

You tackle the tackler. In other words, if he’s coming to get me, I’m going to come out of my hips and take him on, and I’m going to keep my feet moving. That way, we’re going to break tackles.

During this drill, have four guys try to hit and knock our runner to the outside. The runner’s going to attack each one of them, and he’s going to score. If he doesn’t score, he comes and goes back again.

We want to stay close to him. Why? Because if we try to run outside of him, we cut our space down to the sidelines. And that boundary serves as the defender too, because we touch the sidelines and you’re out of bounds. So we want to stay close to them, we want to stay in the field, and we want to score.

As we’re doing this, normally the first guy moves up and we just keep on going. We give everybody several shots at it.

When we’re doing this, we’ll be on the goal line. We have the goal line for a score, then we just turn around, we make the 10-yard line a goal line, we do it the opposite way. That way every runner will have a chance taking on with his inside–one time’s his left and the next time he’s right.

single barrel youth football drill

Single-Barrel Drill

Single-Barrel Drill

In this youth football drill, the barrel serves as an offensive lineman or an offensive blocker.

And we’re running right behind the blocker, who is blocking a defender. The defender’s going to step one way or another. Whichever way he steps, if the ball carrier’s coming to attack and he steps, boom. I’m going to plant there.

Now the runner should get his foot out wide. As soon as he gets it out wide, he plants. Remind your players to always come off your outside foot. Then come right back inside and run right straight toward the next barrel. When he gets to the next barrel, if he went left that time, he goes right this time.

We zigzag in and out of the barrels, changing directions. We don’t want to round off our steps. We want to make sure we plant with a good wide step, good wide base, and then come back the other way, get upfield, and make one quick move and go.

If you think your running backs will be able to use these youth football drills in order to improve, then head over to my YouTube page right away for even more coaching tips and football drills-you won’t regret it!

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Category: Football Drills, Running Back Drills

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