While it’s not something you would think you need to drill very often, working on fumble recovery can have game changing results – for your defense and your offense.
Missing the opportunity to scooped up a fumble can be demoralizing for your defense, and getting that second chance as an offense will allow everyone – coaches and players, to let out a collective sigh of relief.
Running Fumble Scoop
While this technique is a little bit more risky, if one of your defenders can pick up the ball in stride on a quarterback fumble or blocked punt for instance, it gives your defense a pretty good chance at putting up some points without the offense’s help.
The keys to maintaining control through the scoop are getting a good deep bend to the knees, and to slow down, making sure that you have complete control of the ball before breaking into a sprint.
You shouldn’t be rushed during the pickup, because the only reason you would use the scoop over the dive is because you are by far the closest person on the field to the ball.
Fumble Recovery Dive
The dive is a technique you’re going to want to use if there are plenty of other players around, and little to no opportunity to advance the ball after. Here the greatest priority is ensuring possession.
Dive out with both hands reaching for the ball, and then immediately pull it into your stomach, locking your arms around the ball. Then roll onto your side into the fetal position, bring your knees up underneath the ball to keep it protected from all angles.
Once your players have the technique down, you can make this a competitive drill as well. Have two or three players line up alongside each other, and then throw a ball a couple yards in front of them, and watch as you find out who on your team has the best nose for the ball!
If you liked this post, make sure to check out this article on other great linebacker drills!