Getting the Most Out of Your Drills, Killing Several Birds With One Stone The most successful youth football teams seem to do one thing very well, they get the most out of their practice time. You won’t see many wasted time, wasted movement or standing around. One way to do this is to combine several skill development movements to one drill. Don’t add the additional movement to the initial drill until the kids have mastered each movement independent of one another.
An example would be a backpedal read drill and a form tackle fit. All of us probably start off teaching our Defensive Backs to backpedal properly, nose over toes, not leaning back, with good arm movement. Then most of us add a run read to the movement, with the coach either blowing a whistle or better yet giving a visual cue of simulating a run or handoff. Some of us teach a t-step, others a gather step while others may just let their kids develop their own step. Most of us also teach a variety of tackling drills, one that we like is form fit tackles, where the player approaches the ballcarrier from the front or an angle and fits on the player, freezing upon impact and staying frozen until a coach can critique the tacklers foot placement, pad level, shoulder placement, hip level and head placement.
Once the Defensive Back has a reasonable competency level with the backpedal, read step and form fit tackles, why not put them together to better utilize the time? If you are already doing a backpedal read step drill, why not when that player accelerates toward the line of scrimmage on the run read, you have another player standing straight up at the line of scrimmage to act as the ‘ballcarrier” so the Defensive Back in the drill can then perform a form tackle fit on a simulated ballcarrier? Instead of having to do two separate drills, you now need just the one. If you like doing splatter tackling drills onto a matt of dummys like I show in my book, you could even add this to the end of this drill.
Look to see where you can add skill development movements to your existing drills or even combine drills. Being efficient with your time will play a big part in your teams success or failure this season.
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