Health & Medical sports & Exercise

Sharpening College Football Team

Conditioning: The Quick Jump

Football is all about action and reaction, and those that practice reacting quickly in a variety of directions will dominate the field. The point to this drill is having players practice quick directional changes on the field. It starts by placing players in a small four square box. Then the player will proceed to jump from on area or box to another, thus forcing the player to jump laterally, diagonally, frontwards, and backwards. Some of the variations can be on legged; either right or left, or changing the order those players will perform the drill.

Open field tactics: covering ground with angle tackles

Because not every tackle is direct and head on, it is necessary to set up an angle tackling situations during practice. Set up a simple drill with two players, on as the offense with the ball running in a straight line, the other as the defender running towards him at some angle. It is great to take this in slow steps to show the defender in a fluid motion how to the quickest angle to take towards the ball carrier, plant his cleats squarely in the middle of the ball carrier, and to always remember safety and effectiveness by placing the head in front of the offensive player. The defender follows through with the tackle by straightening his knees in a lunging type motion, wrapping his arms around the ball carrier to pull him down to the ground or push him off sides.

Ball handling Drill: Hot potato

Without a solid foundation of ball handling players will be easy prey to a solid defensive team. This drill is meant to help players control and develop their ball handling skills. In this drill players will be constantly moving or passing the ball from one hand to the other. The drill starts with the head moving the ball in a circular motion from hand to hand, then proceeds to go under the arms, around the waist, then the knees, and finally through and in between the players legs.

The best thing that a coach can do is call out body parts that the players will have to move the ball around, or even calling a reverse command were the players will need to change the direction of the football. The reverse option is an important command as it will keep the players on their toes and focuses on concentration and ball handling.

At the very end of the drill the players will do several simple drops. For example, the player drops the ball and retrieves it quickly. To further increase pickup skills have your players change up the hands that they are using so that both their strong and weak hands are developed.

Proper Catching Leads to Great Ball Security

When a receiver catches the ball they need to immediately put it into a secure ball carrying position. The points of a proper catch are: First, opening up your hands with an open triangle. Second, follow the ball through with your eyes. Third, secure the ball tight and high against your ribs, forearm, and biceps. Bad habits can form easily as many receivers look away mid catch to scan the field for defenders. Taking your eye off the ball increases incomplete passes, fumbles, and turnovers. To overcome this habit set up a simple drill where two players pass the ball to each other stopping at each critical step: the catch, the follow through, and the tuck.


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