How to Practice in an Hour (Tuesday)

When trying to figure out a starting point for installing and becoming proficient at running option football, practice time and organization are a huge part of success. Whether your practices are split O/D or if you focus on one side of ball each day, there are some consistencies that need to be incorporated into your practice schedule. At my current school, our practices are split. We take 30 min for special teams each day and then our offense gets an hour and our defense gets an hour. Sometimes these things change and we extend a little or cut back a little but we try and keep things as consistent as we can. Let’s look to a sample Tuesday in-season practice and break down its components.

Sample Tuesday Practice:

Tuesday Practice.PNG



We will be addressing individual skills by position in other blog posts, so I am going to get right to Toss/Boot drill.


Toss/Boot drill is an up tempo, 10 min drill period where your goal is to rep 58/59 and 358/359 Boot with precision, play timing and tags vs all possible perimeter looks.  We set this drill up on the 20 yard line going in and have the whole group running each play working through the goal line for conditioning. After the first group goes, the second group goes and then we start on the goal line and come back making sure the players execute their blocks and run through the goal line or the 20 depending which way we are going.  The defense doesn't have to run, they just get lined up for the next group to go after each rep.  You want to create hand signals for two of your coaches so this drill can run smoothly. For example, front scenarios might include lightning stunts, or A/B pops by linebackers. You would develop a hand signal for each scenario holding up the #1 might signal squeeze/scrape from an even front and holding up a #2 might signal B pop from an odd front. The other coach will want to set hand signals for the secondary support, cover 2 might be a “fist in the air” signal or holding up 4 finger might be a cover 4 support with rotating safeties. The point is to efficiently have a drill period that can work these specific plays and drill down to the basics of the scheme.  Again, it's critical that you film this drill period if you can so you can review it with the players. 


Pod Drills are one of the most important group drills you can do to get effective reps vs. many different scenarios.  These previous blog posts: , , , , , ,  cover these drills in a very detailed approach and I won’t spend much more time on it here. I will say that you should click on the blog index and go through each blog post on Pod Drills and make sure to look at the film clips of each.  Remember, these presentations were created with the old HUDL presentation manager which is not longer supported by Chrome, Firefox and Edge. If you pull up the old internet explorer, these presentation clips will work perfectly.  


3 on 3 Drill is a group drill centered around the QB/B/G/C/G. This is a great drill for repping the interior box looks for your C/G/C and provides great mesh work for the QB and B back.  You will want to have a script ready to give the proper looks, for instance, when working 12/13 (Inside Veer) you would work 3/5 both ways, 2i/5 both ways, 4/0/4 both ways. Then move onto 10/11 (Mid-Double) or 20/21 (Trap). One emphasis I have always worked on with the offensive line is having the center give the proper calls for the box count and backers. For example, against a 8 man front the center will make a 4-2 call to alert what the box count is or against an odd front he may make a 3-3 call. We also emphasize the guards making their proper DL technique alignment calls. For example the play side guard might call out 3 and the backside guard might call out 2i. This alerts the whole offensive line group and the B back what techniques the guards have.  For the B backs, we work hard in this drill to rep their action keys. The B back action key is the first down lineman inside #1. In an even front that would be the defensive lineman touching the play side guard, in an odd front the action key would be the nose.  Our OL coach gives the defensive lineman signals to have them work out to B gap or spike into A gap.   I always provide the read for #1 for the the QB and sometimes we place a B back positioned in a good pitch position play side if we want the QB to pitch but we really don’t emphasize that part as much in this drill.  If you really look hard at this drill and breakdown all the components, you can work work mesh with proper footwork ,first level single blocks, scoops, second level blocks, action keys, and QB reads all in one organized drill.  Here are some clips of the drill you can refer to:


The last session on Tuesday is Team Mix and Pass.  This is an opportunity to work your play action passing game within a team setting.  I want to make a few suggestions that you can tweak the practice schedules and maybe help those coaches who are looking to have more passing work and a ball security circuit.  Believe it or not a lot of times we may not even get to practicing as a team at all on Monday or Tuesday.  We may take the time to insert a 7 on 7/perimeter drill before ½ line on a Tuesday practice.  You don’t necessarily need team segments early on in practice when you use ½ line scenarios.  I am going to provide sample full practice plans in this blog post, because I want you to see how the big picture fits together.  We typically work ball security drills as a part of a 30 minute special teams segment every day and this allows you to move onto other offensive segments within your allotted times.  Below you will find practice plans vs. a given team that week. Day #1 would equate to a Monday practice and Day #2 would equate to Tuesday and so on….  When you click anywhere on the practice plan you will see a link in the top right corner which will take you to the source document which you can use as you see fit. It's just a guide to help you start your practice planning for your team's success.


Links to practice plans in Google Drive: