How to Practice in an Hour (Wednesday)
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 Wednesday in-season practice and break down its components.
Sample Wednesday Practice:
We have addressed everything else in this practice plan except 3rd Down situations and Inside drill with pulling plays.
3rd Down situations is one of our competitive drills we use each week. We try and match our best personnel against each other in this drill. If we have the ability to use starting defensive players vs. starting offensive players, we will do that. We script 3rd down scenarios where there is a reward for a defensive stop or offensive first down. For example, we may script 3rd & 10, 3rd & 9…. etc. down to 3rd & 5 and each single scenario may give the offense two shots to get a first down using 3rd and 4th downs. We then script 3rd & 6 down to 3rd & 1 and we give the offense 1 shot to get the first down. The defense is in various fronts and coverage we think we may see and we turn them loose with our defensive coaches. We reward in various ways, losing team has 10 up downs, or winning team gets to lift first after practice , or winning team gets to eat first at Thursday night team meal. It becomes pretty competitive and we get good reps vs. good looks.
Inside Drill is setup like a typical inside drill with everyone participating except the WR/DB. We run only pulling plays, which for us is 20/21 (trap) and 6/7 (down/belly). We work two formations, Spread (Gold for us) and Heavy (Black Over for us). We work the different fronts vs. trap in round #1, then we come back and work the different fronts vs. down/belly.
One alternation we make to this practice plan is holding off on the 3rd Down script until Thursday and we add back in a 1/2 drill. We work Zone Option out of double flex for 3 Rounds against 5-2, 4-3, and Bear.