How to Practice in an Hour (Thursday)

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 Thursday in-season practice and break down its components.

Sample Thursday Practice:

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We have addressed everything else in this practice plan except using a situational script.


We typically decide on Wednesday after practice if we need ball security circuits on Thursday, my vote is always yes and when I was a head coach, we did them every day.  We incorporate the lineman into the circuit on Thursdays to have fun and they love it!  We add a quick individual period on Thursdays for coaches to be able to cover any technique reminders they need, then we are off to the situational scripts.

Our Thursday situational script is designed to move the ball on the hashes, and simulate game scenarios.  We work field zones, 3rd Down, 2 min, and overtime.  The offensive coaches are on the sidelines, signaling plays and working personnel substitutions, throughout the whole script.  We even use headsets at times just to make sure our game day eyes are correct.  Each scenario always has a Win/Loss factor and we use that to keep the players focused on Thursdays.  We script in special teams situations within a scenario and we work on special teams substitutions when a particular player may be out.  Our defensive coaches do the same thing and we go for about 30-45 min for each side of ball.  We still have a defined 30 min special teams segment that is used for personnel call outs and rules reminders.  We do most of the special teams scheme work in the situational scripts.


Below is an example Thursday practice plan: