Running Back Drills [ARTICLE]

Running Back Drills
By: Tim Horton

Originally Published in: Complete Running Back

Provided by: Human Kinetics

FIT

PURPOSE: Teach how to react off the tight end's block.

PROCEDURE

1. You need a quarterback, tight end, running backs, linebacker, strong safety, and one football.

2. The quarterback, tight end, and running back line up resembling a standard pro set.

3. The linebacker lines up on the ball on the outside shade of the tight end.

4. The strong safety lines up 8 to 12 yards off the ball on the inside shoulder of the tight end.

5. Work the outside zone play and read the tight end's reach block on the linebacker.

6. Make a cut off of the tight end's block then attempt to beat the strong safety with a move.

COACHING POINTS

• The running back must run at full speed.

• The defender (strong safety) has to sprint to a spot and then regain control before making the tackle.

• There is a winner on each play. The running back crossing the 5-yard line determines who wins. Keep score.

1

HURDLES

PURPOSE: Enhance transition out of cuts and reinforce lowering pad level before making contact with a defensive player.

PROCEDURE

1. Set up three 4-foot-tall hurdles and four cones. You need footballs for the running backs.

2. Start 5 yards from the first cone.

3. Attack the outside of the cone at a 45-degree angle. Go under the hurdle.

4. The ball starts in your outside arm. Do not switch through the drill.

5. Plant with the outside leg to move to the next cone.

6. Stay low through each hurdle.

COACHING POINTS

• Keep eyes up.

• This is a good drill for learning to stay low through cuts and prepare for contact.

• Finish by sprinting 5 yards past the last cone.

2

OPEN-FIELD TACKLE

PURPOSE: Simulate a one-on-one situation between a runner and tackler in the open field with a competitive drill.

PROCEDURE

1. You need a group of offensive players (running backs) and defensive players (linebackers), one football, and cones to designate boundaries.

2. Holding the football, start 10 yards away from a defender.

3. Attack the defender straight on.

4. You can make a move either way, but cannot run over the defender.

COACHING POINTS

• The running back must run at full speed.

• The linebacker has to sprint to a spot then regain control before making the tackle.

• There is a winner on each play. The running back crossing the 5-yard line determines who wins. Keep score.

3

SIDELINE EXPLOSION

PURPOSE: Reinforce proper technique for taking on a defender while running, including proper pad level.

PROCEDURE

1. You need a ball for each player, three 3-foot half-moon dummies, and three dummy swingers.

2. Position three defenders holding half-moon dummies 6 yards apart, 3 yards from the sideline.

3. The first dummy holder is on the line of scrimmage.

4. Take a pitch or handoff, sprint to the sideline, and cut upfield.

5. Run by three defenders who try to knock you out of bounds.

6. Execute the drill to the left and to the right.

COACHING POINTS

• Secure the ball in the outside arm.

• Lower your shoulder and explode into each defender with your forearm against a high tackler.

• Against a knife tackler (someone trying to tackle you low), use a stiff arm with the palm of your hand open.

• When making contact with the dummy holder, think "same arm, same leg!

• Don't run out of bounds unless you want to stop the clock.

• Finish the drill with a 10-yard sprint past the last man.

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28 Jun 2017


By Human Kinetics
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