The Essential Parts to a Football Practice

football players in game tackling

Every program is limited with the amount of time they get in preparation for a game. Some states have practice limitations where all teams are limited to a total amount of hours they may be on the field, in meetings. It is essential that practice time is used effectively and that we do not waste time. In our program we must have everyone on the same page and committed to getting as much out of practice as possible. It is the only chance we have to improve as a team. The following guidelines are designed to help us practice effectively.


Every player must be given the opportunity to learn when we are on the field. Any player recovering from an injury should follow his group and coach around the practice field. Football is a mental game as much as a physical game. Players should never debate with each other or their coaches on the field. Discussions are to take place in meetings or in private. We do not use practice when in season for coaches to lecture their groups or stand around and waste time talking. Those should be done in meetings. Players must learn by doing & watching other players perform the necessary skill.

We film various periods of practice for coaches to review in addition to go over with players in meetings. One new piece of equipment we have is a pixelate camera that live streams our games. This camera is also used to film the entire practice. It gives me a great opportunity to review how efficiently coaches are using their time while we are on the field. It provides me an opportunity to see everything and help the coaches improve their coaching skill as well. 

The following are various periods we will incorporate at practice. It’s important to ensure everyone is on the same page as to what the tempo of the period will be in addition if it will be tag, thud or live. 

Early Outs/Run-Throughs/Defensive Fit up

This is the segment of practice in which all activities are done at a low intensity. We use this time to work on skills that need to be improved, make system corrections or insert new plays.

Individual Drills (Indo)/Every Day Drills (EDD’s)

The emphasis during this time is on the quality of movement, not the intensity. This segment of practice is when you perfect individual techniques and skills. As players learn to execute each skill perfectly the intensity will be increased.

One on One

One on one drills are utilized to perfect a player’s skills in a competitive situation. The coaching staff also uses this time to evaluate a player’s ability/improvement in competitive situations.


These sessions are utilized when teaching and reviewing assignments. The intensity progresses from a half speed to full speed. Emphasis is on proper alignment, stance and movement to contact point.

7 o 7/ Inside Run/Perimeter Run & Pass/Group Drills

These segments are used to practice the pass or run at game speed. The intensity is 100% with the restriction that no blocking below the waist is allowed. This is done as a Tag or Thud Period and whistles will be quick. At times will want to keep contact up (stay off the ground).

Team Drills

The team segment is used to simulate actual game situations. The emphasis is on proper execution of assignments and timing. Intensity is 100%. Whistles will be quick. We will run this period as a Thud period with occasional Live situations. 


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