Any time that you can get competition going between players during practice, it creates fun. Sometimes the coaches gets out here and we’ll slap at the ball to see if we can knock that ball out of there. And don’t forget to Become a Fan on Facebook, where I will share more great running back drills, tips and practice plans! As hundreds of NFL prospects descend on Indianapolis to be measured, assessed and tested, we provide you with some useful information on what those strange drills actually test.
We'll churn these test previews out just before the position groups in question begin to do the drills in question.
Quarterback: The quarterback drills are primarily a way for each prospect to showcase his physical skillset.
In these passing drills, scouts focus on a quarterback's footwork, his ability to read a receiver as he's dropping back and how well he plants and drives through the throw.
Offensive line: Offensive linemen are required to engage in a series of drills intended to test their foot speed, hip rotation, balance, acceleration, and change of direction.
Running back: The principal running back drills ask the prospect to start in a two-point stance, take a handoff and navigate over bags or between cones, until he arrives at a coach moving a bag left or right.
Prospective wideouts are asked to engage in a series of drills designed to test their ability to run routes, make cuts, adjust to thrown balls, and demonstrate bodily control.
The gauntlet, shown above as the "multiple catch drill," is a great measure of focus and concentration. As you might expect, tight ends perform a combination of offensive line and wide receiver drills. This section will cover a variety of drills and coaching tips for running backs, including speed and agility work, ballhandling, receiving and blocking. Steve0 Comments Drill Type:  Agility Drill Set Up Create 2 lines of barrels with 3 barrels per line, approximately 5 yards apart. Steve0 Comments Agility is a skill every athlete needs, but in football, training for agility is position specific. Steve0 Comments Many youth football players are slow to the point of attack because they make a simple mistake–they false step.
Steve0 Comments Pass protection is one of the most important skills that you need to emphasize to your running backs, and one of the greatest drills that you can do to work on pass protection skills is “The Mirror Drill”. These running back drills focus mainly on the running back’s footwork and with that his ability to run not only straight aheady but also being able to change dircetion without losing momentum. Even though the running back mostly should be blocked for, once in a while he will be asked to block for another player running the ball. Even though it is more and more common to rather send out the running backs to  a pass route, rather than blocking for the quarterback, it is still just as often that the running back has to block a blitzing linebacker or sometimes even a defensive end.
It all starts with taking the handoff in such a way that the ball can be quickly and safely tucked away with as little distraction from running and looking at the defense.
These running back drills focus mostly on putting a running back into specific game situations and  teach him the right skills for these situations, be it reading the blocks of the offensive line or on protecting the ball and himself when running along the sideline.
Last not least the modern running back is just a much a receiver as he’s a ball carrier, so his receiving skills also have to be trained. Fitness Tests - Step Number 1 To Athletic Success Mar 25, 16 11:53 AMFitness tests form the foundation of any good sports training program.
This is one of the best soccer specific drills out there.  The reason it is one of the best is because you can work many of the attributes required for successful soccer speed. Sprint to the end of the stack (cone 7), run around the cone then sprint back to the cone 1. The B motion (figure 3.3) is dependent on the quadriceps to extend the leg and the hamstrings to drive the leg groundward, preparing for the impact phase.
When you watch tapes, and you see a good back, if a guy’s got to really round it off and move, he has a problem.
Put the left foot up and as you come through, and then the coach is going to pitch him a ball. Here, in the second installment of our Combine Primer series, we take a longer look at the position-specific drills for offensive personnel.
In addition to these general speed, power and agility tests, each prospect participates in a set of drills designed to assess the necessary skills for his specific position. NFL scouts want to compare prospects' footwork, delivery, the quickness of his release, and his arm strength. Coaches will have them perform a "hip rotation drop," in which they scoot backwards for 15 yards rotating their hips from side to side.
As the league becomes increasingly pass-happy, teams are placing an ever-higher premium on capable left tackles with pass blocking ability. The back must simulate a cut by quickly reacting in the opposite direction from that in which the coach moves the bag.


As fans of the Cowboys know all too well from watching Emmitt Smith throughout the 90s, the most important characteristic a good back can have is vision; sadly, there is no Combine exercise can measure this. Receivers need to look the ball into their hands and then instantaneously move on to a different target, for a total of seven catches.
First, they are asked to participate in basic blocking drills, in which their explosion off the ball, against tackling dummies, is tested. Place an additional barrel in the middle of both lines about 10 yards behind the last barrel. When working with your running back, you want to incorporate drills that focus mainly on running back footwork and the ability to run not only straight ahead, but also ability to change direction without losing momentum. But there are still some differences in what each sport requires exactly and in football this is even position specific.
This is very obivously true for running backs playing in a 2-back system, but might also be true for plays out of a 1-back formation.
A good running back pass block starts with the correct recognition of the defensive pass rush (scheme) and therefore the recognition of the defender the running back has to block.
The handoff drills should be practiced over and over again and also be incorporated into the other drills until it becomes second nature to the running back to take the handoff. Some of these require the running back to make good use of his agile running abilities which he aquired in the running back specific agility drills.
Nowadays a runningback is not thought of as a mere outlet receiver anymore, somebody you dump the ball to when nobody else gets open and the quarterback runs out of time. The emphasis must be on quality and form.Because these soccer agility drills are not physically demanding, you can perform them any time during the week and on any day.
Weave In - Weave OutPlace 4 markers out in a straight line approximately 3 yards apart.In between each set of markers place another marker only 3 yards to the left. The routine below is devised from the Manchester United’s version of this exercise protocol.
As you make the turn around cone 7 you will continue facing the finish and instead of running forwards to cone 1 you will run backwards.
Because running has a neuromuscular component, running form can be improved through form drills that coordinate the movements of the involved anatomy. In order, the quadriceps extend the leg from the position of the A motion to potential full extension, and then the hamstrings group acts to forcefully drive the lower leg and foot to the ground. Upon impact, the hamstrings continue to contract, not to limit the extension of the leg but to pull the foot upward, under the glutes, to begin another cycle.
And guys compete with each other, challenge each other, with the loser doing push-ups or sit-ups or whatever.
The coaches are going to be on the same side side, and we’re going to reach and see if we can grab that ball. We always want to have good body lean forward, we want to pick our feet up, and we want to change directions.
The results of these drills tend to be overlooked by the general public, since the general assessments like the 40 make for better television. To do so, they'll have each prospect work out of a progressive series of dropback depths (three-, five- and seven-step drops), throwing each of the routes on the basic "route tree": a slant, an out, an in, a deep corner and a go-route. If a candidate displays superior arm strength (often we hear that such a guy "has an NFL arm," which really means he can zip a deep out), look for him to be raised in scouts' estimation. The drill that measures their ability to protect high-profile quarterbacks by keeping up with the Von Millers of the world is the kick slide drill, which ascertains an offensive tackle's ability to slide outside without losing balance or strength. In an alternative exercise, the back takes a pitchout, simulates an end run and, once he gets to the "second level" weaves through a set of cones as if negotiating downfield traffic. Further, it shows how well a receiver can maintain his body and speed as he runs in as perfect a line as he can, while focused on the various throws (as opposed to maintaining a straight line).
Here, scouts look for hip flex and hip explosion, characteristics TEs will need when helping out in the running game against bigger defensive ends. Click on "workout drills" to hear him opine on the general tests; click on "position drills" to get his input on the position-specific drills.
A quick and swift runningback that looks as if he could turn on a dime isn’t just from god given talent, but from hard work.
The blocking skills of a running back have to be as versatile as all his other skills, as he might be asked to block an defensive end on a power play, a linebacker on an Iso-play or a defensive back in open field on  a sweep-play or a reverse or just simply on a quarterback scramble.
Additional work has to be done if you are running some kind of option where the quarterback might put the ball into the running back’s pocket but still has the option to pull it out. Having a good and firm grip of the ball when running and extra securing the ball when being tackled.
But being agily is the one thing, knowning instinctively when and how to apply these is the next step. But instead the running back is an integral part of the passing scheme, moving him around via motions or shifts even in wide receiver positions and from there he’s then also requiqued to run wide receiver routes.


The drills, developed by coach Gerard Mach in the 1950s, are simple to perform and cause little impact stress to the body. The arm carriage is simple and used to balance the action of the lower body as opposed to propelling it. During running the tibialis anterior dorsiflexes the ankle, which positions the foot for the appropriate heel landing; however, while performing the B motion, dorsiflexion should be minimized so that the foot lands closer to midstance.
The emphasis of this exercise (figure 3.4) is to pull the foot up, directly under the buttocks, shortening the arc and the length of time performing the phase so that another stride can be commenced.
Today we are going to talk about Running Back drills that really give your players a great conditioning workout, put you on the path to a winning season, and they create a fun environment at the same time!
Keeping the body over that middle line the whole time, you’re going to put the right foot in the left hole, and the left foot in the right hole. He comes down the line, and again the coach is going to pitch him the ball and then he comes right back with it. The ropes, the barrels, the piggyback, the score drill – all those things go into making a good running back.
A fan needn't be supremely knowledgeable to compare 40 times; making distinctions between linebacker candidates during a pass drop and hip rotation drill, however, requires a sharper or more experienced eye.
Scouts ask linemen to get into a two- or three- point stance, open up at a 45-degree angle and opposite a defender. Lastly, running backs are asked to run their particular "route tree": flat, circle, corner, flair and flat and up. As Mike Mayock pointed out recently, coaches hate this drill, as it runs counter to everything they preach about ball security, but scouts love it, as it provides them so much information about a prospect's hands. Then they, too, run the gauntlet, as well as the tight end tree: flat, hook, flat and hook, 14-yard in and out, and corner routes. Armed with these, you can, like the nerdiest of the draft nerds (guilty as charged), become an expert in the confines of your living room: superglue yourself to your TV, brew a vat of coffee, and absorb the NFLN's week-long, around-the-clock Combine coverage! Now run back to the center cone, side step to the left, side step back to the center, then turn and sprint back to the start.Phew!
Essentially, the drills, commonly referred to as the ABCs of running, isolate the phases of the gait cycle: knee lift, upper leg motion, and pushoff. The arm opposite to the raised leg is bent 90 degrees at the elbow, and it swings forward and back like a pendulum, the shoulder joint acting as a fulcrum. This allows for less impact solely on the heel, and because the biomechanics of the foot are not involved as in running, it does not promote any forefoot injuries. So, while the casual fan may pass on the individual drills, you can be sure that scouts don't; they watch these very carefully.
As with speed, the thinking goes, you can't coach arm strength, so it's a precious resource. The prospective OT slides along and follows the defender outside of a cone placed 12 yards behind the start of the play.
Because receivers don't have time for the ball to come into their bodies before the next ball is coming, it allows them to demonstrate how well they can make "hands" catches.
By isolating each phase and slowing the movement, the drills, when properly performed, aid the runner’s kinesthetic sense, promote neuromuscular response, and emphasize strength development. The arms are swinging quickly, mimicking the faster movement of the legs, and the hands come a little higher and closer to the body than in either the A or B motions.
And since you, loyal BTBer, are anything but a casual fan, you'll need to know that these drills are and what exactly they test. So rehearse getting it right!With that in mind I would perform soccer agility drills and skill work after the warm up before moving into more enervating, fitness drills. Box DrillUse 4 cones or markers to mark out a square approximately 5yards by 5yards.Place a cone in the center of the square.
A properly performed drill should lead to proper running form because the former becomes the latter, just at a faster velocity. Both hands should be held loosely at the wrist joints and should not be raised above shoulder level. A typical agility session could consist of 3-5 sets of 10 repetitions in total (a repetition being one drill).
The goal here is to develop speed of leg movement so no ball is used.Use the soccer agility drills above as they are or adapt them to fit your individual or team's needs. The emphasis is on driving down the swing leg, which initiates the knee lift of the other leg.
And then as you go, you’ll begin to gain speed and momentum, at the same time changing directions.



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