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System of Implementation Overview


The HOLD-Grip on Ball

    1. Split finger- Tip of the ball between the Index and the middle fingers
    2. Teach Panel to forearm and Panel to chest- Feel the difference between a secure hold and weakened hold by creating a teaching position with an X between the fingers.
    3. Widen the hand- Create a habit of spreading the fingers to cover the ball as much as possible.  Use what you have been given to increase surface area contact (SAC). 
    4. Use your Third Arm- Your body needs to always be in contact with the ball from handoff to the carry.  Constant contact takes a whole new meaning. 5
    5. Close the Gaps- Activate your forearm by closing the gap in between your wrist and ball as well as locking your elbow down to close the back window of opportunity (for the D).


The LOCATION-Position of ball

    1. Pocket- Create two parallel clamps with the near arm to the other player on top of the lower arm, which is the arm away from the other player.  Fully rotate the wrist of each arm in an effort to ensure that pocket is wide and arms are parallel.
    2. Three Arms when positioning- The body of the ball carrier is there as the initial aiming point for the player giving the handoff.   There should never be less than two hands on the ball.  The “two-hand” minimum is essential for all players at all times.  The player handing off should always SET the ball in the pocket with two hands before releasing to the three hands of the receiving player.   
    3. Outside Arm-Upon taking Be good in recognizing the numbers on the field and keeping the ball between the sideline and your body to decrease the number of players with direct access to the location of the ball.
    4. Switch- Upon securing the ball with the proper hold in the outside arm (away from the majority of Defense) if a player must move the ball from one arm to another arm we recommend an underarm exchange for a variety of reasons.  The first being that it allows the most protection for the ball because the second-hand goes to the point of the football while the tip is protected by the current arm.  Second, once the second arm is removed that second arm immediately goes to a defensive attacking mode in a higher more defensive position while the ball is already secured by the new arm.

The AWARENESS- The Mindset of the Ball Carrier

    1. “Ball Security is Job Security”-Arguably one of the most used cliches but the least discussed points of carrying the ball.  Everyone will say that “Ball Security is Job Security” but how many actually create a standard of self-assessment and a gradable component/level of expectation to ensure that you are always relied upon?
    2. “Who is in your Blindspot?”-An experienced ball carrier realizes they have an area that is outside of their ability to see based upon the normal limitations of a human.  A great player can always seem to adjust to their blind spot and allow the least amount of risk in those blind spots.
    3. “Pads low, ball high”-As a ball carrier, how many times do you take personal responsibility for the way you run and the location of the ball at all times.  The great ball carriers possess the ability to feel contact and know when someone is in their blind spot.  To out achieve your potential you must become a student of your body position as well as the position of the ball.
    4. “Five points of pressure”.-As a player, we only know what we are taught; and as a coach, we only know what we know based upon our experience and instruction.  The level of learned knowledge in the sport of football, particularly the ball carry, has taught many lessons to the kids.  We have often taught “5 points of pressure”, but advancing technology now teaches us that with “points” of pressure we have space.  When you have space, there are gaps and gaps are opportunities for the defense. 
    5. “Surface Area Contact” -Technology advancements and improvements in applying science confirms that physics has an incredible value position in ball security.  Exposed ball means a potential fumble.  Who owns the football has to do with how much of the ball you have contact with during the possession.  We have started to look for Surface Area Contact, SAC to see if we can improve.
    6. “Equal Distribution of Pressure” -As we continue to apply the forces of physics to the desired outcome of maintaining the ball at all times and in all situations we are taught that the force placed upon the ball by the carrier or the defense dictates possession.  Improving this force can happen by discussing and evaluating the technique in which force is applied by the ball carrier.  If we place Equally Distributed Pressure on the panels of the ball our possession of the ball increases as an outside force is applied by the defense.  If we do not distribute pressure on the ball greater than the defense we run the risk of fumbling.
    7. “How do you know?” -We believe things until we prove them wrong.  We believe that a player carries the ball correctly and securely until we are proven otherwise.  We strive for measurables to help us predict levels of performance such as speed, strength, and even hand size.  Ultimately the greatest indicators of success are past performance but that doesn’t always take the variables into the effect of the situation.  Technology advancements have confirmed that we need to constantly look for tangible methods to PROVE what we think to be true!  Consequently, once we do this we will truly KNOW what we KNOW!

     The HABITS- Creating the habits that Win

    Footwork Drills (Only ball needed)

        1. HIGH KNEES (Forward= F, Lateral= L, and Backward=B)- Start with ball in the RIGHT arm and work to get knees about parallel to the ground; keep toes up as high as possible when the knee is high as well.  Pump the legs up and down as quickly as possible while the ball positioned HIGHandTIGHT (use fundamentals of ball security) and beeping to create awareness for the ball position.  Switch to LEFT arm coming back after 10-20 yds.
        2. BUTT KICKERS (F, L, B)- Start with ball in the RIGHT arm and work to get heels of your feet in contact with your gluteus maximus, butt; while lifting toes up to the knees as high as possible to activate the hamstrings (back of the leg) even more.  Pump the legs up and down as quickly as possible while the ball positioned HIGHandTIGHT (use fundamentals of ball security) and beeping to create awareness for the ball position.  Switch to LEFT arm coming back after 10-20 yds.
        3. A-SKIP or A-DRILL (F, L, B)- Start with ball in the RIGHT arm and work to get the alternate leg up above parallel to the ground; keep toes up as high as possible when the knee is high as well.  Pump the legs up and down as smooth and rhythmic as possible while the ball positioned HIGHandTIGHT (use fundamentals of ball security) and beeping to create awareness for the ball position.  Switch to LEFT arm coming back after 10-20 yds.
        4. KARAOKE DRILL (L) - Start with the ball in the RIGHT arm and starting sideways and working laterally.  Begin with one leg coming in front of the other leg as the trail leg goes behind the body.  Rotation out of the hips is extremely helpful while the ball is tight to the body with a beeping sound.  Go as slow as you need to, but as fast as your hips will turn.  This activates core strength and develops hip strength for the change of direction.  Where the hips go, the body follows.  Keep facing the same direction and go back from where you started.  Then change arms with the ball and repeat the down and back 10-20 yds.
        5. ANKLE SPEED SHUFFLE DRILL (L)- Start with the ball in the RIGHT arm and starting sideways and working laterally.  Begin with feet slightly wider than shoulder width and do NOT get closer than shoulder width as you move laterally.  Make your ankles do the work and as many quick, lateral movements as possible while the ball is tight to the body with a beeping sound.  Go as slow as you need to, but as fast as your ankles will allow with FEET WIDER than SHOULDERS.  This activates ankles for lateral quickness and develops lower body strength for the change of direction.  In order to break ankles, you must strengthen yours. Keep facing the same direction and go back from where you started.  Then change arms with the ball and repeat the down and back 10-20 yds. 

    Cone Drills (Only a ball and 8 cones needed)

        1. FOUR CONE SIMPLE BOX DRILL- Working on 90-degree cuts. Cones set up in a square about 5 yards apart. Go around cones, plant outside foot and quickly change direction. Should be able to break themselves in the first step and change directions in the second step. Should be a 1-2 at cones, not multiple steps.
        2. FOUR CORNER SPEED- The same cone set up for SIMPLE BOX DRILL. Instead of players making sharp cuts around cones they will run as fast they can around the square in a circle two times around. Acceleration and speed are key.
        3. STAR DRILL- 5 Cones. Set up like the SIMPLE BOX DRILL but with another cone directly in the middle. Start bottom left, move to center, top left, center, top right, center, bottom right, center, bottom left to finish. Short choppy steps the entire time. Plant right foot at center, plant the left foot on corners. When starting bottom right switch feet (left foot center, right foot corners).
        4. TRIANGLE- 3 cones one directly vertical and one directly horizontal, 5 yards apart. Run to the first cone and with short choppy steps “Figure 8” around the cone, accelerate to the beginning, short choppy steps around to the last cone where you will “Figure 8” around that and accelerate through the beginning.
        5. CONE WEAVING DRILL 6 TO 8 CONES- Working on 45-degree cuts. Works on keeping speed while moving through traffic. Set cones staggered from each other. Run to cone 1, plant your foot, make 45-degree cut, run to cone 2 and repeat the process for the remainder of cones. Because the cuts are not so radical, you want to make sure you stay smooth. Do not change hands when making cuts keep the ball in the same arm the entire time.
        6. CIRCLE AND ACCELERATE- Developing acceleration potential. Cones are placed in a straight line. Player will run to the cone, control their footwork, and circle the cone with quick choppy steps. When they get back to the original side, plant their foot and explode to the next cone to repeat the process.
        7. TWO FEET IN, TWO FEET OUT- Lateral, Forward, and Backward Movement Skill. Can be done with a ladder as well. Players move left to right while moving quickly to step in between the cones with two feet in and then two feet out and repeat in the next cone space.
        8. RAPID FIRE- Set cones about 1 yard apart in a vertical line. Players run putting one foot between each cone as fast as they can while maintaining proper ball security.
        9. SNAKE DRILL- Put one foot on either side of the cone going around the cones (not over the top). Each foot on each side of the cone. Don’t let legs get too wide around cones, try to stay tight. Eyes up. Not hopping one foot at a time.
        10. JUMP CUT- Keep cones in same 1 yard spaced vertical line. Remove 1-2 cones to create holes for your players to jump cut through. Make your cut however you need to, try to stay as North/South as you can.
        11. 90 DEGREE CUTS- Cones are in four sets of 2. The two are placed horizontally from each other about a yard apart. The next set is then placed in a staggered vertical line where the second level left cone is directly in front of the first level right cone about 5 yards apart and so on for the other two sets. The running back will run directly at the left cone make a 90 degree cut and explode vertically to the next set of cones. When cutting right ball is in left arm, when cutting left ball is in the right arm.
        12. POP UPS- Cones are placed in a vertical line with about a 3-4 yard spacing between each one. Not necessarily a quick drill, players need to keep the ball HIGHandTIGHT in their outside arm, take 2-3 choppy steps. When they reach the cone, with their free hand reach down and touch the cone. Pop up, eyes up and continue to the next cone. This is to brace the ball when you’re running and about to go down to the ground. Not a race, trying to simulate going to the ground and keeping the ball secure. After a few rounds, you can separate the cones further apart, so you can propel yourself forward. When you pop up you can now accelerate to the next cone.
        13. SQUIRM- Same set up as POP UPS and concept. This time when the player places their hand on the ground they will complete a 360-degree turn with their entire body around the cone, then pop up and accelerate to the next cone repeating. Ball in the right arm, left hand down, counter-clockwise turn around the cone. Ball in left arm, right hand down, clockwise turn around the cone.
        14. PRESS THE LINE/SIDE SHUFFLE- Cones are placed tight directly next to each other horizontally. Your player starts about 5-7 yards back from cones, runs directly to the horizontal cones and get as close as they can without stepping on the cones. They will then make a jump cut in the direction you say to the edge of the outside cone and then getting vertical and accelerating.
        15. LINEAR W SPRINT DRILL- 6 cones are configured in a W like shape 5 yards apart. Start at the first cone and backpedal to the second cone. The player will then plant and break in a forward acceleration to the third cone. Repeat until complete.
        16. LATERAL W SLIDES- Arrange cones into the same as the LINEAR W SPRINT DRILL. Start at the first cone and shuffle/slide around the next cone always face toward the final cone.

    Bag Drills (Ball and 8 Bags needed)

        1. SPEED 1 FOOT IN- Bags are placed horizontally in a vertical line 2-3 yards separated apart. Players will accelerate and run putting only 1 foot between the bags. Coaches to add difficulty, work on ball security by hitting at the ball as they go by with your hand or a pad.
        2. SPEED 2 FEET IN- The same alignment as 1 FOOT IN. Players will place both feet between the bags before going to the next bag. Coaches to add difficulty, work on ball security by hitting at the ball as they go by with your hand or a pad.
        3. HIGH KNEES 1 FOOT IN- The same alignment as 1 FOOT IN, players will do HIGH KNEES over the bags with only one foot between each bag.
        4. HIGH KNEES 2 FEET IN-Same alignment as 1 FOOT IN players will do HIGH KNEES over the bags with both feet between each bag.
        5. SHUFFLE- Same alignment as 1 FOOT IN. Players will move forward through bags by shuffling through and around them.
        6. SKATE AND OPEN UP- Same alignment as 1 FOOT IN. Players will side shuffle over the top of the first two bags, turn, and accelerate through the remainder of bags.
        7. CHANGE OF DIRECTION-  Same alignment as 1 FOOT IN. Players will run one foot between each bag, when they go over the last bag they will stop change direction and go back to the start. This drill can be done with 1 foot in, both feet in, and side shuffle.
        8. 2 FEET HOP- Same alignment as 1 FOOT IN. Players will jump over the bags with both feet and land on both feet through all the bags. Players should have a forward lean when jumping and need to learn to control their body to not lose balance.
        9. LATERAL SIDE STEP STAGGERED- Bags are aligned like the 1 FOOT IN drill except instead of them being directly in a line, the second bag is pulled half the distance of the length of the first bag, the third bag is pulled half the distance of the length of the second bag, and so on. Players will forward shuffle across all the bags with two feet between each bag.
        10. L-SHAPE/STAGGERED 2 FEET HOP- Align your bags in a staggered L-Shape where the first bag is vertical, the second bag is horizontal on top of the first, the third is vertical on the side of the second, and so on. Players will jump with two feet sideways over the vertical bag, land jump forward with two feet over the horizontal bag, and so on. To increase difficulty use larger/taller bags throughout the drill. Start small and work up to the bigger bags or switch it and start larger and end with the smaller bags.
        11. L-SHAPE/STAGGERED JUMP CUT- Same alignment as L-SHAPE. Players will not cross over on any of the pads in this drill. On the vertical pads, players will accelerate forward until they reach the horizontal pad. Here they will jump cut to the end of the pad, accelerate forward on the vertical pad, and so on.
        12. TRAFFIC BURST- 3 bags needed for drill, 2 bags will be stacked on top of each other vertically, the other bag is placed horizontally 3 yards ahead. Players will side jump over the double bag, jump over to where they started and explode over the last bag. Coaches if you have pads, have 2 coaches/players stand at the end of the horizontal bag on each side and give the player running the ball a bump to make sure they have the proper grip on the ball.
        13. STAR DRILL- 5 bags needed for this drill. Place 2 of them horizontal next to each other with about a 6-inch gap between them. Take 2 more bags and place them at 45-degree angles vertically touching the horizontal bags. There should be a gap in the middle where all 4 bags touch. Take the last bag and place it horizontally 3 yards parallel from the other horizontal bag. The player will place non-ball carrying hand in the gap. Just like in the cone drill SQUIRM, the player will keep a hand on the ground in the gap between bags. Feet start on outside of the bag, step over each bag completing a 180-degree turn, regain balance and run over the last bag. Coaches, when the player completes the turn and stands up, try to knock the ball out of his arms after they go over the last bag. Ball in the right arm, left hand down, counter-clockwise turn. Ball in left arm, right hand down, clockwise turn.
        14. T-SHAPE JUMP CUT- 3 bags are needed for this drill. 2 bags will be placed horizontally touching each other and the third bag vertical in the middle creating a T look. Players will start about 5-7 yards back on the vertical bag side. They will then accelerate until they get to the side of the vertical bag, jump cut over, then run over the top of the horizontal bag. This is a quick moving drill, players should be moving fast to make cuts and get over bags.
        15. FOUR CORNERS- You’ll need 12 to 16 bags for this drill. Create a square with 3 to 4 bags on each side. Don’t be afraid to change the distance on the square making it bigger or smaller. Suggestive size to start is 7 to 8 yards each side. Players will run vertically 1 foot between the bags until they reach the edge of the next side of the square. Players will then side shuffle over with two feet in repeat the remaining two sides. 1 foot between the bags sprint, 2 feet between the bags shuffle, 1 foot between the bags sprint, 2 feet between the bags shuffle. You can use cones in the corners to better help direct your players on when to turn.

     Advanced Drills (needs more items with ball)

        1. RUN TO DAYLIGHT- 2 Cones, 5 Bags. Set the cones up about a yard or two apart from each other, this is your line of scrimmage. You will need five people to hold each of the bags vertically in a line about a yard or less apart from each other. They should be parallel to the line of scrimmage between 3 to 5 yards away. The closer the more difficult it will be. The runner will be around 3 yards behind the line of scrimmage looking at the people holding the bags. The people holding the bags need to look at the coach behind the runner. The coach will be signaling to the players which way to lean the bags without the runner knowing. Example- If the coach signals 2 with his left hand and 3 with his right hand then the 2 on his left will lean the bag left and the 3 on his right 3 will lean right causing a gap between the second and third people. The signal is given before the runner goes but the people holding the bags don’t move until the runner hits the hole at the line of scrimmage.
        2. PUNCH OUT-Have your players pair up and stand in line behind each other. One will hold the ball in the proper position the other will follow. Take one hand and grab the back of the runners' jersey, the other hand is trying to punch the ball out. The runner will run at a light jog for 10 yards, stop switch arms, and repeat. Tell your players not to be shy about trying to knock the ball loose.
        3. PUNCH AND RIP- Same concept as PUNCH OUT. After the runner has jogged for 5 to 6 yards, the defender is going reach over top the ball and try to rip the ball from the runner. In the same direction the defender is ripping, the runner will spin away and sprint.
        4. MONKEY ROLLS- 3 players at a time. The middle player rolls to his left. That player jumps over, hits the ground and rolls over to the third player who jumps over him, and so on. You make this a competition with your players, what group can go the longest. Regular drill, go 10-30 secs.
        5. GAUNTLET- Have your players who don’t run the ball form two lines facing each other, the more players the better. These players are trying to cause a fumble by hitting the ball out of the runners' arms. Have your runners sprint through the gauntlet of players without fumbling the ball. Have some players use their hands and give some others pads to use. Mix it up.
        6. SIDE ROLL- Have your players stand in 2 or 3 lines. The first ones in line run out 2 yards or so stop and run in place with short choppy steps. The coach will point in a direction and the player will drop to the ground and roll that direction, jump up, and continue running in place. Continue 3-5 times.
        7. SIDE ROLL PADS- Place 4 -6 bags touching each other horizontally. Have one player go at a time, and roll two times across the bags. Have your players take their time in rolling, use proper form holding the ball.
        8. BEAR CRAWL- While holding the football HIGHandTIGHT, have your players BEAR CRAWL. You can have them go 5 or 10 yards. Make it into a competition.
        9. BEAR CRAWL UNBALANCED- While having your players do the BEAR CRAWL, take a bag and throw it at their legs or down hand trying to make them lose balance. This helps to work on your players balancing when they are fighting to go down.
        10. PLAYER DRAG GROUND- Have one player holding the football lay on their back properly holding the ball. Have a second player grab the ball and pick the players back off the ground, and have them walk/drag for 5 yards.
        11. PLAYER VERTICAL TUG OF WAR-Have the players holding the ball partner up with another player. The player not holding the ball is trying is having a tug of war with the player holding the ball. Set up cones to designate how far they need to travel to finish.
        12. SUPERMAN AND ROLL- Have your players run out a couple yards and dive when on the ground, and yell out a direction to roll. Players get up and repeat two more times.
        13. DOUBLE FOOTBALL ONE LEG JUMP- You will need a bag, and two footballs per player. Have your players hold a football in each arm. Then stand next to a bag that is laid out vertically. Next, the player will stand on one leg balance, jump over and back then sprint a short distance.
        14. DOWN AND BACK- You will need three cones and two coaches/players. The first cone is the starting cone. Then the other two cones are placed 5 yards on each side of the starting cone. Then move those 2 cones forward about a yard or two from the starting. Put a coach or player on the outside of each cone. Have your players start at the starting cone looking at the first cone, then run to the cone making a 180 degree turn to the next cone, repeat 3 times. The coach/player at the cone is there so when the runner makes the turn at the cone they are trying to knock the ball out. Look for any gaps the runner may have and punch the ball out.
        15. CONCENTRATION CATCH- Throw a quick 5 yard out to your player. After they catch it take a blocking pad or another item and hit the players arm where they are carrying the ball. You’re not looking to knock the player down, just making sure they have control of the ball.
        16. NUMBER COUNT- While you have your players do any of the basic drills, you can work on keeping your players head up and eyes downfield. Hold one hand up and flash numbers the duration of the drill to your players and have them repeat the numbers out loud.
        17. BLASTER- Have 2 players holding pads or bags stand directly next to each other angled in with no gap. Have your runner start 5 yards back, jog for 2 or 3 and exploded the rest through the bags. Add a second or even a third level of players for more difficulty.
        18. BLASTER AND SPIN- Same setup as BLASTER, instead of the runner busting through the pads/bags, he will hit and spin off the defenders.
        19. DODGEBALL- You will need 6-8 cones, and dodgeball/exercise ball. Set the cones up to make a 3-4 yard lane. Have your player on one end in a lunge position knee on the ground and a coach with a dodgeball/exercise ball. When you say go the player will jump up and react to the ball being thrown at them, they are trying to avoid the ball. Coaches can either roll, bounce, or throw the ball at the runners' legs to try to make contact. This a reaction drill so as you say go the ball needs to be thrown. Players can also start in the lane sideways doing high knees, then the coach yells go, they turn and react to the ball and burst through the lane.
        20. DODGEBALL CUT- Set the cones in a way for your player to make a jump cut into the lane. Players will start on the side of the lane, jump cut in, then the ball is thrown and reacted to.

    DEMOLITION FOUR CORNER- Use cones to create a 5-yard square. Start on the left side and run to the back cone, go around the right side, turn counterclockwise around the cone. Run the next cone directly in front of the runner until all cones are complete. After the first runner finishes the first turn send the next runner. When the first runner reaches the fourth cone, all cones should have a runner at it. This drill works on timing and avoidance.

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