5 Line Drill – Steps on Air

I wanted to share this drill, or technique for doing drills that I use in the beginning of practice.  I am trying to  move away from so much schematic talk and really get down to the finer points and drills; I think that is what makes us all better coaches. You can put an infinite number of squiggly lines on a whiteboard but let’s be honest, the team that blocks and tackles best usually wins.
This is great especially in Spring Ball when you have no pads on and you have a bunch of new kids.
5 Lines:
I use 5 lines, spaced out roughly 5 yards apart for stances, steps on air; you can use it for anything you need to work on with many kids at once.
Day 1, I teach everyone how to get into 5 lines, and then spread out 5 yards each way…. Once I have established this, at future practices I need simply say “5 lines” and everyone runs to line up, really reduces lag and transition time, thus creating a more efficient practice.
I have found this to be the most efficient way to work with many kids at once for our basic things that often get overlooked.
Stance, Initial steps, sets on air, pulling steps, proper body position.  You can really break things down using step by step teaching then progress into working the whole skill at once.
I filmed some kids doing a few step and set drills to illustrate how it works.  Some kids look pretty good in the film, some were visiting me for the first time and looked horrible; you can actually see a kid or two fall down when pass setting.

You can scan a lot of kids at once and diagnose problems as you go through reps.  I also use any assistant coaches I have there that day to walk around through the lines helping any kids who are really struggling.

I will use this a ton early on, all through the summer.  By the time we get rolling in the season the kids and even myself can get a little bored with it, and by that point if they can’t get in a stance and take a step (after 4 months of practice) then they never will.  I usually taper this off when school starts in the Fall and trim it down to maybe a 3 minute refresher/warm up type of thing if we do it at all.

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