Install/Practice Plan

Installation and practice plans are popular topics with coaches and everyone has their preference.  if you have something that works for you, awesome, keep doing it, but I would like to share what I have done this year as a suggestion to others.


For our 10 days of spring ball we decided to use a 3 day install plan that is the new rage with many coaches, especially us spread guys.

Day 1 was all about teaching formation, stance, how to line up… the most basic elements that are required before you can even snap the ball.  We focused on this in team, and used the indy time to teach the drills that will be worked daily.

Days 2-10 were where we began the 3 day install plan.  If you are unfamiliar with the 3 day install it is quite simple… you take your entire offense, divide it up into 3 days, and cycle through the 3 days over and over again.

I was able to split up our plan quite symmetrically.  We have 3 base run schemes, Zone (IZ and OZ but very similar rules so I put them together), Counter, and Power.

We have 3 types of screens… Quick, Play Action, Jailbreak (also F slip screen)

We have 6 base pass concepts

I was able to make it so each day we covered 1 run, 1 screen, and 2 pass concepts.

For example,

Day 2 – IZ/OZ, Quick Screen, 4 verts and snag
Day 3 – Counter, Play Action Screen, Smash and curl/flat
Day 4 – Power, Jailbreak, Cross and flood

Days 5,6,7 would repeat
Days 8,9,10 would repeat

We used this same format through our first 3 weeks of summer practice as kids are still learning what the play is.

I found this narrowed focus for each day really helped the kids learn the play and get better at the individual role they have within the given play.

Now this week, as we prepare for camp I have switched up our practice plan and focus.  We know the basic rules of each play, but now I feel is the time to prepare for the most common looks we will see by working all of our plays against a given look per day.

For example in our 4 day/ week plan we will execute all of our plays each day.

However each day will have a specific focus from the scout defense.

Monday: 4 man front, 1 high … cover 1/3
Tuesday: 4 man front, 2 high… cover 2/4/2 man
Wednesday: 5 man front or 3-3… 1 high… cover 1/3
Thursday: 5 man front or 3-4… 2 high… cover 2/4/2 man

Therefore each week we will have seen essentially every look we will see from a defense in a game and run all of our plays against it.  I think it enhances learning because our kids have to execute ALL of our base plays rather than just a few for the day.  I wouldn’t force this upon them in the beginning, but after 5 weeks of practice between spring and summer if they don’t understand the backside guard and tackle pull on counter they never will.

It makes it easier on the scout defense as well because they only have to learn 1 look for the given day, and we run all of those coverages so the DBs and LBs have it easy.  The defense can get aligned faster which means my offense can practice faster.

I am a big believer in the 3 day plan for install… and this 4 day plan for practice.  It is a slight change up from the way we did things as a team last season but I see it paying off already.  At the end of every week we will have seen every front, box count, and coverage we will see in the season.


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