Practice Planning

Recently I have received a lot of emails/DMs asking about practice plan structure.

I wanted to write a post breaking down how I break up our practice by scheme as well as by time.

This is what I refer to as an install practice schedule.  We are essentially in install (or learning) mode from Spring Ball all the way until the week of our first game.  We do not have a specific game plan to get ready for or an opponent… we are working on OURSELVES and getting better at our base offense May – early August.

I have written about the 2 DAY INSTALL and 3 DAY INSTALL in the past… I enjoy using both and either one should work well for you.  Having a 2 or 3 day install is important because it sets the rough framework for our practice plan.

Once we understand we are cutting up the offense into pieces it becomes easier to plan out our days.

I will start with the run game.  We have a ZONE DAY (Inside and Outside Zone) and a GAP DAY (Power and Counter).

This helps to frame my INDY time with the OL, the inside Run script, and the run plays I call in team.

We get Practice done in under an hour on each side of the ball.

I believe in practice having a routine so we generally start with indy, progress to group, and finish with team.

Like most teams are doing, practice is broken up into 5 minute segments.

I use GOOGLE SHEETS for all practice plans because it allows me to copy practice plans for future days, and most importantly it allows all of our coaches access to edit the practice plan in our own time.

The template looks like this (save yourself time and use formulas to auto populate the time cells… so you only have to edit the start time and ALL the times auto update).

I leave room at the top to write down the specific concepts we will work that day. We begin practice in INDY.  The OL/TE/FBs always start with run game indy first.  We get 20 minutes.  On DAY A (ZONE day) we will work base blocks, doubles, and reach blocks.  I can tweak this time as necessary.  Some days i give the Doubles 10 minutes, some days I give the REACH blocks 10 minutes, whatever I feel we need more work on.

While we are doing that the skill guys have INDY.  We typically start the QBs/RBs together for mesh.  Early on they get 10 minutes a day. As we progress that goes down to 5 minutes. The WRs start with INDY.  From there the RBs do INDY work and we either do mroe indy work at QB and WR or they group up to begin throwing individual routes.

The next part of practice is in small groups.  The OL and Hybrids do inside run, while the QB/WRs work on our key screen/RPO game.

After that we enter passing phase of our plan.  The OL works pass pro drills. The TE/FBs go with the QB/WRs and begin learning/refining our pass concepts.  As we progress this can transition into 7on7.

The RBs will either continue to work INDY or if we plan to use them in the specific pass concept they will work with the other Skill guys.  I usually bring them back with the OL to work blitz pick up before doing a brief up tempo team period.

During this install phase you can see I don’t believe in working a lot of TEAM time because I feel the real learning and progress are developed in your INDY and Small Group time.  When we get into GAMEPLAN mode we work much more team time than this because we have specific expected defenses and plays we like.


The next day would be DAY B (GAP DAY) and would follow the exact same format.  All that would change are the pass concepts repped, and the OL INDY work would be Power/Counter specific.

For example in INDY we would work DOWN blocks, Gap Doubles, and Pulling.  Again here I have 4 time blocks, to work through 3 base drills.  This means I can double up and get 10 minutes on one of those drills per day.  Some days it is DOWN, some days it is Doubles, some days it is pulling… whatever I feel we need more work on.

Here is the link to this TEMPLATE.


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