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NLPA Flag Football (RI, MA, CT)

PRACTICE DRILLS

Offensive Drills

Passing Drills

Drill 1 - This is the easiest and most common passing drill. Line your QB up with a line of receivers on the left or right side of the QB. Have the receivers run routes at the same time and the QB throw to one of them. You can add a DB into the mix to make it interesting.

Drill 2 - This drill helps with accuracy and decision making.

Have two receivers line up 5 yards apart and 10 yards away from the QB. Place one defender in between the receivers. Have your QB “thread the needle” and keep the ball out of the defenders reach.

Catching Drills

Drill 1 - This drill helps receivers catch unexpected or errant throws.

Have the WR line up 10 yards away from the QB with the WR's back to the QB. As soon as you say go, the QB will throw the ball at the WR and the WR should turn around and catch the ball. The WR will have no idea where the ball is going to be until the last second. The WR should react quickly and snag the ball out of the air.

Drill 2 - This helps the receiver make quick decisions and improve catching dramatically.

Two QBs should stand next to each other, each holding two balls and facing the WR. The WR should stand 5 yards back facing the two QBs. When you give the signal, the first QB should throw the ball. As soon as the ball touches the WRs hand, the other QB should throw the ball. Repeat until all the balls are thrown.

Route Running Drills

The best way to improve route running is to practice, practice, practice. At first, break it down and go half speed, focusing in on the receiver's breaks. Do not throw any balls until the routes are run properly. Once the kid’s routes are “crisp”, start throwing balls to them. Have a contest to see which child runs the best routes and they will all compete and strive for perfection! The best receiver of all-time, Jerry Rice, was not the fastest, tallest, or the best jumper in the game. He did, however, run crisp discipline routes that set him apart from all the others.

Note: Kids do not understand depth like adults do. When calling out routes to younger kids, talk in terms of “steps” rather than yards or feet. In other words, run a “7 step hook” instead of a “7 yard hook”. Have them count their steps when they run their routes. It will help!

Ball Carrying Drills

Drill 1 - This drill helps the ball carrier get better at cutting and juking. Set up an obstacle course with cones. Tell your ball carrier to run and juke when they reach each cone. You can also use spins or back steps in place of jukes. Drill 2 - This drill helps the ball carrier beat defenders in open space. Set up a 5 x 7 yard square with cones. Place a defender in the middle. Have your ball carrier go one-on-one with a defender. See if the runner can make it to the other end without getting caught.

QB Mobility Drills

Drill 1 - This drill teaches QB mobility from an accelerated blitz.

Have the QB line up in shotgun behind the C. The C should snap the ball and run a 7 step hook. Have a defender blitz the QB, starting 3 yards closer than the usual blitz line location. For example: If your league's blitz line is 7 yards, then the BZ should line up 4 yards from the LOS. The QB should avoid the blitz as best as possible before hitting the C as the C turns and looks for the ball.

Drill 2 - This drill shows the QB why vision is important.

Have the QB line up in shotgun behind the C. Have a defender blitz the QB from the usual DB position from different angles. The QB should “elude” the defenders for 5 seconds before they throw the ball.

Defensive Drills

Flag Pulling Drills

Drill 1 - This is a good flag pulling and vision drill.

Set up a 10 x10 yard square. Put all your players in the middle of the square. When you give the signal, each player must pull the other players flags while dodging others trying to pull their own flag. Last player standing wins. This is FUN! Your kids will love it.

Drill 2 - This is a great drill for taking angles and pulling flags.

Set up a 15 x 15 triangle yard with cones. Have two sets of lines, one on each bottom corner. One side is the ball carrier, the other the flag puller. When you give the signal, the ball carrier should sprint towards the point of the triangle while the flag puller cuts the ball carrier off before they reach either top cone.

Interception Drills

Drill 1 - This drill helps the DB “make a play” off a tipped ball.

Have a defender line up 5 yards from the QB. Have another defender line up 3 yards behind the first defender. Have the QB throw a high ball to the first defender. The first defender should then "tip" the ball backwards. The second defender then makes an attempt to intercept the ball. 

Drill 2 - This drill helps teach receivers how to "jump" routes and steal the ball. 

Have a WR line up 10 yards away from the QB. The defender should line up two yards behind the WR and 1 yard offset left or right. On your signal, the QB should throw the ball and the defender should then "jump" the ball, cutting the receiver off and intercepting the ball in stride.

Coverage Drills

Drill 1 - This drill helps teach reaction and foot work.

 A WR and a defender should face each other, standing 1 yard apart. The WR should then shuffle left, right, forwards, and backwards. The defender should stick with the WR, matching their every move. It is also important that the barrier of 1 yard stays the same throughout the whole drill. 

Drill 2 - This drill teaches how to make up speed and catch players from behind. A WR faces down field. The defender lines up directly behind the WR so they are back to back. On your signal, the receiver will run straight forward. The defender then has to turn around and catch up to the WR before the ball is thrown by the QB.

Pursuit Drills

Drill 1 - This drill helps teach your team proper angles of pursuit.

Have your defense line up in their base defense. Your faster players should line up as close to the sideline as they can before going out of bounds. On your command, have a RB take a hand off and run across the LOS towards the end zone, giving him a slight head start. Once he has crossed 5 yards beyond the line of scrimmage, the defense can begin to chase him. Every defensive player needs to pursue the offense player aggressively. This teaches pursuit skill and team flag pulling concepts.

Drill 2 - This drill helps teach defenders how to "sniff" out a play. Line up a center, a QB in shotgun, and two RBs in wishbone. 

Line up one defender 7 yards back. Once the center snaps the ball, the two RBs should run towards their nearest side line. The QB should then purposely stare down the RB he wants to hit. The defender should be watching the QB and then shuffle parallel with the LOS towards the RB the QB is eyeing. The QB should then throw the pass and the defender should burst toward the RB as he is receiving the ball. The defender should then cut the RB off and pull the flag before the RB can gain positive yards. Repeat this over and over. Each time, the QB should make it less obvious which RB he is targeting.

Blitzing Drills

Drill 1 - This drill helps reduce the time it takes to sack the QB.

Have the BZ attack the QB like they would in a regular game but add 3 more yards on to the designated spot. So if your league “blitz line” is 7 yards from the LOS, it should now be 10 yards. Have the BZ blitz from this new spot on your command. Count to five and if the QB is not sacked, then the QB wins. But if the BZ gets the sack, then the BZ wins. With this added yardage and time pressure, your BZ should have more urgency and focus when blitzing.

Drill 2 - This drill helps simulate WRs crossing through the BZ path to the QB.

The BZ should line up in their normal location. Strategically place cones in the BZ path. On your whistle, have the BZ attack the QB without knocking over any cones. The BZ should dodge the cones and still be able to get to the QB in a 5 second window.

Contact

Next Level Performance Academy

11 South Angell Street #399 
Providence, Rhode Island 02906

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 401-864-1444

Contact Us

Next Level Performance Academy

11 South Angell Street #399 
Providence, Rhode Island 02906

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 401-864-1444

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