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NLPA Flag Football (RI, MA, CT)

PRACTICE DRILLS VIDEO

QB  & CENTER EXCHANGE

The QB lines up directly behind the center, facing the opposing team's end zone. The QB can line up in two different spots, either under center (directly behind the center) or in shotgun (3- 5 yards behind the center). The QB is the offensive captain and the leader of the offense. There are three major things that your QB should be able to do:

1. Protect the ball. Turnovers (interceptions) are detrimental to an offense.

2. Throw accurately. Accuracy is more important than arm strength.

3. Have mobility. QB should have the ability to scramble and elude the BZs.

It's fine if your QB doesn't have all three of these qualities, but two out of three would be helpful. You should practice with the QB before they begin throwing in the game. When you start a player that isn't ready to play this position, it will most likely result in bad play which embarrasses the player and/or reduces his confidence. Young players can get very upset over intercepted passes or even incomplete passes. Remember, build confidence carefully! Also, if the receivers aren't open, remember to tell your QB that it's okay to throw the ball away. A wasted down is much better than a turnover.



TEAM HAND –OFF EXCHANGE

With this drill, you can have a number of players work on the proper way to give and receive a hand-off. Divide your players into 2 lines approximately 10-15 yards away from each other. A player from one line starts with the ball. On the coach’s whistle, the player with the ball walks down field (maintaining the proper grip on the football). Once the player reaches the 1st player in the other line, the player with the ball hands the ball off to that 1st player. That player is now the ball carrier and walk down field towards the other line. Emphasize holding the ball properly when running, make a big pocket and good hand-off exchange (hand-off acceptance target and good hand-offs into target). Once the players understand the concept, now turn the walk into a jog then a run.  This is a great drill to use if you are employing reverse, double or triple reverse plays that rely on a smooth hand-off to be effective.





PASSING DRILLS

Throwing the Ball

Placing the ball exactly where you want it can take years of practice. Even PROs make bad throws. Here are a few techniques and throwing mechanics players should know before playing QB.

1. The player's body should be parallel with the side line, never facing up field.

2. The passer must make sure that their feet aren't too close or too far apart. Their feet should be slightly wider than their hips.

 3. The passer should grip the ball towards the end or the nose of the ball. They should never grip it in the middle. The QB’s pinkie, ring, and middle fingers should rest on the grips while the thumb and pointer fingers grip the actual nose.

 4. The passer should grip the ball at their chest, never below the sternum or above the chin. The arms should be bent with their elbows facing the ground. This allows for a faster release.

5. The passer should never drop their throwing arm before passing. The motion should look like a sling shot, not a windmill.

6. The first motion. When the passer finds an open receiver and decides to throw, they will perform the first passing motion. The passer should raise their elbow, making it parallel to the ground.

 7. The passer should now load the ball, pulling it from the chest and placing it behind their head quickly. This should be done in a quick wiping motion, like a windshield wiper going full speed. Also, the passer's other arm should be bent and parallel to the ground with their non-passing hand pointing toward the side line. Simultaneously, the passer should shift his weight backwards, leaning on his back foot.

 8. Now that the ball is loaded, the QB can fire. To do this, the passer rolls the elbow, bringing the ball over his shoulder passing his ear, and flings the ball forward to the receiver. While the ball is moving forward, the passer's weight should be too. While the passer’s arm is coming forward, their other arm should drop to their side.

9. The passer should release the ball before their arm is completely straight. When releasing the ball, they should flick their wrist, giving the ball a spiral along with added velocity. The passer should now be leaning forward with all their weight on their front foot while their back leg lifts slightly off the ground at the point of release. The ball should roll smoothly off the finger tips, creating the required touch for a spiral.

10. The passer must follow through their pass. To do this, they should swing their arm toward their opposite hip. Passing the ball and swinging the arm should be done in one motion. The passer should always follow through.

 The motions of a pass should be done in less than two seconds, from raising the elbow to swinging the arm.


To view more Passing Drills, click the PLAYLIST drop down box in the upper left hand corner of the video.   



QB MOBILITY DRILLS
Have mobility. QB should have the ability to scramble and elude the BZs. 



CATCHING DRILLS 

There are just a few steps in becoming a great receiver.

 1. The player should always keep their “eye on the ball” and watch it into their hands. Concentration is key. Do NOT be scared of the ball. A receiver who is nervous or flinches is more likely to get hurt than a player who keeps his eye on the ball. Don’t run until you catch the ball!

2. The receiver should always catch with their hands away from their body. Teach your players to not "T-Rex" and avoid keeping their arms tucked in too tight. Extend the arms towards the ball and catch it with your hands, not your body.

 3. Hand placement - when the ball is thrown at the chest or higher, the player should spread their fingers outwards with their palms facing the ball and the two thumbs touching one another. When the ball is thrown low, the receiver should place their hands with their palms facing the sky and their pinkies touching.

4. The receiver should never attack the ball but absorb it. Catching should look natural and smooth. 



ROUTE RUNNING DRILLS

There are just a few steps in becoming a great receiver.

1. The player should always keep their “eye on the ball” and watch it into their hands. Concentration is key. Do NOT be scared of the ball. A receiver who is nervous or flinches is more likely to get hurt than a player who keeps his eye on the ball. Don’t run until you catch the ball!

2. The receiver should always catch with their hands away from their body. Teach your players to not "T-Rex" and avoid keeping their arms tucked in too tight. Extend the arms towards the ball and catch it with your hands, not your body.

3. Hand placement - when the ball is thrown at the chest or higher, the player should spread their fingers outwards with their palms facing the ball and the two thumbs touching one another. When the ball is thrown low, the receiver should place their hands with their palms facing the sky and their pinkies touching.

4. The receiver should never attack the ball but absorb it. Catching should look natural and smooth. 



Running the Ball

There are three simple steps to running the ball:

1. The ball carrier should keep their body low to the ground. Flags low to the ground is harder to pull.

2. The ball carrier should keep their arms up. They should never swing or slap away defender's hands. This will result in a “flag guarding”, a universal penalty in flag football.

3. The ball carrier should run fast and be elusive. Encourage your plays to juke, cut, spin, back step, and duck past defenders. Remind them to never go backwards or make contact with defenders. 



TEAM PURSUIT & PULL FLAG

The ability of a defense to pursue to the ball is their lifeblood.  Pursue is defined as: to follow in order to overtake, capture, or defeat.  Every defense needs to be trained in fulfill these terms if they are to be successful.  Defenses are responsible for getting the ball back to the offense as quickly as possible.  Training a defense to pursue the ball with a relentless passion is the powerful tool to accomplish this mission.  Having 6 defensive players pursuing to the ball, while taking great angles, is and edge that all defenses must have.  The purpose of our pursuit drills is to ingrain our players the importance of always pursuing to the ball with unbridled conviction to capture the ball carrier and flag. 



FLAG PULLING

When pulling flags, the defensive player must remember six things:

1. Keep their eyes on the ball carrier's belly button. The ball carrier will try to "juke" the flag puller with quick movements from the head, arms, legs, and hips, but their belly isn't going anywhere so the player should always focus on the runner’s belly.

 2. The defensive player must be relaxed and loose, never tense. Keep bent knees and be ready to lunge in any direction.

 3. The flag puller must be the aggressor. He should never back down from the ball carrier and should wait for the runner to come to him.

4. The player should never plant one foot and reach for the flag. He should always keep a shuffle with his feet and be prepared to lunge if the runner quickly changes directions.

5. The flag puller should always use two hands when going after flags. This is the best technique and it doubles the chance of a successful flag pull.

 6. The flag puller should never yank a flag off. Instead, the player should squeeze the flag and let the ball carrier run out of their own flags. This reduces the chance of missing flags.



COVERAGE & INTERCEPTION

Back Peddling Back peddling, a helpful defensive skill, is easy to teach and it will become natural to players once they learn the technique. Back peddling is running backwards so you can cover the receiver and watch the quarterback at the same time. There are a few simple steps to become a great back peddler:

1. The defensive player's body should always stay low to the ground in a squatting position with the defender's weight forward, standing on the balls of their feet. This not only helps keep balance but makes the defender a loaded spring, ready to pounce on any balls that come their way.

 2. The defender's arms should be pumping. This helps with balance and also makes the whole motion smoother and less awkward. The motion of back peddling should look clean.

3. The defender should always keep their feet low to the ground, almost dragging them. This also helps the defender change directions and break quickly. When the back peddler raises their feet too high off the ground, it makes them less explosive and have slower reaction time.

4. When starting to back peddle, the defender should never make "false steps" or turn his hips the opposite way the receiver is going.

5. The defender should always keep their head up, never looking down at their feet or the receiver's feet. This makes the back peddler more aware of their surroundings and puts them in a better position to make a play.

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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