Youth football rushing drills used to consist of practicing handoffs, holding on to the ball while being hit, and blocking for the quarterback. In today’s game, a running back needs those rushing skills in addition to “reading” the defense for blitzing linebackers and catching the football out of the backfield. In many cases, the running back acts as an option for the quarterback if no other play is available. To play the position effectively, the running back must be quick on his feet, drive forward with power, and be able to react reflexively in an instant.
Below are some youth football rushing drills, but you can find more free football drills online at websites like Weplay.com.
Youth Football Running Back Drills
The Weave drill teaches aspiring running backs proper footwork techniques. It focuses on balance while planting the foot and driving in another direction.
Place 5 cones in a straight line on the field about one yard apart.
Have the running backs line up near the first cone.
To begin, the coach hands the football off to the first running back.
The running back weaves in and out between the cones and returns handing the football off to the next running back.
When performing this running back drill, the focus should be on planting the outside foot firmly and then driving in the opposite direction. The proper planting of the foot will help prevent slippage when game time rolls around. The running backs should also focus on proper ball protection technique and maintain a low center of gravity.
“Running the Gauntlet”
This running back drill teaches players to receive a handoff, tuck it in, and break through immediate contact while retaining possession.
Position two dummy bags approximately 3 yards from the starting position.
Position two dummy bag holders 3 to 4 yards further downfield.
Have a linebacker roaming the field to force open field maneuvers.
After taking a handoff, the running back protects the football while running through the two dummy bags.
He must maintain control while being pursued by the dummy holders.
And finally, perform an evasive maneuver to avoid the linebacker.
Have each running back practice handoffs from both the right and left sides.
When performing youth football rushing drills such as these, the player should practice keeping a low center of gravity with knees up and shoulders down. Proper ball protection techniques must be employed in order to retain possession of the ball.
By Trevor Sumner who works for Weplay.com, a youth football community dedicated to providing parents coaches and athletes the tools and information to celebrate the love of the game. Weplay.com has one of the most comprehensive, free football drill libraries in its active football community.
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It is natural for casual observers of the game of youth basketball to focus on shooting and scoring as the crux of the sport, but coaches and players know that there are other crucial factors that help to decide who is going to win a given ballgame. Rebounding is huge, and in many ways it is more important to rebound the basketball well than it is to shoot at a high percentage. Offensive rebounds provide easy put-backs and second, third, and fourth chance opportunities to put the ball through the basket, and on the other side defensive rebounding prevents the other team from having those multiple chances to score.
At the end of any youth basketball game, if you hold the rebounding edge, you are probably going to be going home on the winning end of the score. Rebounding is a science, and though height and jumping ability have a lot to do with it, anticipation and positioning are equally important. A smart player who anticipates where the missed shot is likely to ricochet depending on the position of the shooter is going to head for the correct spot and get a lot of rebounds. Good rebounding technique also requires boxing out, and this a fundamental skill that can be taught; players who consistently find their assignment and box the player out get a lot of boards and create space for their teammates to pull in some caroms as well.
Below are some tips for proper basketball rebounding techniques as well as some fun drills for your youth basketball team’s practice.
Youth Basketball Rebounding Tips
The Golden Rule of rebounding is to box out.
Head to the spot where the ball is likely to ricochet.
Learn to time your jump perfectly.
Tip the ball to a teammate if you can’t grab it.
Don’t bring the ball down below your shoulders in traffic after snaring a board.
Solo Rebounding Drill
This is a drill that players can do on their own. One player stands on one side of the basket and tosses the ball off the board and over the rim to the other side and races over there to snag the rebound. Player repeats this and does as many reps as possible in 60 seconds, rests for another minute and then repeats the drill.
Form two lines outside the key, one for the offensive re-bounder and one for the defensive re-bounder. Players pair up inside the lane as the coach dribbles along the perimeter. Players jockey for rebounding position as the coach moves, trying to establish inside position in the right spot depending on where the ball is. At some point the coach shoots and players go all out to get the rebound.