Elite football players are committed to developing their skills and becoming the best possible athletes that they can be. They’re willing to show up day after day and work on drills to improve their speed, agility, explosiveness, power, reaction time, and endurance. They also make time to study and learn all the ins and outs of the game, knowing that football is more than just physical. After all, the top players in the game aren’t only the quickest, strongest, and most powerful, they’re also the ones with the highest football IQs.
Since one of the best ways to learn the game is by getting out there and playing, we’ve designed a 60-minute practice plan that you can do either by yourself or with a few teammates. These drills are intended to help you get the most out of your one-hour practice time. If you need a pick-me up before the practice session, Six Star’s Pre-Workout Explosion offers extreme energy and focus with a scientifically researched dose of caffeine.
WARM UP (10 Minutes)
Any practice that you do should include a dynamic warm-up, which will help prevent injuries and boost your performance. The warm-up should raise your core temperature slowly and go from low to moderate intensity. We’ll take you through a few different dynamic stretches that will extend your range of motion.
Dynamic Stretch 1: High Knees
High Knees are a lower-body dynamic stretch that will increase circulation in your lower-body, improve your range of motion in your hip and knee joints, and stretch the muscles that you will be using during today’s workout. Start by running slowly with your hands on your hips. Then as you run forward on one foot, move the other knee toward your chest. You can do the high-knee run for about 20 yards, gradually picking up the pace and increasing the height you lift your knees as you go.
Dynamic Stretch 2: Inchworms
Walk your hands out into a push-up position and then while keeping your legs straight, inch your legs up as close to your hands as possible without bending your knees or taking your hands off the floor. Then walk your hands forward to a push-up position and repeat the exercise. Inchworms will activate and stretch your core – abs, back, and hips, and will also activate your shoulder muscles. For best results, do one set of 10 reps.
Dynamic Stretch 3: Carioca
Carioca is a dynamic stretch that involves moving while stretching and is more specific for lateral movements. By doing this dynamic stretch, you’ll be activating the muscles you’ll be using for today’s workout, improving your range of motion, and enhancing muscular performance and power. Starting in an athletic stance with your feet hip width apart, place your arms out and keep your torso upright. Staying on your toes, traverse while crossing one foot in frontand then behind the other. Do this ten times, while making sure to alternate your footwork.
GENERAL SKILLS DRILLS (45 Minutes Total)
Now that you’re warmed up, it’s time to get to work. While a formal team practice would probably include an Install Period to introduce new plays, as well as game preparation for your next opponent, we’re going to focus on drills that will improve your general skills. We’ll break them down into different categories that will focus on your speed, agility, and explosiveness, as well as your reaction time, power, and endurance. Most of these drills you can either do on your own or with a small group of friends.
SPEED, AGILITY, AND EXPLOSIVENESS
Drill 1 (6 Minutes): Circle-Around-The-Cone Drill
The Circle-Around-The-Cone Drill focuses on body control and the transition that occurs between short-area footwork and sprinting. This drill teaches athletes to be efficient with their footwork and requires one cone (or object) next to you and two cones (or objects) about five to eight yards away as your finish line. Starting on either the left or right side of the cone, shuffle in front of the cone before backpedaling behind it. Staying tight to the cone as you circle, move as quickly as possible, while maintaining good form. Keep your feet inside the frame of your body and try to avoid taking a false step. When you’re around the cone, explode into a five to eight yard sprint. Do six total reps of this drill, moving left around the cone three times and then switch it up and move right around the cone three times.
Drill 2 (8 Minutes): T Drill
Known as being one of the top football drills to increase speed and agility, the “T Drill” requires 4 cones in the shape of a “T.” Line up three cones in a row with each of them five yards apart and then set one cone five yards back from the center one. Starting at the cone farthest back, run up to the center cone (in the middle of the “T”), and then run to the right cone, the far left cone, and then back to the center cone. After that, run back to your starting cone. Do four sets of this drill, going twice in each direction.
Drill 3 (5 Minutes): High-To-Low Drill
If you happen to be a defensive back, this drill that focuses on the transition from a sprint to a backpedal will be perfect for you. To do the High-To-Low Drill, set up four cones in a straight line about two feet apart. Then five yards beyond the final cone, set up two cones as your finish line. Start about ten yards from the first cone, skipping into the drill to emphasize arm action and high knees. Once you reach the first cone, lower your center of gravity and run to the fourth cone, but not past it. At the fourth cone, switch to a back pedal and run backward to the first cone. Then sprint to the third cone. When you reach it, backpedal to the first cone. Repeat this pattern for the second cone and then sprint from the first cone through to the finish line. Do this five times, stopping for breaks as needed.
Drill 4 (10 Minutes): Bear Claw
The Bear Claw Drill develops power and explosion in your hips, which will help you improve your ability to drive your opponent forward. Start on your hands and feet in a 4-point stance, or almost in a pushup position. Then, remaining in the 4-point stance, lift your hips in the air and crawl on all fours as fast as you can for 20 yards. Rest for 60 seconds and then repeat. Do this drill for a total of 10 sets.
Drill 5 (6 Minutes): Medicine Ball Reaction
The Med Ball Reaction Drill is a two-person reaction drill that helps train side-to-side quickness and agility. Player 1 will be doing the drill while Player 2 will be facilitating it. The player taking part in the drill (Player 1) will start about five yards away from the person with the medicine ball (Player 2). Starting in a good athletic position, Player 1 will react to where Player 2 rolls the medicine ball, moving from side-to-side, scooping the ball up, and then returning it to Player 2. Player 2 will then roll the ball in different directions with Player 1 retrieving the ball and always bringing it back to Player 2. After a minute, Player 1 will switch with Player 2 with each player completing this drill three times each. This Med Ball Reaction Drill is a good way to get into football shape, while building stamina and quickness. If you don’t have a medicine ball, use a football or whatever else is available to you.
Drill 6 (10 Minutes): Hill Runs
To increase your endurance, you and your friends can do Hill Runs. This is one of those drills that anyone can do. Just find a hill, run up the hill, and push yourself to the limit. Run without a break for the first five sets, then rest, and finish off the drill with five more hard sets. Really focus on running with good form when you do these hill runs. And if you want to make this drill even more challenging, you can wear a 10 or 15 pound weighted vest as you run the hills.
COOL DOWN (5 Minutes)
To cool down, you can do static stretches. Some popular static stretches are the hamstring stretch, quadriceps stretch, groin stretch, triceps stretch, and side stretch. Hold each stretch for at least 15 to 20 seconds. If you’re looking for new ways to support your recovery, Six Star 100% Whey Protein Plus is packed with scientifically researched key ingredients that build more muscle and increase strength. Six Star 100% Whey Protein Plus has 64 grams of protein per 2 scoops. It’s also the muscle and strength building nutrition that the pros trust post-workout.