An Effective Pre-Practice Routine For Skill Players

With all the activities a coach is responsible for, it helps to have an established pre-practice routine to keep practices run smoothly. We have ascribed to the philosophy of warming up through the use of low impact football specific drills that increase in intensity as the players loosen up. This time also allows you to get to the field to set up your stations as well as prep your managers. We don’t believe in static flexibility work before practice. We feel that is better suited to our cool down routines. Therefore, we have no formal “sit and stretch” session before practice.


In order to make this work, you must sit down as a staff and plan to the minute what skills need to be addressed and can they be worked without direct coach supervision. Next, once you identify those skills, you need to develop your drills. These drills must be thoughtfully selected to have the appropriate and desired training effect. They need to progress from low intensity to high intensity. They also need to address skills that are essential but that your age group has a good grasp of already. Essentially these drills need to simply polish up skills already taught/ developed.


Make the drills busy. We do not allow down time during these routines. Our guys know there is no waiting in line. You have to stay on the move and stay busy. In order to accomplish this, the players need to be on board with what you are doing and be sold on how this is a benefit to them.


Our pre-practice routine varies by group. Here are the routines based on the group.


Offensive pre-practice

QBs/ RBs/ Centers – Exchanges; Meshes (WRs – Cone Drills)

QBs/ WR/ – Settle Drill (RB Ball Security Routine – Partner Pester, Partner Drag; Rip, Cone Switches; QBs/ WR – Pat and Go (RB Agile Bag Routine – When finished join Pat and Go)


Offensive Line – 1st: Ladder Work, Pull Circuit (Skips and Traps), Fit Drills


Defensive pre-practice

All Players – 1st: Mobility Circuit, 2nd: Agility Circuit, 3rd: Pursuit


All of these can be run with only one coach per side on the field. Hopefully, this will help in your practice planning.