By Keith Grabowski
You’ve just come out of a long pre season period focused on installing and drilling your playbook. The season presents new challenges as the goal is to improve execution and technique of what you installed in the summer.
It’s good to have drills that you work throughout the season, but falling into the trap of “everyday drills” can make for a situation in which players aren’t approaching the skill development with the energy they did when the pre season was young.
Finding ways to keep drills fresh and fun stimulates the players mind and helps them focus on the improvement.
An area that always seems to need some extra drilling is the blitz pick up and pass protection for the running backs. The challenge is that this usually becomes a monotonous drill as the season progresses. Isolated on it’s own it just looks like one player running into another. In order for the drill to be good, it needs some context and some energy.
One drill that is both fun and challenging is what SEMO running backs coach Issac Read called “Bulls Ball” when he coached the running backs at the University of Buffalo last season.
The drill has its origins in the old American Gladiators series where it was called “Power Ball.” The set up of the drill is simple. A trash can is placed behind the running back who is working his pass protection technique. The player opposite him has a ball and his objective as the rusher is to get past the running back and dunk the ball into the can.
The drill brings out the competitive side in both players and forces the blocker to use his footwork and hand placement to stop the rush and keep the rusher from dunking the ball in the can.
In a quick 5 minute period, you could set this up as a mini-tournament to determine who is the best blocker. You will get some good quality reps with a lot of energy from the competitive nature of the drill.
Here is a video of Coach Reed explaining and showing the drill on film (click on image for video):
This clip was taken from Coach Reed’s complete coaching course. To learn more about the course click the following link: Buffalo Running Back Fundamentals