How To Run An Efficient Football Practice

An effective football practice requires both time management and efficiency among coaches and players.

We’re going to be working off the script below on how to run an efficient football practice.

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These practice templates are great for youth, high school and college programs!

Time Management In Football Practice

Mismanaging time is the biggest flaw in football practices we see today. Coaches often wait until everything is 100% perfect before moving on to the next drill.

Not only does this waste time, it’s extremely inefficient. We recommend coaches create “blocks”, or short time periods for their practices.

We recommend filming everything, whether it be on a phone, iPad or if you’re fortunate enough to have a camera. This way you’re able to break down the mistakes after practice with players, where they can see it visually, as opposed to wasting 10-15 minutes per drill coaching it up to be absolutely perfect.

Coaches are also able to film multiple drills in shorter blocks, for better coaching attention.

Why have shorter blocks? Few reasons.:

  • Forces coaches to be organized. There’s no time for fooling around or small chit-chat. Every coach must be prepared to maximize the time within that block
  • Keeps the players focused as they’re consistently moving from drill to drill, having to refocus each couple minutes.
  • More individual work for position specific drills. For example, defensive lineman can spend 7 minutes working on pass rush, 6 minutes working on fighting off reach blocks and 7 minutes fighting off double teams. 3 drills, only 20 minutes.

Another minor piece of practice, is with the water breaks. Water breaks are necessary, especially in the August/September heat. However, they can be a time killer for coaches who allow it to be a true “break” rather than an effective hydration period.

Water breaks should never be a social hour. The two ways that we’ve seen coaches handle water breaks is:

  • Having water bottles dispersed throughout the field, at each drill. This way players can get a squirt of water whenever they please. It also doesn’t put a 2-3 break into practices, which ultimately saves more time for drills. We found this to be most efficient
  • Dedicating a 2 minute slot (sometimes 2 or 3 blocks) of water break time so kids can hydrate properly

Working Off A Practice Script

Practice scripts are treated like a guide or itinerary.

Scripts are great because they allow assistant coaches to prep every station they’ll need before hand, that way they’re prepared form the minute practice starts until it ends.

Working off a practice script also helps coaches be on the same page. If just the head coach is looking at the script, the coordinators and position coaches are in the dark of when the whistle is going to blow to transition to the next period.

We recommend being as transparent as possible with when the whistle is going to blow, how much time each period calls for.

Having The Proper Practice Equipment Ready

Having the proper equipment is vital to running an efficient football practice. We recommend having 2 pieces of equipment and 1 person in charge of time management.

The 2 pieces of equipment are:

Clock – If you’re fortunate enough to practice on your football field, which has a scoreboard, we recommend using that. If not, any digital clock, which is clearly visible by all coaches is accepted. We’ve found this digital clock on Amazon, which can be set via a control.

Whistle/Horn – A necessary piece of equipment is a whistle ( which most coaches have) or some sort of air horn. The air horn can be used to both start and stop the period. It’s also loud enough where every coach can hear it and not mistake it for a whistle that may be used in another drill.

It’s beneficial to have someone on the staff, who’s job is to manage the clock. If you’re a youth coach, maybe it’s a parent who doesn’t necessarily want to coach, but wants to help out. High school it may be a student volunteer who can control it. We recommend having someone dedicated to clock management throughout practice.

Free Practice Script

If you’re looking for a practice script that can help you manage your whole team, it’s available free in the box below! We’ve made it easy for teams with 100+ kids (who use a 2 platoon system), or for smaller teams that have less than 60 kids, to be able to manage their practices.

Offensive Only Filled Out Template

Below is an empty script, which we provide for teams who have players that play both ways.

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To get your free practice script, with 3 empty templates, enter your email below and it will be emailed to you!


Having structure in your practice is the best way to be efficient and that everything is covered.

It’s important to have everything laid out in an organized fashion, so therefore you and your coaching staff can execute each period to it’s potential.

Have any questions about our practice script or ways to improve your practice? Feel free to reach out to us at [email protected] . We love talking football!

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