Football Speed Drills

These basic football speed drills help improve fundamental skills for the gridiron. Best of all, these moves can by modified for a variety of ages and skill levels.

January 08, 2016

The Drill: Four Corners

  1. Set four cones in the shape of a square, with each cone 5 yards apart.
  2. The drill starts at one cone at the top of the square.
  3. Have the player quickly backpedal to the cone behind them.
  4. When they reach the first cone, they must sprint diagonally to another cone across the square.
  5. From the second cone, they must backpedal to the next cone directly behind them.
  6. Finally, sprint back to the first cone to complete the square.
  7. Wait a minute then repeat the sequence several times to work on sprinting, backpedaling and transitioning.

The Drill: The Flying 20—or 30

  1. You’ll need 50 yards and a cone at the 30-yard marker.
  2. Have your player slowly build up speed as they run from the starting line to the 30-yard marker, gradually gaining speed as they near the 30.
  3. At the 30-yard marker, they break into a full sprint until they complete the final yard.
  4. Have them rest for a minute then repeat over several intervals. You can also move the cone to the 20-yard marker.

The Drill: High Knees

  1. Begin by having players perform “high knees” in place, pumping their arms and lifting up their knees towards their chest. Make sure players maintain good posture—a straight back and full arm swing as they move.
  2. Have them start moderately and work their speed up. As their speed increases, they must stay in place. They should do this for several seconds.
  3. As they pump their knees, have them slightly lower their back to a 45-degree angle.
  4. Then they should sprint out of position for 20 yards to complete the drill.

The Drill: The Backpedal

  1. In this drill, your player backpedals along a straight line while following a set of instructions from coach.
  2. Have them break direction left or right at 45 degrees.
  3. Have them turn their full body.
  4. Have them turn their hips in alternating positions.

The Drill: The Shuttle

  1. Place three field cones to form an “L” on the field. The cones should be at the “corners” of your L, about five feet apart.
  2. Your player begins the drill in a three-point stance by the middle cone. When you blow your whistle, the player runs to the cone to their right, bends down and touches the cone.
  3. Then they change direction, running to the cone to their left, bends down and touches the cone.
  4. Finally, they must sprint to the top of the “L” and back to the middle cone, bend down and touch it.
  5. Complete the sequence several times, switching directions on each rotation.