Flag Football Drills
Hands On the Handoff
The best way to improve on your flag football skills is to highlight each skill with a series of drills. Drills not only improve muscle memory, they are also an excellent way to keep your players in shape and learn new aspects of their already familiar skills. The following flag football drills focus on the proper handoff, which is vital to any flag football team’s success.
The most important thing to remember when executing a handoff is proper footwork, since a misstep can result in the ball not reaching its destined carrier, and an insecure handoff can cost many a play and even a game. It is the responsibility of the quarterback to ensure the ball reaches its destination properly. Once the handoff has been performed, responsibility shifts to the ball carrier, who is now in charge of seeing the ball to where it needs to go, safely and securely.
Footwork during Handoffs
When selecting flag football drills to improve your team’s handoffs, look for drills that combine footwork with the handoff motion to maximize learning and practice. The first drill looks at the footwork necessary during a shallow handoff formation. To begin, the coach informs the quarterback whether he should be moving to the right or the left. After making the decision, the coach should assume a position on the side of the quarterback’s movement so that he can best observe and critique the footwork.
After the play begins with either the sound of the whistle or by yelling “hut”, the quarterback takes a small lead step in the direction the coach informed him to move. Grasping the ball firmly with both hands, the quarterback takes a longer step with his opposite foot. As he takes the second step, his head should be turned in the direction the coach told him to move. At this point, he fakes the handoff, takes three steps away from the line of scrimmage, and continues moving outside. Repeat this drill enough times for the movements to become cemented in the quarterback’s mind, then switch sides.
Deep Angle Handoff
The next of the flag football drills for perfecting the handoff singles out the deep angle handoff. This play also requires a dual-step movement pattern to be executed by the quarterback, just like the above play. However, the difference lies in the positioning of the handoff, which takes place away from the line of scrimmage in the back-field on the offensive side.
For this drill, have the coach position himself deep and closer to the quarterback than before, which will give the quarterback an ample playing area while allowing him to focus on the area where the running back will be receiving the handoff. As with the previous drill, the quarterback takes a small step forward with the foot in the direction he will be going. This first step is crucial in determining the direction of the handoff, so make sure the quarterback fully understands the function of the footwork before proceeding.
On the second step, the quarterback turns both head and shoulders towards the coach. As his second foot comes down to the ground, he extends his arms and simulates the handoff. Once the handoff motion is complete, the quarterback continues on a path towards the outside. Practice these drills slowly at first to ensure the footwork and handoff motions are coinciding before running them at full speed. Once your quarterback can perform the drill at full speed, incorporate receivers for the handoffs, followed by defense players to attempt to thwart the handoff.
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