With limited time during practice to get through everything you want to, finding little ways to increase the efficiency of a drill can help get more reps in or decrease the amount of time it takes to complete. One small tweak I implemented this current season with my 7-8 team was using different colored cones in my handoff drill so kids could quickly get to their spots for the next rep.
Below is a video I made detailing the steps in the drill:
When I initially started using this drill, it was with a team where every kid had at least 2 seasons of flag football experience. Because if this, they were able to quickly catch on and learn the drill as presented in the video.
So this season, when I started with a new batch of 7 year olds, I was relieved to know that I had some proven drills ready to go.
One Problem – Experience
This new team only had a few kids that had previous flag football experience. Because of this, the first time I used this drill in practice, it took almost twice as long to get the number of reps I was looking to get.
That night, while brainstorming on ways to make practice more efficient, I decided to introduce different colored cones into the drill.
These are the cones I ordered off from Amazon. This package came with 25 cones (5 different colors). During the next practice while they were warming up (passing and catching), I laid out the drill. Below are two different ways to lay out the drill. With the first one, everyone rotates. During the 4 reps, each kid will play each spot once. Now you just assign each kid a color and watch as they will quickly get to their spot and are ready for the next rep.
The other variation I use with this drill is keeping the quarterback the same and rotating everyone else. Below is how this is mapped out. Since the quarterback is the same for every rep, he does not have a cone.
You can also use the above set up for doing this drill with 3 kids (without a center) and everyone rotates.
Finding Efficiencies – Every Little Bit Helps
Especially with younger kids, their attention spans can be very small. Once practice starts going beyond 30 minutes, you may find it harder to keep their attention. This is why for my 7-8 team, I keep practice around 45 minutes. With limited practice time, it’s imperative to make your practice plan as efficient as possible. This one simple tweak has almost doubled the amount of reps we can do the same amount of time. Also, since it has become easier for everyone, I can run two groups at the same time, keeping all kids active in a drill.