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Thread: Practice Organization, Shoulder Skills/Routine

  1. #1

    Default Practice Organization, Shoulder Skills/Routine

    How many of you guys do shoulder skills and routine as a team as opposed to in individual? We have always done it in individual. What are the benefits of doing it as a team?

    I would think it sends a message to the team. This offseason we are really taking a hard look at the way we organize our practices. I would really appreciate it if anyone would like to share how they organize practice.

  2. #2

    Default Practice

    Coach: Here I am "pushing" my book again... but I think that a lot of things that coaches are re-evaluating at this time of year is exactly why I wrote the book for you!!! One man's ideas but... my ideas came from talking with coaches all over the country and putting them into practice for 18 years (running the Del. Wing T offense!)
    IF.... you are interested, go to my website and see if you might be interested in purchasing my book: 101 Little Things

    One thing that we got right from Tubby Raymond was: the first day of practice, we dragged out 14 Big Bertha blocking bags and set them up along the sideline. We divided the players up among the 14 bags and each coach had 2 bags to work with. We went step by step, just like Gregg Perry used to at U. of Del!!!, demonstrating the Shoulder Skill. EVERY player did them, whether it was the QB's or a kid that was only going to play defense!

    You are right coach... it sends a message! I hired a new coach, an experienced coach by the way, who came in after practice that first day and said: "Coach J, that's the first time in 21 years of HS coaching that I saw the first thing the RB coach did in Individual period was to practice blocking with the backs!!!" We went from Team Shoulder Skills to Individual Off. Positions where everyone blocked before they ran the ball or caught a pass! What you emphasize, you will achieve!!!

    In Christ,

  3. #3


    We have always done it through individuals. However, This year I plan on doing it with everyone during our aclimatization (sp) Period prior to putting the pads on. I expect to do this for at least 3 straight days!
    Ed Sadloch
    Head Football Coach
    Cedar Grove (NJ) H.S.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007


    While I really like the idea of doing "mass shoulder skills," it is an equipment issue for us. After watching Tom Herman do shoulder skills at one of his camps, we focused fundraiser money on getting blocking dummies. We started with six, then moved up to eight. (This is for the 7th grade team, which practices on its own separate "field") We can get through linemen, or backs, but not the whole team at one time.

    Related to what has already been said, it sent a message when we had RBs do the same blocking drills as the linemen.

    I was lucky enough to get moved up to the frosh team, so this coming season we'll get to share all of the varsity's resources. If it works out to be enough pads, it will be a priority to do shoulder skills with everyone at once.

    Coach Johnston, I finally broke down and bought your book ten minutes ago. I'm sure I'll regret not getting it sooner.

  5. #5

    Default Practice

    Coach: thanks for your purchase. I hope you find some good stuff for you and your program in there!

    In Christ,

  6. #6

    Default Shoulder Skills

    We have a Shoulder Skill Period. We go pre practice [walk throughs] -Running Skills [Warmup] - Kick Individual -Kicking Game - THEN Shoulder skills [15 minutes] 1/2 does offense while the other tackling skills, halfway we flip flop {so everyone does blocking and tackling skills along with running skills each day} If you can't run,block or tackle schemes don't matter in my opinion. We then proceed to individual,group and team by positions. Days are prioritized offense or defense.

  7. #7


    Thank you for your responses! great ideas!

    What exactly do you guys do during pre-practice?

    Coach Johnston, I did buy your book, and it does have alot of good info.
    thank you

  8. Default lack of equipment

    What if your school does not have the equipment and the budget is tight, how would you organize then? Would you rotate your athletes through in some sort of circuit or what do you use instead of the pads?

    Im not the head coach but I will be interviewing for it in the next couple weeks, just want to be organized and have a detailed practice plan.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008


    Except for QB's, we have a Gap Block period full team every week. We are a big buck sweep team, obviously the kids work it in Indy as well, but like was said before it sends a great message "we are going to be good at this"

  10. #10

    Default Coach McL

    Coach: If the budget is tight and the equipment isn't there... then you just body on body.... just be careful of 2 things: that the technique is still good (strike with the forearm and shoulder; flat back; aim for the hip and drive your feet and 2- that you either fit it first and then drive the feet OR... you keep them so close together that the contact can't be but so fast and powerful. I don't think you want to "beat people to death" when you are just introducing/working on technique.
    I would encourage you to do some fundraisers to get money available to get some of those bags. Gilman sells them... they are about 120 lbs. a piece... but they are the same ones that U. of Del. used.
    But even forearm shields or small blocking shields can be effective. Just, no. 3 now!, make sure that your defender holding the bag stays low so the blocker has to stay low!
    In Christ,

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