Basic Skills

Flag Football Drills for Kids

Basic Skill Development – Table of Contents

Running back receives the hand-off

Taking the Snap Drill - This is a very simple flag football drill to teach your players how to snap the ball This drill should be practiced for 3-5 minutes every practice until it becomes perfected by the players.

  1. Center lines up over the ball – make sure that knees are bent and head is up and not over the ball
  2. Quarterback lines up under center and calls hike.
  3. Center hands the ball between his legs while rotating the ball 90 degrees.  It is important to stress here that the ball is not thrown to, or shoved at the QB.  The center simply holds the ball in place until the QB takes it out of his hands.
  4. Quarterback takes the ball by placing the heels of his palms together and wrapping his hands and fingers around the center of the ball.   The quarterback should NOT grab the ball with one hand on each end.
  5. Quarterback steps back and raises the ball to mid-chest with both hands still wrapped around.

Hand-Off Drill- Taking a proper hand-off is the first skill all your running backs should learn.   This flag football drill should be practiced in the early season for 3-5 minutes every practice until it becomes perfected by the players.  Start the drill at 25-50% speed and work up to doing it at full speed.

  1. Quarterback holds the ball to his chest and simulates the snap.
  2. Running Back is lined up 5-7 yards behind the QB.  First on the right then on the left, alternating sides each time the drill is run.
  3.  As the quarterback calls hike the running back moves forward to take the hand-off.   Simultaneously the quarterback takes one step in the direction of the play and stretches his arms out, holding the ball securely and away from his body.
  4. The running back must gauge the distance and be sure not to strike the quarterback’s body, arms or legs.
  5. As he moves forward the running back forms a pocket with his arms to receive the ball.
  6. The pocket is formed by placing one arm across the chest (parallel to the ground), palm down.  The other arm goes across the lower abdomen, parallel to the ground and palm up.
  7. The QB then places the ball into the pocket and the RB clamps down on the ball with his forearms and palms.
  8. Make sure the RB does not try to grab the ball from the QB with his hands.  Also make sure the RB is receiving the ball while moving and not stopping to accept the hand-off.

Fake Hand-Off Drill - Similar to the hand-off flag football drill, but emphasis on the quarterback pulling the ball back out of the running back’s arms.   This drill should be practiced in the early season for 3-5 minutes every practice until it becomes perfected by the players.  It can be worked in with the hand-off drill by alternating, and can be also used as part of advanced combo drills.

  1. Quarterback holds the ball to his chest and simulates the snap.
  2. Running Back is lined up 5-7 yards behind the QB.  First on the right then on the left, alternating sides each time the drill is run.
  3. As the quarterback calls hike the running back moves forward to take the hand-off.   Simultaneously the quarterback takes one step in the direction of the play and stretches his arms out, holding the ball securely and away from his body.
  4. The running back must gauge the distance and be sure not to strike the quarterback’s body, arms or legs.
  5. As he moves forward the running back forms a pocket with his arms to receive the ball.
  6. The pocket is formed by placing one arm across the chest (parallel to the ground), palm down.  The other arm goes across the lower abdomen, parallel to the ground and palm up.
  7. The QB then places the ball into the pocket and quickly pulls it back out.
    • Place emphasis on the quarterback holding the ball securely so it does not pop out of his hands.
  8. After the ball is removed, the RB should close his arms and hunch over for a few steps, acting as if he got a real hand-off

Flag Pulling - This is a drill designed to reinforce good flag pulling techniques.  This drill should be practiced by all team members throughout the season for 5-10 minutes at each practice.

Youth Flag Football Drills | Basic Flag Pull Drill

The defender attempts to pull the flag before the runner gets beyond the cones.

  1. Coach arranges 4 cones in a rectangle. Place the cones at 4 yards wide by 15 yards long.  Increase the width by 1 yard at a time, as the players improve and the season progresses, until the rectangle is about 7 yards wide.
  2. Start 1 player as a defender – This player positions in the middle of the drill area.
  3. All other players form a line opposite the defender and outside the play area.  they will be moving lengthwise from 1 side of the rectangle to the other.
  4. The coach will hand the ball to one of the players, who becomes the runner,  that player will attempt to run from that starting point through the play area and out the other side.
  5. The defender will attempt to stop the players progress by pulling the runners flag using good technique.
  6. After each attempt the runner becomes the defender and the defender moves to the end of the line.
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