High school football quarterback drills
The best ways to turn your QB into a bonafide, consistent on-field leader.
Photo Credit: Bill Grove
Quarterback is arguably the most important position within organized football. In high school football, when fundamentals can be at their lowest, having a stable quarterback can overcome many other problems and allow your team to be very successful. How do you take a kid only a few years removed from elementary school and craft the consistent on-field leader you're looking for?
Repetition, repetition, repetition … with some of the following drills.
The quarterback works the football in a circular motion around various body parts --- his head, his shoulders, his torso, and finally between his knees. He begins playing catch with the ball between his legs. At this point, the coach can scream out a specific body part --- at which point the quarterback has to work the ball back there --- or he can scream "reverse," which reverses the order of the ball rotation. This drill is basic, but good for ball security and allows the athlete to master holding the ball in varied positions and situations.
Two quarterbacks begin 10 yards apart, each with their right knee on the ground. The first quarterback picks up a ball with his dominant hand, brings it to the region of his ear, and throws to his partner. The partner QB catches it, places it on the ground next to his right leg, and repeats the drill accordingly. After 10 repetitions, the coach begins focusing on finer points of the throwing mechanism of each player. After the dominant hand reps, a good idea is to have the QBs repeat the drill with both knees on the ground. This focuses them on turning their torso while throwing the ball, which increases both velocity and quickness of release.
Drop, Step, and Wave Drill
Again, this drill requires two quarterbacks. They stand roughly 15 yards apart, with the coach equidistant between them. One begins with the ball in an "under center" position. The coach says "Go" and the QB with the ball executes a three step drop, with his eyes still focused on the coach. The coach gives visual directions with his hands, such as move left, move right, move back, etc. The quarterback must stand tall in the pocket and follow the coach's directions, keeping his eyes locked on the coach at all times. At the end, the coach yells "Throw," and the first QB heaves the ball to the second, who then repeats the drill. This drill increases footwork and pocket presence.
Throw on the Run
Two quarterbacks begin 15 yards apart, but facing each other. One quarterback, with the ball, begins running towards the other, and the other backpedals. Eventually, the first QB throws, and once the second player receives the ball, he begins running towards the first QB, and the first QB begins backpedaling. This improves both stamina and the ability to throw on the run.
X Marks the Spot
Four receivers run specific patterns, but each time a different one has a small, removable X on his jersey. The QB is supposed to deliver the ball to the receiver with the X, but if that receiver is running his route poorly or covered, the QB must realize the next option and release before the coach's timer runs out. This is done best in a series of 10 second spurts improving the QB's accuracy, reads, and progressions.