The Cone Plant Reaction Drill

Think about all the times a football player is forced to change direction. Reacting to a pass. Cutting to avoid a tackle. Running a crisp route.

Change of direction is something every football player should work on. This drill, courtesy of the Youth Football Coaches Association, is a great way to do just that. In addition, this drill works on backpedaling, a skill that every defensive football player must get comfortable doing.

For a printable .pdf of this drill and others, visit the YFBCA website.

The Drill

A diagram of the drill.
  • Two lines of players
  • On coach's ball movement, player will backpedal to second cone then break towards to first cone.
  • Coach can then send players to backpedal to third cone then break towards first cone.

Coaching Points

  • All positions can work this drill.
  • Remind players not to look behind and focus on coach/ball.
  • Stress good body position during backpedal.
  • This drill can be a fun conditioning drill for the team.
  • Have more then one player with each rep.
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The founder of Youth Football Coaches Association and current director is Joe Bouffard. Bouffard, affectionately known as Coach Bouf, is a veteran of 16 years of coaching experience at various levels that include youth, high school and college. While at New Canaan High School in Connecticut, Coach Bouf employed a passing attack offense that has led to 2007 and 2008 Class MM State Championships. Currently, Coach Bouf serves as offensive coordinator at Fairfield Warde High School in Connecticut.

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