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2-Ball Kickoff Coverage Drill

Coach Gavin Fitts

by Coach Fitts
I used this drill for the first time earlier this season so I am still working out the kinks, but
it has a lot of value for a few reasons:

it reps 2 kickers and 2 returners at once.

it forces kickers to place directional kicks accurately.
it focuses on your coverage teams get off and gives them tons of reps hitting
the line at full speed.
it isolates your coverage players so you can evaluate them without all the extra
noise of a typical special teams play.
it can be tailored to target specific problems in your kickoff coverage.
it should move quickly and constantly once its setup and started.

Start in your regular kick formation and assign a kicker to each side of the field (if you
use a 5 x 5 formation it works best, but 6 x 4 formations shouldnt be an issue).
Alternating sides, the kickers start the drill by approaching the ball. All of the players on
the active kickers side of the ball work their get-offs on every kick, but only one player
continues to cover the kick downfield. Assign a group of returners to each side of the
field and set up blockers (or other obstacles) in front of the returners to drill 1 or 2
aspects of your coverage. For example (shown in the diagram below), I usually put a
blocker with a shield 20 yards from the kicking line and another one 15 yards behind the
first. The assigned coverage player needs to avoid the first blocker, defeat the second
one with his correct shoulder, and break down on the returner. I usually start with the
outermost coverage players (L1/R1) covering the kick first, and then work in to the
middle of the field. After a player runs down the field in coverage, his backup should
step into the drill to keep it loaded.

What Ive learned so far:

In a 7-minute special teams period, I can usually get through each side more than
twice (roughly 25 total kicks) if we get it set up quickly and have plenty of returners to
step into the drill. The quality of the drill depends largely on the football IQ of the
blockers, so I try to use starters or guys who play on our kick return team.
This is also a very film-friendly drill from the end zone angle. If you record your
practices, youll get great footage of your kickers and returners, and, best of all, of your
coverage players all alone trying to execute their responsibilities.