Football Tryout Drills

By Daniel Westlake

When trying out players for a football team, there are certain aspects of each individual's athleticism that coaches want to see before they select them to play on the team. These drills involve speed, passing ability and general toughness. Specific drills are designed for testing players for each of the positions on the football field. Running specific drills is essential for finding the best players out of the pool of candidates who show up to be on the team.

40-Yard Dash

The 40-yard dash is the most well known and used football tryout drill, as it is the best test of speed for a football player off the line of scrimmage. Players are timed running a 40-yard dash, and a fast time increases the player's chances in making the team. While players in all positions should be tested on the 40-yard dash, top times should really be tested with running backs, receivers and defensive backs who cover the receivers. This is where speed is needed the most on the football field from play to play.


Footwork is incredibly important on the football field for linemen on both the offensive and defensive ends, as well as running backs who may have to dash over felled bodies, with defensive players trying to tackle them. This tryout drill consists of tires from cars being placed on the field in a long line that is two-wide. There are usually twenty to thirty feet of tires in a row and players must race through them as quickly as they can, high stepping over the tires and trying not to trip.

Quarterback Boot Sprint Out and Throw

Two quarterbacks start facing each other about ten yards apart and staggered 15 yards separate on the width of the field. When the quarterback coach calls hike, the two quarterbacks grab the ball and drop back five yards, rolling out to their right and throwing on the run to their partner quarterback. As both quarterbacks are supposed to be in sync if they are doing the drill correctly, this drill works player's footwork, memory and accuracy throwing the ball on the run. The more consistently a quarterback or pair of quarterbacks can complete the passes accurately, the more they should be considered for the team.

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