As my friend Carl Paoli says, “When a football player goes to practice football, he and his teammates don’t just play a football game. They do drills.” At the end of the day, one of the biggest jobs a coach has is to teach athletes new things. While there are a number of ways to successfully teach movement in others, the use of drilling is key. To use it, we’ll need to know precisely what makes a drill characteristically unique.
A drill is a simulation that highlights a specific, repeatable skill. This is why, according to coach Paoli, football practice isn’t just more football. The linemen go with the other linemen and do linemen-like drills. The receivers do receiver drills that highlight running routes, agility and various types of catching simulations. Not only does the basic chunking down of drilling allow for many reps of exposure, but drills also allow us to exaggerate real life. Drills are where you block movement, create rules, institute boundaries and develop a simulation often more focused than real life or, in this case, a real game.