7 Every Day Drills to Teach Ball Security

Aug 1, 2019 | Offense, Run Game Mechanics, Running Backs, Position Groups, Fundamentals

By James Guest
Running Back Coach
University of Virginia – Wise
Twitter: @CoachJamesGuest


The topic of ball security is talked about heavily in our game and stats like interceptions, fumbles lost and turnover margin are often used to explain outcomes of games. With this being such a big part of our game, it is imperative that protecting the football is coached well if you want to win games and ultimately keeping your job. Around here, we say that “ball security = job security.”

There are two things I believe in when it comes to coaching ball security:

  1. Teach the fundamentals on how to carry/run with the football and drill it daily
  2. Train reactions that enable the athlete to protect the ball from being in jeopardy.

In the drills below, you will see how we were able to drive home the importance of ball security for our players. The results speak for themselves. Before getting to UT-Martin in 2013, they were last in the OVC in fumbles lost (21). My first year in 2014 we cut them in half (10) (523att) which ranked tied for 2nd in conference. In 2015 we continued the decline and improved to 8 fumbles.

Exchange/Ball Security Drills

Drill #1: “Two Line Exchange”

Drill Setup/Instructions

  • “Early eyes, early pocket”
  • Near elbow up
  • Top hand = thumb down against chest
  • Bottom hand = flat hand against belt
  • Roll over ball with top hand
  • Fake = roll over with top hand

Coaching Points

  • Eyes up
  • Perfect pockets
  • Roll over
  • Snap ball to high n’ tight (outside hand)

To study practice film of this drill, click on the link below: