By Sam Nichols
Editor's Note: This article is a portion of the larger Special Teams Drills reseach report that we released last fall. Click here for more Kickoff Drills from Villanova, Ball State, and more.
The University of Louisiana Monroe was one of the top kickoff coverage teams in the Sun Belt Conference last season and they use a concise, 3 station circuit to perfect the skills they use on their coverage unit. They run all potential kickoff players through this 10 minute rotation with each drill lasting only 3 minutes. Each of these drills are shown below. They also run a faster, “Kickoff Vital Technique drill” that puts all three of these concepts together into one drill. ULM’s special teams coordinator, Travis Niekamp, provides his narration of the drills below.
Drill #1: Avoid
This drill is very basic, but the skill is essential to being able to negate the front line of the return team’s scheme. The speed rip is not a natural motion, so this drill is used to introduce the concept and can be expanded on as players develop mastery.