Run Efficient Practices with 10-Minute Segments

By Dan Guttenplan, FNF Coaches Managing Editor

Totino-Grace coach Jeff Ferguson doesn’t have one drill that tips him off as to whether his team is ready to play. But he does have one piece of equipment: a segment timer.

“We don’t condition much outside of the way we run a typical practice,” Ferguson said. “We’re moving from one thing to another at a high tempo, and the most important piece of field equipment for us is the segment timer. We want to practice in 10-minute periods.”

Totino-Grace has conditioning periods during practices twice a week, but Ferguson doesn’t always put much stock in evaluating those sessions.

“You’re talking about in-season conditioning, so you have to account for injuries and wear and tear,” Ferguson said. “If a guy who was on the field for 80 plays on Friday night is struggling through a conditioning set on Sunday, that’s nothing to get upset about.”

The segment timer keeps Totino-Grace on task, and it also provides a simulated feel for what the tempo will be like on game day.

“We want it to feel like a pressurized drive,” Ferguson said. “They don’t get to take a break every time they’re tired in a game, so we want them to push through some of that in practice as well.”

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