The Upside of Running Oklahoma Drills

By Dan Guttenplan, FNF Coaches Managing Editor

Rio Rancho coach David Howes wants to find out how physical his players are before he puts them in game situations. That’s why he relies on the Oklahoma Drill and Spider Drill.

Oklahomas pit one player against another in a battle to see who can react to a whistle and knock the opposing player off his feet first. Spider Drills are 3-on-3 drills with cones marking sidelines and the end zone. Two players block, and three defenders try to keep the ball-carrier out of the end zone.

“Our hitting drills give us an indication of how physical we are,” Howes said. “Most drills are meant to teach technique and fundamentals. These aren’t everyday drills.”

Howes said a coach has to pick his spots with hitting drills. He doesn’t run them often – if at all – in-season, but he may break them out during the preseason when players are getting frustrated by the time spent in the classroom learning the playbook.

“They’re fast segments,” Howes said. “An inside Spider run drill gives us an indication of a player’s ability to break a tackle or a defender’s ability to tackle in a 1-on-1 situation.”

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