5 Movements You Should Be Doing to Gain Football Speed

Practice 5 football-specific speed drills from STACK Expert Ben Boudro to add speed to your movements on the field.

Is your body ready to handle football season? Everybody wants to be the guy on the field with crazy football speed. How can you become that guy? Start by implementing these football speed drills.

1. Getting a big jump off the line

The trick: Stay low and explode through your hips.

How can I get better?

  • Band-Resisted Med Ball Take Off Drill

How to:

  • Wrap a band around a firm post or use a partner to resist you.
  • Get a weighted medicine ball (preferably one you can throw without damaging it).
  • Start in a low athletic stance with your power leg slightly behind your opposite leg.
  • On "go," drive your hips forward fast and punch the ball forward as far as you can.
  • Use the ball's momentum to carry you forward and sprint 2-3 yards.
  • Repeat

Tip from the pros: The lower you stay, the better. Launch the ball with your hips and not just your arms. Your power will skyrocket.


  • Explosive power
  • Hip extension
  • Takeoff form

2. Make an ankle-breaking juke

The trick: Set your feet in the right spot at the optimal angle to drive force into the ground.

How can I get better?

Sprint-to-Ball Drop Reaction Drill

How to:

  • Have your partner stand 10-15 yards in front of you with a tennis ball in each hand.
  • Sprint toward your partner.
  • Just before you get to him, your partner drops one of the tennis balls to the left or right.
  • Plant your outside foot, make a break toward the ball and catch it.

Tip from the pros: It's all about the bend in your knee and where you place your foot. Find the angle that works best for you to drive maximum force into the ground in the shortest amount of time by having a friend film you with a phone camera.


  • Lower-body lateral power
  • Faster reaction time for football speed
  • Faster cuts on the field

3. Coming "downhill" to lay a hit

The trick: Quickly transition from your backpedal to a forward fast sprint.

How can I get better?

Band-Resisted Backpedal to Sprint Reaction

How to:

  • Get a partner, a band and 3 cones.
  • Face your partner with the band around both of you.
  • Set 3 cones behind your partner about 10 yards away, one to the right, one to the left and one directly behind him.
  • On "go," start your backpedal with your partner resisting you.
  • Your partner yells "left," "right" or "middle."
  • Transition from the backpedal and sprint to the designated cone as fast as you can.

Tip from the pros: The more you use your hands, the better. Use your arms to switch your momentum from backpedal to going forward.


  • Downhill quickness (huge for linebackers!)
  • Ability to transition from backpedal to going forward
  • Sprint Form

4. Breaking away from the pack

The trick: Developing the ability to punch through holes and sprint efficiently.

How can I get better?

Medicine Ball Slams to Cone to Sprint

How to:

  • Set up 5 cones about 5 yards apart in a zigzag pattern.
  • Get a weighted med ball (one that you can slam).
  • Start on one foot at cone 1.
  • Bound from cone to cone and slam the ball outside of your foot at each cone.
  • On the last cone, slam the ball away from your body and take off in a sprint.

Tip from the pros: Use your upper body and slam the ball as fast as you can before taking off in your sprint. This habit will transfer to the field, allowing you to break away from the pack with ease.


  • Lateral Power
  • Running efficiency
  • Explosiveness when carrying the ball (running backs, I'm talking to you!)

5. Setting the game-winning block

The trick: Move your feet in place and always stay in position.

How can I get better?

Ladder Drill With Med Ball Punches

How to:

  • Perform the "Icky shuffle" through a speed ladder and keep your head up.
  • As you move through the ladder, your partner randomly tosses you the ball at chest height.
  • Catch the ball and punch it back to your partner while maintaining your footwork pattern.

Tip from the Pros: Start slow! It might take 5-10 reps until you can do this smoothly. Take your time and learn how to separate your upper body from your lower body while moving.


  • Separation of upper- and lower-body movement efficiency
  • Foot Speed
  • Quickness
  • Agility

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock