This is a sample from my Shield Punt e Clinic.  I wrote this piece for one of the e Clinic’s chapters, the chapter titled In Season Weekly Practice.  

If you do not do something like this the day before the game, I think you’re missing out on something that will REALLY help with your Special Teams organization on game night!


One thing that I’ve done since starting as a Head Coach back in 2003 the day before a game is spending about 4 minutes going through our Special Teams Depth Chart.  We do this right before practice starts.  Here is how I do this, it will REALLY help your Special Teams organization!!

1.  I line up the whole team on the goal line, shoulder to shoulder facing me.  Helmets strapped up and ready for practice.

2.  I stand on the 10 yard line with my coaching staff.

3.  I will yell out “Kickoff Team.”  Then the entire team echos back “Kickoff Team.”  I might say this 2-4 times.  We have fun with it, and it helps the kids to focus up on this mental, day before the game walk through practice.

4.  The 11 kids on the kickoff team come out to the 5 yard line.  Whoever the kickoff coach is will count them, and make sure that we have the right 11 kids.  I have all of those names on my game day card, which I have at practice with me.  Early in the season, we will spend the extra time calling out those names.


5.  If we make the count and are missing someone, then we go through the kickoff team roster on my call sheet to see who we are missing.

6.  We work our way through all 6 special teams this way: kickoff, kick return, punt, punt return, PAT, PAT defense.

This drill has been VERY good for us because it gets all of the Special Teams ready to go.  I have rarely had 10 guys in the huddle on game day because of this time spent.  It has eliminated a lot of issues.  Trust me, it’s worth the 5 minutes of time.  Nothing more that I hate as the Head Coach than having to scramble and look for that one kid on the kickoff team right after we score a touchdown!!  This helps to combat that.

I will also say “Okay, R3 is hurt, Chuck your down, get out of here.”  Then I expect the backup R3 to step up in to that spot.  We might do this for 4-5 guys per Special Team during this period too.