The Games We Play

While other coaches are doodling with their X’s and O’s, I’m researching and dreaming up new games for the kids to play that will either develop their aggression ability or condition them or both. It will also allow them to have more fun while doing so which will bring them back for another season. Hopefully you can use some of these.


The circle represents the other players on the team.

Pick 2 teams. Team 1 chooses 3 players for offense, 2 blockers with blocking shields and 1 runner with the ball. Team 2 picks the defender. Alternate choosing offense and defense each turn.

The defender has 12 seconds to touch the runner. If he does, his team gets a point. If he does not, the other team gets a point. Play until all players have had a chance to participate. Losing team bearcrawls back to the water break area.

I have tried it without the shields. It gets too violent. We don’t really enforce blocks in the back. Also if the defender falls down, he is likely piled on and loses. The more the boys cheer the better it is. Of course we play music during this drill.

Deer Hunter

Mark off a square area at least 20 yds by 20 yds with cones or lines. The bigger it is the more running they have to do.

Pick 3-4 hunters. Equip them with balls to kill the deer with. They run after the deer killing them with the balls until you only have as many deer left in as you have hunters. These deer now become the hunters for the next round.

Variations-We sometimes have a gate for the deer to run out of after being killed. They run to a designated point and back and enter into the game again thru the gate…We use footballs because they sting a bit more when they hit. Since we have helmets on, headshots are legal.

I just came up with a new variation. Using pool noodles as the weapon to kill the deer. You have to get closer to make the kill. More chasing and running is done with this variation. The kids liked it too.


We make a large circle of players. Start with the 2 weakest players. They sumo wrestle. If they are driven out of the circle or a part of their body touches the ground they lose. Winner stays on until you have one final player standing. Of course we play music for this game.

King of the Boards

Have two players face off and try to drive each other backwards. Declare a winner. Winner stays on. Start with the weakest players and work up to your King. Music is played. Bonus effect of this drill is that the players (and parents if they’re watching) know the pecking order on the team and that will cause you less questions about playing time in the future.

Rescue the Treasure

This drill is brand new but the kids loved it. Mark off 3 – 5 yd by 5 yd boxes with cones or lines. Place a guard with a blocking shield in each box. The “Rescuer” is placed at the front of the area. He has to get past all 3 castle guards, rescue the treasure (football) and escape back through the same 3 castle guards. Guards attempt to knock the rescuer out of the drill area but must stay in their own box.  If the Rescuer is knocked out of the castle walls, he loses and does 10 pushups. If he makes it back out of the castle, he wins and has no punishment. Rescuer goes to the back of the line. Rotation through the drill starts with the guard nearest the treasure. Players move to the outer wall until they become the rescuer.

I would recommend this drill be done as one station instead of a whole team drill. Just more time efficient that way.

We do 1 fun drill per day in the middle of the practice. It breaks up the grind of the rest of practice and injects a little more spirit into the kids. Have fun with them. Encourage them during the games. This helps build team spirit as well.