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7 Must-Have Tips to Running the Football
My name is Anthony Bacarella and I have been in football since I was 5 years old. I played junior football, high school football, and college football, where I played fullback. As a full-back, I received an unusual number of carries given the position. Since being given a lot of carries, I know a thing or two about what someone needs to know and do to manage football effectively.
I have 7 tips that will help anyone running football at any point in their life.
1) Ball safety is a must!
Many coaches and players are now preaching the new high and tight grip in football. However, I don’t like this method of holding the ball. I learned to use this method in college. I didn’t fumble but found the ball easier to get out as there was usually an exposed spot. The easiest way to carry the ball is to cover the points. When the points of a soccer ball are covered, a defender can’t snatch the ball from you, it’s almost impossible. By covering the points I meant placing one side between your rib cage and your arm and the other side should be covered either by your middle finger or what some people describe as the claw which is your separate middle and ring finger. Remember that those who don’t grope are never frowned upon. It doesn’t matter how many touchdowns you may have had, if you can’t keep the football that people remember.
2) Never enter during a transfer!
My second tip is simple. Let the quarterback give you a good, firm handoff before collapsing on the ball. Often ball carriers get too impatient because they see a big hole. Before you know it, the ball is on the ground because his pocket collapsed before the ball was even in his stomach. A lot of people may say “they quit teaching you how to pocket in high school”, it doesn’t matter because an effective pocket will always get the runner off to a safe start. Never enter the transfer!
3) Run from north to south
We are not all Barry Sanders. The man had god hips. He was able to run straight ahead at full speed, stop on the dime, cut back, take a ninety degree angle and head in the other direction. This man was an incredible running back who was not only a hard worker, but had a God-given talent. For those of us who don’t run football like Barry Sanders, there is a golden rule to follow. This rule is to run from north to south. That means keep running straight and picking up yardage. It’s the worst thing to see a ball carrier on tiptoe in a hole and think he’s fast enough to beat the defense to the touchline. It ends up making those two yard runs feel like twenty yard runs when those two yard runs could have been picked up by continuing forward.
4) Know Down and Distance
Know the sticks! Knowing where you need to be for a first try can change your style a bit. You never know if it’s just a third one, then grab the one lower on your shoulder and take the first one. If it’s second and one then hey maybe you can find a way down and take one all the way home. Every inch counts in football and every decision made has a purpose.
There’s nothing better as a running back than running over a tackler. As a running back, your mentality should be that no one will take you down and if they do, you have to make them pay. Drop your shoulder, punch someone, and get the extra three yards. Not only will it do you good, but linebackers everywhere will respect and fear you. They’ll think about butting heads with you next time, and this might be your chance to take it home.
6) Track your blockers
In addition to running north and south, a running back must always follow their blockers. You can’t think you’re better than everyone else and create your own game. That’s why we have coaches calling our games. they know what they are talking about and want you to run in a certain area. Following your head blockers will always give you a better chance than getting scared and leaving at the last second. As you follow your blockers, holes will open up, I promise.
7) Eyes to the sky
My last and final piece of advice is eyes to the sky. By eyes to the sky, I mean keep your head up. Make sure you see where you are going. Vision is the key to success as a running back. Keeping your head up will also prevent you from seriously injuring your neck or head.
In conclusion, you must trust these 7 tips because if you are a running back or running the ball, they will help you become a better running back.
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