Summer camps are here. Colleges coaches are traveling city to city looking for the next prized quarterback in their class. You may have 10 seconds to keep a coach’s attention before he moves on to the next prospect. One way to keep all eyes on you this summer is exceptional footwork in and out of the pocket with these 4 key drills.
Alternating Box Steps Forward:
You can use a 6”-8” high box or a BOSU ball. Start by facing the box or ball. Lift the right leg and step up to tap the right foot on the box or ball. As soon as the foot taps the box or ball bring it straight back down to the ground. The left leg shoulder quickly rise up and the left foot taps the top of the box or ball. Alternate as quick as your feet will move and count the number of taps total in 8 seconds. Rest for 20 seconds and repeat the drill. Repeat 5 sets for 8 seconds each set. The key is not to stand on the box or ball. You are simply tapping the feet to the ball or box and back to the floor as quickly as you can. Focus on beating the number of taps each time and write down your reps. Remember, as a quarterback maintain good posture and keep your eyes up when performing the drill. The taps on the box or ball should be VERY LIGHT.
Lateral Box Steps:
You will be performing the same exercise but this time standing to the one side of the box or ball. You will quickly lead with the inside leg and tap the top of the ball with inside foot and the outside leg will be following. The outside foot will tap the ball right after the inside and you should finish on the other side of the ball with both feet on the ground. Repeat back to the other side. 5 sets 8 seconds each set. Rest 20 seconds between each set. Count the number of times you cross over the box or ball. Remember, as a quarterback maintain good posture and keep your eyes up when performing the drill.
Jumping rope may be boring to many but it is one of the most effective exercises for improving footwork. Hall of Fame NFL quarterback Dan Marino may not have been the fastest runner during his time but he had arguable some of the fastest footwork between the tackles. At several Mastrole Quarterback camps Marino always stressed the importance of jumping rope and how it molded his quick feet in the pocket. Start with these exercises and a jump rope. Try and complete all the jumps below without stopping the rope.
- 2 feet regular jumps – 50 jumps
- Alternating feet- 50 jumps
- Right foot jumps- 25 jumps
- Left foot jumps- 25 jumps
- Split jumps (When you jump land with one foot in front of the other and alternate)- 25 jumps
- Front and back jumping with both feet- 25 jumps
- Side to side both feet jumps- 25 jumps
- 10 jumps as fast as you can jump for the last set
Rest 2 minutes and repeat this sequence for a total of 5 sets.
3 Cones set up as a “T” at the points. The first cone (starting point) set down on the ground and walk 5 yards forward. From there walk 5 yards to your right and set the second cone. From that point walk 10 yards to your left and set the 3rd cone. You will start at the first cone set on the ground at the bottom of the T pattern.
Shuffle (Simulating a quarterback hitching up in the pocket) with eyes up and without allowing your feet to come together 5 yards forward. At the top of the T you will sprint to the right. Sink your butt and keep your chest up to touch the cone off to the right. As soon as you touch the cone you will back peddle 10 yards across to the 3rd cone. Keep your eyes straight ahead and do not lose your posture and balance. Touch the 3rd cone without turning around to touch it. The cone should be in the center of your stance as you back peddle over it. Sprint back to the center point between the two cones and shuffle backwards (QB hitching back in the pocket) to the starting cone. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat the drill this time reaching the top of the T and back peddling left first then sprinting 10 yards to the right. Have someone time you and keep track of your times for improvement. This drill should be performed 4x.
We use these same drills to prepare our quarterbacks for the NFL, NFL draft, and upcoming college football season. For more information on private quarterback coaching, footwork, mechanics, evaluations, and recruiting contact coach Ken Mastrole. Mastrole Quarterback Academy is based in S. Florida offering year round training in Boca Raton, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Naples, and Ft Myers Florida.