Running Back Freeze Drill

Purpose of the Freeze Drill

The purpose of the Freeze Drills is to teach a proper first step. (Step and Hold [Freeze])

Description of the Freeze Drill

  1. Straight ahead
    At first we want to start straight ahead and simply work on the ability and the mechanics of starting with either the right or the left foot first:

    1. right leg – left arm
    2. left leg – right arm
  2. 45° Step (fire step)
    Next we want to start in an 45° angle to either side, with an “open step”, that is the first step should be taken with the leg in the direction we are going, thus opening the legs. This requires two things: first of all the starting stance can’t be too wide otherwise the open step would over extend the split between the feet or it would be just a minimal step, which both wouldn’t fulfill the purpose of an explosive start.

    1. Fire right – left arm
    2. Fire left – right arm
  3. Pull – (lateral)
    The open pull step start shouldn’t gain any ground towards the LOS but goes directly parallel, the shoulders (and hips) should turn exactly 90° so the back foot (the one not taking the step) has to turn 90° as well, while the stepping foot shouldn’t step too far so the spread between the feet won’t get too big.

    1. Pull right – left arm
    2. Pull left – right arm
  4. Crossover – (45° and lateral) – Same arm & leg
    This first step, same arm same leg movement is required to get the shoulders square to the running direction, the arm movement therefore should be rather modest than over exagerated as this arm will have to continue to swing forward with the next step taken by the opposite leg. – If players have problems with this elongated arm action reduce the requirement for the arm action on the cross over step to a shoulder action with keeping the elbow back, so it can swing forward with the next step.

    1. Crossover left leg – left arm
    2. Crossover right leg – right arm

Coaching Points of the Freeze Drill

  • Stress correct arm action and foot-placement.
  • Make sure the opposite arm of the leg that steps forward/sideways moves forward, while the same arm moves backward
  • Also check that the arm action is as explosive as the step and will direct the shoulders (actually the whole upper torso) into running direction.
  • But make sure the arm action and the rotation of the upper torso doesn’t “overrotate” but has the right intensity so it doesn’t have to be corrected with the next step’s arm action again, resulting in an swinging upper body. – That’s why we want to freeze after the first step, not only to check for correct foot placement but also for correct arm action and torso rotation.
  • Finally check for good stance, RB shouldn’t give away where he will step.

Equipment for the Freeze Drill

  • none