Running Back Jump Cut Drill

Purpose of the Jump Cut Drill

The purpose of the running back jump cut drill is
  • To improve the ability of the runningback to attack the line-of-scrimmage full speed and adjust to the opening in the last split of a second without losing to much time.
  • Especially useful for the zone play.

Description of the Jump Cut Drill

  1. Set 4 cones in a row about 3 feet apart. (Put 2 more cones about 3-6 feet behind the outside cones)
  2. Runningbacks starts about 4 to 5 yards away and approaches the middle gap.
  3. when he almost reaches the cones he plants both feet – more than shoulder width apart – and moves over (jumps) to the gap to the left or right without turning hips or shoulders.
  4. then he accelerates straight forwards for another 5-6 yards.

Tips for the Jump Cut Drill

  • increase speed of approach as your running backs get better
    • walk through
    • 1/2 speed
    • fast as you can under control
  • Add QB and Handoff and adjust starting position
  • first predefine the gap they should move over to,
    • then coach gives them a signal as late as possible.
    • or – if you have enough players – let 2 players with shields stand close behind the outside gaps and let one of them step out of that gap when the runningback plants his feet.
  • you can use additional cones or towels to make the path more visible for the players

Coaching Points of the Jump Cut Drill


  • staying low
  • quick movement – runningback cannot get stuck in his plant
  • hips and shoulders should always point downfield
  • good accelleration downfield after the “jump-cut”

Equipment of the Jump Cut Drill

  • 4-6 cones
  • Ball(s)
  • eventually 2 shields