Running Back Jump Cut Drill

Purpose of the Jump Cut Drill

The purpose of the jump cut drill for running backs 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 and then burst thru the opening full speed again.
  • Especially useful for the zone play.


  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
  • eventually you can use stepover bags to make it more clear for the running backs that they have to make sharp cuts and cannot cut corners

Coaching Points for 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”


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