Running Back Sideline Running Drill


Usually you tell your running back to step out of bounds just before taking an unnecessary blow when running along the sideline. But sometimes he just needs to stay in bounds to make that crucial first down or touchdown. And then it comes very handy if he’s got his automatics down, and knows how to take on a sideline tackler to make that most needed extra yards. This sideline running drill helps to develop these automatics.


  1. Have 2-3 players with shields line up 3 yards from the sideline and five yards apart.
  2. Have a back run (can catch a pass) and work upfield near the sideline.
  3. The defenders will each give a high or a low blow delivery.
  4. The runner, against a low blow delivery, will:
    • Keep toes pointed upfield
    • Give with his hips
    • Plant sideline foot upfield and explode
    • Field foot must not cross over
  5. The runner, against a high blow delivery, will:
    • Utilize shoulder-arm strength
    • Put weight on sideline foot
    • Push inside to give blow do defender (rip technique)
    • Plant field side foot upfield – near cross over

Coaching Points

  • Ball security
  • Violent running
  • Going for every yard – never run out of bounds


  • Shields
  • Sideline