Football Shotgun Snapping Drills
In high school, college and NFL football offenses, the snap of the football marks the start of an offensive play. The snap can either be performed with the quarterback's hands directly underneath the center's backside, or it can be performed with the quarterback lining up 3-5 yards behind the center, to which the center tosses, or "snaps" the football to him in what is known as a shotgun snap.
As offenses on all levels of American football have come to focus heavily on the passing game, the importance of a good shotgun snap has become vital to playing the center position. Countless times, over or under snapping the ball on a shotgun snap has lead to costly turnovers for the offense; because of this, centers must dedicate much of their practice time to performing these snaps using various drills, such as the ones listed below.
Repeat Snap Drill
- Focus: Release point and accuracy
- How to perform:
- Place eight to 10 footballs in a line on the ground in front of you and position them the way you grip them when snapping
- Get into the snapping position and have a teammate or coach act as quarterback as you snap footballs to him continuously
- Have a second coach or teammate place the balls in front of you quickly as you snap each one
- Keep practicing until your snaps become increasingly consistent and straight
Distance Snap Drill
- Focus: Distance
- How to perform:
- Place several balls on the ground in front of you
- Snap each football as far and as straight as you can
- Keep practicing until you become more consistent
TIP: This is a drill that should be able to be completed on your own. Take your time to focus on your approach, grip and stance when performing each snap.
Goal Post Drill
How to perform:
- Line up several footballs about 15 yards away from the goal post
- Get into your center stance and snap each football and try to hit the goal post behind you
TIP: Pretend the goal post is the quarterback and try to hit the post around the area where his hands would be. Focus on your grip and stance when snapping each ball. As you get better and more accurate, try to snap the balls with more speed. Keep practicing until you are able to hit the goal post with almost every snap.
Tom Stewart started writing radio news, sports and entertainment scripts for live broadcast in 1992 and has worked as a producer, writer and on-air personality at several radio stations in Southern New England, including WPRO, WQSX and WKCD. He has extensive knowledge of news, sports and entertainment. Stewart studied mass communications and marketing at Rhode Island College.