Competitive Special Teams Drill Series



In this article I will lay out how you can use competition to teach and train fundamentals for Special Teams. This approach takes considerable more work for the coach, but is considerably more fun for the players. If you are looking for buy in from a staff and core players, this is a great tool. Football should be the most fun that our players have each day as well as the hardest work they put in each day.

Places that I have adopted this approach at have all had a great commitment to Special Teams from the top down. In a typical Spring Ball or Fall Camp practice, we would have a Special Teams Walkthrough to start practice, a Field Goal Period, and two core Special Teams Periods.

This article focuses on the 2nd section of core special teams practice for our spring practice. The ultimate goal is to compete in good on good reps. In order to do that, we as coaches must equip the players with the proper techniques and knowledge before they compete. We have a series for Punt / Punt Return and one for Kickoff / Kickoff Return. Here, I will talk about our Punt / Punt Return.

In a year where availability for players (due to covid-19) was extremely variable from week to week or even day to day, special teams was an “all hands on deck” type of approach. Competing every day allowed us to train and develop every player on the roster. That year, we ended up playing 48 different players on the core 4 special teams alone. We were able to finish as the #1 special teams unit in the conference by average.



  • Punt Drill Work (Blocking, Releasing, Covering)
  • Punt Return Drill Work (Rushing, Holding Up, Blocking)
  • Competitive Punt vs Punt Return Drills
  • Draft System
  • Scoring System


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