These 3 Things Can Make Your Team Play Slow

By FirstDown PlayBook on Aug 29, 2020

We all understand the value of team speed and how it can help your football team. We normally think of speed as a physical trait that a team either has or doesn’t. Coaches constantly are trying to get the most out of their team speed.

We urge our players to “hustle” “play hard” and “go full speed”. Effort is very important and we will always be coaching it as long as we wear a whistle. However, there might be other reasons why your team is not be playing as fast as they can.

Here are three of the biggest culprits.


It is hard to do anything fast when you don’t know what you are doing. There are some players who will play fast even though they don’t know their assignment but not many. Most players will tip toe through the play hoping that they are right or hoping that they are not exposed for not knowing. This is why coaching matters.

We as coaches are teachers and above all else we must teach our kids what to do. We have to hold ourselves accountable for what they know and what they don’t. We must find out how they learn. Is it on paper? Is it with a walk through of the play or defense?

We also must evaluate how much we are trying to teach them. If it is too much then we must cut back. As a coach it is your job to find out the answer to all of this. Anyone can yell at the kid. A good coach will find out how to teach him.


As coaches, sometimes we look for the perfect answer to every defense or offense. Let’s face it. At times the opposition makes a call that is perfect for what you have dialed up. It happens. No big deal. Let it go and move on.

Here is what you should not do. Give your kids an adjustment to every possible thing the defense might do to you. By the time your players have figured it out the play is over and they have “felt” their way through the play instead of running it full speed.

On defense I know you must have an adjustment to every formation the offense can line up in but if you are smart you will prepare for what they do the most and have one check for anything different from that. Your players will end up making you right more often than not if they are playing fast.


The more a player can understand the big picture the better, especially your quarterback. Now don’t get us wrong, this is only after he or she knows their assignment first. Let’s take this flag football play that we taught the kids at the Austin YMCA this past summer.

Flag football you say? We can feel the eyes rolling now. Here’s our point. This play is predicated on everyone doing THEIR  job and doing it FAST. If everyone jogs through their assignment then the defense will have an easy day of it because there is little deception.

However, if every player is flying around full speed then there are three or four different things the defense must defend. Now THEY play SLOW because they are not sure. So regardless of your level of football take time to evaluate your team speed and make sure you are not holding it back!.

FirstDown PlayBook is the only Digital Football PlayBook that gives you access to over thirty five thousand football plays, schemes and technique help all designed by coaches and players with NFL experience. FirstDown PlayBook is also the official PlayBook resource of USA Football and Football Canada..