When a quarterback gets the ball after the snap, they have a matter of seconds to find a receiver down field and throw the ball before an opponent is in their face.
To help quarterbacks eliminate time between the snap from the center and throwing the football to a receiver, try running the Target Net Drill — also called the Quick Set Drill — at your next football practice.
“Most teams are using shotgun formations, which kind of limits what you can do in the quick set passing game,” says Chris Merritt, a football coaching veteran and founding member of Heads Up Football.
This drill utilizes a specific piece of equipment: the target net. If you don’t have one handy, you can use a stationary player to catch the ball instead.
To run the drill, a coach will snap the ball to the quarterback, who will need to catch and throw the ball to the target. The focus of the drill is for the quarterback to get the ball in and out of their hands as fast as they can.
“We’re going to do a drill that forces our quarterback to catch and throw often times without the laces in his hand and perfect the body mechanics of getting the ball caught in his hands and out of his body as quick as he can,” Merritt says.
Move the target net or receiver to different angles to help your quarterback learn how to rotate their body and throw the ball quickly. If your team’s offense utilizes quick set passing in its offense, it can be crucial to run the target net drill daily in practice.
“So coaches, if you run a shotgun offense and you want to teach your quarterback the ability to get the ball from the center as fast as he can and get the ball out of his hands as fast as he can, I highly recommend this quick set target practice drill,” Merritt says.
A quarterback will need to use several types of passes to move their team down the field. One of the most difficult passes to master is the fade pass. To help turn missed opportunities into touchdowns, try the Fade Pass Target Drill.