KU football's victory drill designed to set tone for competitive practices this spring
David Beaty calls it the victory drill — or V-drill for short.
It’s a staple during the early portion of Kansas football’s practices this spring and it’s a way to get all the Jayhawks engaged immediately following stretches and warm-ups.
A quarterback stands at the back of a long, straight line of offensive and defensive players with the ball in a hand-off position, as they all wait for a coach’s whistle. Once that signal sounds, the QB gives the football up to a running back. In front of the ball carrier, players fight to win one-on-one blocks at three different levels:
Offensive lineman vs. interior defensive lineman
Tight end or O-lineman vs. defensive end or linebacker
Receiver vs. defensive back
What begins as an ordered row of players instantly mutates into chaos, as the running back reads the blocks playing out in front of him and finds the most direct route to the end zone from 20 yards out.
“We want to stress a fast start in everything we do, and I think that kind of lets us set our pads at the beginning of practice,” Beaty said of the drill. “And really it’s more than just running into each other. There’s very direct things that we’re working on.”
At Thursday’s practice, the most experienced running back on the roster, junior Taylor Martin, looked most comfortable finding holes and lanes in the V-drill, juking and speeding his way to the goal line. But, as Beaty said, the exercise benefits players at all positions and and brings an intense vibe to the beginning of practice.
“It’s hard to simulate that unless you’re in a play,” the third-year KU head coach said, “unless you’re in that type of a drill.”
It gets the Jayhawks’ competitive juices flowing and allows the coaches, who get as fired up as their pupils during the competition, to dive into their day with some productive analysis and critiquing.
“We’re not looking to take a guy to the ground. We’re really looking for technique and trying to stay safe,” Beaty said, “but still get that physicality to start the practice.”
— Check out some footage of the V-drill from Thursday’s practice — the fifth of 15 this spring — below.