The running back is one of the most important positions on the offense of a football team. Without a good running back and a solid running game, a football team will have a hard time winning football games. While a defense can stack the box with defenders if they know an opposing team has a good rushing tack and good back, at the same time if a team can't go to the ground and has to rely on passing then this will greatly reduce a team's chances of winning the game. While there are a lot of factors that go into having a successful rushing attack, like a good offensive line, there are things you can do as a running back to improve your game and offset not having as good as of an offensive line. Read on to learn how to become a better running back.
First and foremost, you need to work on your ball handling skills. This is what separates great running backs from average running backs. You must work on drills so that you rarely fumble or cough the ball up during the games. A coach can deal with a running back who may not be as fast or as strong or one who doesn't have the ideal vision to make cuts and set up blocks, but a coach cannot deal with a running back who fumbles. This will coach the coach and the team ball games. Therefore you have to work on protecting the ball. Do drills that help you protect the football and help you secure it better.
You must be able to catch really well coming out of the back field. You should be able to play wide receiver if your coach were to ask you to. Work on your route running skills as well. A good catching running back is much more valuable and can stay in the game on all four downs than a running back who doesn't have good hands and can't line up in the slot as a wide receiver.
Work on being a patient runner. By this I mean waiting until your blockers get to their blocking assignment and then taking off. You also need to be patient until a crease opens up in the defense. This takes experience and excellent vision on a running back's part. While this is harder to work on with drills, you can improve it with time and getting repetitions at running back in practice and during games.
Work on running well behind your football pads and running with high knees. This will help you break more tackles and run through arm tackles. You will be harder to bring down and more valuable to your team. This also comes with developing a stronger lower body too. Work on running with a good forward lean when you run and not running fully erect until you are in the open field and running off to the races. Make sure you work on lower body exercises like squats, power cleans, lunges, and leg presses. These will help you run harder and break more tackles. You can learn how to perform these exercises by visiting www.stack.com.
Lastly, work on your speed and hitting daylight once you are in the open field. Lets face it, SPEED KILLS. If you are fast enough to hit the hole and outrun the entire defense at any given time, you will be a premium valued running back. Theres nothing worse than breaking into the open field only to be caught by a defender right before you score a touchdown. Work on your top end speed through running resistance sprints, and overspeed sprints along with working on your sprinting technique. You can also find good speed workouts for football players on www.stack.com.
Apply these tips to your training and your playing style and you will be a great running back in no time. Good Luck!