It is no secret that football is one of the most complex sports to play. With tons of different positions, plays and schemes it can be a lot to take in. This leaves many fans wondering how football players memorize plays.
Football players are able to memorize plays by understanding the language of their playbooks. For example, a play like spider 2 y banana means there are two players in slide protection “Sp” and the “y” receiver should run a “banana” route (y banana).
This sort of language allows the players to understand what to do in each play by understanding the terminology that goes with the play.
Language Of Football
Instead of memorizing hundreds of plays the players first need to memorize the language used in the playbook.
The language itself is going to act as a guide telling the player what his responsibilities are. As we showed in the example above the terms of the play call itself are going to be telling players what the play entails.
Usually, a play name is going to give a few key pieces of information and the rest must be filled in by the players.
For example, on the spider 2 y banana players know that two of them will be in slide protection and the y receiver will be running a banana route.
Players must then use their general rules and memory of the play to determine what else they have to do.
The offensive line knows this is a pass play so they will go into pass protection. Most receivers will run complementary routes to the intended receiver so that the QB has other options if the intended receiver is covered.
Memorizing the language of a football team does take some time. Interestingly this language can be completely different from team to team.
Even in the NFL when a player is traded from one team to another it can take that player a long time to get a full grasp of the terminology and play calling in the offense.
Focusing On Their Position
When looking at a playbook it may seem there is a nearly impossible amount of things to memorize. Luckily for most football players, you are only going to have to remember what it is you need to do on the field.
Most positions only have a set number of actions they can take each play. A wide receiver can only run so many routes and a running back can only run through so many holes in the line.
Positional players must then determine which action matches up with each play. Some positions like quarterback aren’t going to have this luxury as they are going to have to keep track of a lot more things in each play.
Good Old Cue Cards
Though memorizing plays in football is not as difficult as it seems when you see the size of the playbook. But it still does requires some level of memorization.
One of the best way to do this is with the tried and true method of cue cards. Using cue cards is a simple way to improve memorization of just about anything.
If a player is struggling with remembering each play or figuring out what to do cue cards can be a great way to practice.
In most cases, cue cards will be something a player would use at the start of the season because once the playbook is memorized players will rarely forget it.
That all for memorizing plays if you want to learn more about football players find the answers to how football players spend their money or why football players lick their fingers before a snap.