What Are Reps In Football? – Terminology

The term rep in football is short for the word repetition. In football, repetitions are plays or drills in practice.

During each practice, players are going to be more or less involved based on their standing within the team. If you are a key player to the team you may find yourself getting a lot of reps in practice.

An injured player on the other hand may get zero reps during practice. In most cases, reps are being covered by sports Journalists watching practices looking to provide some insight to the fans.

The insights can be related to the involvement of the player in practice or a players health as he comes back from an injury.

What Are First Team Reps

A phrase you may have seen before is “first-team reps”. This phrase means that a player is getting his repetitions in with the first team AKA the starters.

As we explained earlier reps refer to practice plays or drills. If you are getting first-team reps this means you are participating in these drills with the first team.

An example of this would be a quarterback throwing to receivers in practice. If you are a quarterback throwing to the teams top wideouts you are getting first-team reps.

If you are throwing to second or third-string receivers you are likely getting second or third-string reps.

Why Is Getting Reps So Important


Getting reps in practice is important largely due to the chemistry it builds. The most obvious example is between that of a quarterback and receiver.

Throwing consistently to the receivers the quarterback is going to play with is going to allow them to get on the same page. The timing and location of routes are two big factors that a quarterback needs to get used to.

But it is not only the quarterback that needs this chemistry. Positions like guard, tackle, and center benefit greatly from practice reps together as well. In order for an offensive line to work efficiently, they need to build chemistry with one another via reps.

This is another reason why first-team reps are so important as they allow players to develop chemistry with other starters.

Football Shape

Another important aspect of getting reps in practice is football shape. Regardless of how hard players train throughout the offseason, nothing besides football can get you into football shape.

Getting reps every practice allows your body to get into and stay in football shape throughout the season.

Other Uses Of The Term Rep In Football

When people say the term reps in football they are usually talking about practice though there are some other uses for this term.

When working out, repetitions are also referred to as reps. As you likely know working out is one of the ways teams judge prospects’ ability prior to the draft.

One of these workouts is the bench press. Each time the player brings the bar down to his chest then extends it up this is considered a rep.

At the combine, they will measure the number of repetitions a player is able to get on the bench press. The bench press is always set to 225 pounds for the combine meaning the number of reps you complete will display your strength.

If a football analyst referring to reps of the bench press this is what they are talking about.

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