What do you do at a football tryout?

Generally, football tryouts are going to start with warmups and stretches to loosen the body. Coaches will often test players’ speed and agility via drills.

The football players are then usually split into position groups in order to practice drills more tailored to their specific position.


The first thing that is going to happen at a tryout is all the players are going to do a quick warmup. The last thing a coach wants is to get anyone injured on their first day back to football.

For this reason, you will likely find the first few minutes of the practice or going to involve stretching and light cardio. These exercises will help to loosen you up and get some of the nerves out of your system.

Speed Testing

One of the most common events at a football tryout is a speed test. The coach will make players run the forty-yard dash or a similar distance in order to gauge their speed.

If you are playing high school football and have not yet decided on a position this drill will play a large role. The speed of a football player largely decides what position they will end up playing.

For example, if a football tryout proves a player to be incredibly fast they will often be given an RB or WR position.

The speed test will also give the coaches a rough idea of how athletic each player is.

If you are a large player do not worry about this test. Larger players that play on the offensive or defensive line are not often valued based on their forty yard dash time in a football tryout.

Agility Testing

Another common drill at football tryouts is agility testing. There are many different football tryout drills that can measure a player’s agility which makes it hard to know exactly what drill you will be doing.

Agility drills will display a player’s ability to change direction quickly and work in tight spaces.

This is another drill that will show off a player’s athletic ability. Again if this is a freshman tryout for a high school football team how you perform in the agility drill may affect which position you play.

Positional Drills

After you complete agility and speed drills it is likely the coaches will then move to positional drills.

Positional drills are going to break up the team into positional groups. For example, the quarterbacks would do drills together, as would the defensive lineman or the wide receivers.

When this happens players will go to the group of the position they want to play. Otherwise, the coaches will assign players which position they should play.

Positional group drills are going to be much more tailored to the exact responsibilities each position has.

The quarterbacks will complete drills in which they will throw the ball while players like wide receivers would practice running routes.

At this point in the tryout, coaches are already trying to mould their athletes into better players.

Though this does not mean that you have already made the team. At this point, the positional coaches will be keeping a close eye on each player to see how they perform in the drills.

This portion of the tryout is not about raw athleticism but instead more-so about your skills in a specific position.

If you are performing well in the positional portion of the drills you will likely make the team.

Cardio workout

At the end of the tryout after positional drills, many football tryouts will finish with more cardio-based drills.

Oftentimes coaches use tryouts to start getting into football shape for the season. Many returning players are not going to be in the physical shape to perform their position effectively.

For this reason, coaches will often do more conditioning drills to finish off the practice this is often drills such as running gassers or 110’s.

That is all on how to get ready for football tryouts if you want to learn more see our guides to what a preferred walk on is in football or learn about senior night football games.

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