9 tips on how to run your football practice like Pete Carroll

By Maddie Koss | Posted 3/8/2018

Photo via seahawks.com

Practice is everything to the Seattle Seahawks and their head coach, Pete Carroll. They treat it with a game-day mentality and implement specific ideals to get the most out of their time on the turf.

To Carroll, it’s about keeping practice upbeat and to always be better than the day before.

Carroll and the Seahawks released a video with some of the secrets to their successful practices. It contains lessons all football coaches can learn from.

Here are key factors in conducting practice the Pete Carroll Way:

1. Energy should be felt every day: Set the tone for the day. The Seahawks do this by “tapping in.” They hit the “I’m in” sign before heading to the field, which starts their whole process for the day, making an affirmation and a positive statement of what they intend to do by giving everything they have toward football and practice.

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2. Practice is a performance: Pay attention to the details. There's no wasted time during practice, so set the drills precisely. The players should always be moving, always going. Players should feel the urgency.

3. It starts with the coaches’ attitude: The Seahawks coaching staff believes the players will do whatever they ask, so they need to be jacked up every day. It begins with the coaches and the players follow.

4. Keep the tempo up: The whole energy of practice is hugely important. If you want to play upbeat, practice upbeat.

5. Critique effort first: Coaches talk about what they want to see, not what went wrong. Be disciplined with how you use the language. Critique the effort first, because effort should be everything. Talk about the next thing they can do right.

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6. Music creates atmosphere — and distraction: Not only does it add rhythm and make practice more fun, but music gives an element of noise. Players must focus a little more when it’s loud, so it emulates a real game.

7. Practice fast: The Seahawks practice for two hours, so they want it to move fast. To get work done, you can’t have wasted motion. Coaches shouldn’t stop drills to talk to players. They can do that afterward. Keep practice moving.

8. No need to condition: Seattle never conditions during practice because they want to elevate the energy the players should use in a game. Run the whole time. “If you’re walking, you’re wrong around here,” Carroll said.

9. Competition. Competition. Competition: This is an essential theme for the Seahawks. Competition is what elevates players’ involvement, focus and attention. “Competition is about striving for what you want. It’s not about beating somebody down. The guy across from them is what makes them,” Carroll said.

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