How To Draw Play Football: A Comprehensive Guide

How To Draw Play Football: A Comprehensive Guide
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Football is a game of strategy and coordination, and drawing plays is an essential part of the game. Whether you are a coach, player, or simply a fan, understanding how to draw play football can enhance your understanding and enjoyment of the sport. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide on how to draw play football in easy-to-understand language.

1. Understanding the Basics

Before we dive into the specifics of drawing plays, it’s important to have a solid understanding of the basic rules and positions in football. Familiarize yourself with terms such as quarterback, running back, wide receiver, and offensive and defensive lines.

2. Equipments You Need

To draw play football effectively, you will need some essential equipment. Invest in a whiteboard or a large piece of paper, markers or pens in different colors, and a ruler. These tools will help you create clear and visually appealing diagrams.

3. Establishing a System

Before you start drawing plays, it’s crucial to establish a system that works for you. Decide on a set of symbols and abbreviations that you will use consistently in your diagrams. This will make it easier for your players or fellow coaches to understand and execute the plays.

4. Drawing Offensive Plays

When drawing offensive plays, start by outlining the positions of the players on the field. Use different colors to represent the various positions. Draw arrows to indicate the direction of movement and use dotted lines to represent the paths of the ball. Be sure to label each player and include any necessary instructions or notes.

5. Drawing Defensive Plays

Defensive plays require a slightly different approach. Start by drawing the positions of the defensive players, again using different colors to differentiate between positions. Use arrows to indicate the direction of movement and dotted lines to represent potential routes the offensive players may take. Label each player and include any additional instructions or notes.

6. Adding Detail

To make your play diagrams more comprehensive, consider adding additional details such as numbers indicating the order of execution, circles or crosses to represent block assignments, and Xs to mark the intended target of a pass. These small details can make a significant difference in the clarity of your diagrams.

7. Communicating the Plays

Once you have drawn the plays, it’s essential to effectively communicate them to your team. Use clear and concise language to explain the diagram, and consider providing your players with printed copies of the drawings to refer to during practice and games.

8. Practicing Execution

Remember, drawing plays is only the first step. It’s crucial to practice executing the plays on the field. Start with walkthroughs and gradually increase the intensity to ensure that your team understands and can execute the plays effectively in a real game situation.

9. Analyzing and Adjusting

As you observe your team execute the plays, pay close attention to any weaknesses or areas that need improvement. Analyze the effectiveness of the plays and be willing to make adjustments as necessary. Football is a dynamic game, and the ability to adapt your plays is essential.

10. Seeking Inspiration

Don’t be afraid to seek inspiration from other coaches and teams. Watch games, read books, and study successful play designs. Adapt and incorporate elements that align with your team’s strengths and style of play.


Understanding how to draw play football is a valuable skill that can enhance your experience of the game. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can create clear and effective play diagrams that will help your team succeed on the field. Remember to communicate the plays effectively, practice execution, and be open to analyzing and adjusting your strategies. Happy drawing and playing!


1. How do I decide which players to include in my play diagrams?

When drawing plays, include the players who are directly involved in the execution of the play. For offensive plays, this typically includes the quarterback, running back, and receivers. For defensive plays, include the players responsible for covering specific areas or defending against certain positions.

2. Can I use digital tools instead of a whiteboard or paper?

Absolutely! Using digital tools such as drawing software or apps can be a convenient and efficient way to draw play football. Just make sure the tools you choose allow you to create clear and easily understandable diagrams.

3. How do I label the positions in my play diagrams?

Labeling the positions in your play diagrams is essential for clarity. Use abbreviations or numbers that are familiar to your team. For example, QB for quarterback, RB for running back, and WR for wide receiver. Consistency is key to avoid confusion.

4. How often should I update my play diagrams?

Updating your play diagrams depends on various factors, such as new plays you want to introduce or changes in your team’s personnel. It’s a good practice to review and update your diagrams during the off-season and whenever significant adjustments are made to your playbook.

5. Are there any resources available online to help me learn more about drawing plays?

Absolutely! There are numerous online resources, including videos, articles, and forums, where you can learn more about drawing plays and gain insights from experienced coaches. Take advantage of these resources to enhance your knowledge and skills.

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