Forced fumbles can change the momentum of a game in a second

Nothing makes a defensive coach more excited than a forced fumble. When his squad is able to recover the ball and hand it over to the team's quarterback, it can completely change the momentum of the game.

To put it simply, the team whose offense is on the field for a longer period of time has a much better chance of winning that game, and that's why turnovers can be so devastating. When you take a step back from the playbook and really think about the importance of forcing turnovers on defense, it may make you wonder why ball stripping isn't something that is touched on more at practices.

At higher levels of football, offensive playbooks can get so complicated that a lot of practice time needs to be delegated toward recognizing formations and intricate play fakes. However, during other drills, such as form tackling and pass coverage exercises, forcing fumbles should be encouraged.

In youth football, however, the basic fundamentals of the game should be a primary focus of every practice. Young athletes should be taught how to strip a ball from both the front of approaching runners and the back of runners who are headed toward the end zone.

Each technique is simple, and the objective is the same for both – knock the ball in the direction that the player is running. When trying to knock the ball loose from behind, defenders should punch at the ball to pop it out in front of the runner. If the ball carrier is coming at the defensive player, he should try to rip it toward himself.

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