Players simply grab a football and clear out space in front of them to prepare for the drill.
The purpose of the traffic drill is for running backs to gain a better understanding of how to handle the ball in multiple situations and how to quickly change their grip depending on the situation. Ball security is incredibly important. A team will always regret a fumble, but they will never regret devoting practice time to fumble prevention and ball security.
Players begin jogging downfield at half speed. A coach accompanies them and gives out commands throughout the drill.
The “Traffic” command alerts the running backs that they are entering traffic and therefore must cover the ball up with both arms. When entering traffic, ball carriers must pull the ball up high into their chest and cover both the top and bottom of the football with each of their arms, and cover each point of the football with each of their hands.
The “Switch” command tells the running backs to switch the ball into their other hand. A proper ball switch requires players to briefly get into the “traffic” position in order to protect the ball during the transfer, and then smoothly transfer it into the other hand.
Coaches guide the players with these commands as they make their way downfield.