What Is Clock Management In American Football?

head coach

What Is Clock Management?

Clock management is a strategy coaches and players use to help manage their time on the field for maximum effectiveness. This strategy involves using offensive and defensive strategies to control the clock, either taking as much time off it as possible or running out of all of it, so you are left with no time. The goal is to put your team in the best position for success.

When Do Coaches Use Clock Management?

Coaches use clock management during certain moments in a game where they have to make split-second decisions about when to call timeouts, when to go for two-point conversions, or when to try an onside kick.

It also involves recognizing when it might be beneficial to run a play quickly or slow down and conserve as much time as possible before making their next move. A coach must always be aware of how much time is left on the clock so they can make an informed decision about what their next move should be.

How Does It Help Teams Succeed?

Clock management helps teams succeed by giving them more control over their destiny during a game. With proper clock management, teams can better preserve their resources (timeouts, downs) while still being able to mount comebacks or finish games without allowing other teams too much opportunity for success.

It also gives coaches more flexibility when deciding when to call plays or use specific strategies such as running out the clock or attempting last-second rallies. This gives teams who understand how to manage the clock an advantage over those who do not recognize its importance.


Clock management is an important part of any football strategy that can give coaches and players an edge over their opponents if executed properly. It requires quick decision-making skills, strategic thinking, and an understanding of offensive and defensive strategies, so every moment counts towards success on the field.

When used correctly, it can help your team get better results from each possession while preserving resources like extra downs or timeouts, which can be invaluable during a close game.