9-clap's and nothing less

Set The Table

Have you ever thought about how much clapping takes place in sports? In almost every aspect of sports there’s clapping.  Your performance in how you “clap” has the ability to change your entire program.  Clapping has the ability to raise energy levels, build enthusiasm, show a greater appreciation to others and increase your level of engagement. The foundational “9-clap” exercise will raise the level of your entire team. After experiencing the 9-clap, your team will never look at this “small,” yet powerful component of your team ever the same.

“The 9-clap has become a staple in our program. It’s a new standard we all honor and embrace.  Nothing less than a 9-clap”
Maryland Head Varsity High School Football Coach

Lesson Plan



Start by having your players clap at what we call a “5-clap.”  A 5-clap is your average, everyday type of clap.  Keep the 5-clap going for 4-5 seconds.  Then have them do a 1-clap.  A 1-clap will be a soft, very faint, golf-type clap.  Keep the 1-clap going for 4-5 seconds.  Then have them go back to the 5-clap for 4-5 more seconds. (you’ll notice we want you to stay at each number clap for 4-5 seconds).

Now go to a 3-clap finding the perfect balance between the 5-clap and the 1-clap.  Then back to the 5-clap.

Now move it up to a 7-clap.  A 7-clap is a little more energetic and enthusiastic than a 5-clap.

Then take it up to a 10-clap.  A 10-clap is an all-out, super loud, aggressive clap that will hurt your hands and make them red.  Keep that going for 10-seconds.  It’s important everyone continues at the 10-clap level until you say stop.  After 10-seconds you can stop.

At that point, your team will recognize the scale of clapping from a 1-clap to a 10-clap and will have shown the ability to manage the “dimmer switch” taking their clapping up and down upon command.

Communicate to the team that a 9-clap is the same energy and volume as a 10-clap just without hurting your hands.  Have the team do a 9-clap and hold it for 9-seconds.

Allow this to become the new standard for clapping within your team.  9-claps and nothing less.

Leaders raise levels and this is an example of raising a level.  9-clap’s will increase energy levels, build enthusiasm, show a greater appreciation to each other and increase the level of engagement.

Additional Resources



Lead ‘Em Up in Action

Shareable Graphics

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