Defensive Back Drills Sure to Increase Your Players’ Skills

The following drills are fantastic for working with your defensive backs during football practice.

football practice technique drill

Baseball Turn Technique Drill

Baseball Turn Technique Drill

This is a turn designed to obviously maximize our speed and protect the deep zones.

Have your player start out in a backpedal. He’s going to open on a 45, gather his feet, and drive on another 45. Again, we’re trying to get the best turn situation in terms of covering the maximum amount of ground.

Like any transition, we want to get a foot pointed in the direction we need to go to. Any transition to a different direction, we’ve got to get the core of our feet underneath us.

Just like when we open deep, we’re throwing that elbow to get us going in that direction.Every transition, we have to gather our feet.  Every transition, we’ve got to stick it and then get a foot pointed.

football practice X drill

X Drill

X Drill

This drill focuses on the drive part of the transition. We’re just going to be able to get that drive in both directions. We’re going to finish with a tackle on air.

This drill allows us to get a transition to the right, a drive forward, a transition to the left.

The key coaching points again is keep everything tight, stick it in the ground, and drive.

quick football practice drill

Quick X Drill

Quick X Drill

During this drill, we’re working on violent arm action, quick transition, keeping our feet underneath us.

Again, the main focus of this drill is to get rapid foot fire, to get them comfortable with their feet underneath them while accomplishing the same thing. It happens quick and then we move on.

football practice drill

Ping Pong Drill

Ping Pong Drill

The next drill we’re going to work on is called the ping pong drill. And it does exactly that. We’re going to work on opening, just like we worked on earlier, but now we’re going to do it four times. We’re going to go down, back, down and back. The emphasis here is not on the speed so much as the technique.

A lot of times in coaching we tend to exaggerate our coaching points and this is kind of what we’re trying to do here. Get a lot of movements in a short amount of time, while we’re still getting that foot to hop up and we’re throwing that elbow to, again, accentuate that transition.

football practice drill

Cushion Drill

Cushion Drill

The transition is backward, but now we’re doing it visually off a man. The goal of his cushion right now is he’s going to be able to turn when that receiver is within an approximate three-yard distance so that receiver cannot get behind him.

So he’s maintaining his vertical cushion on that receiver. The final part of that is he does want to intersect, ideally, half to a third of his body in front of the receiver. Basically intercepting him from going vertical or stopping him working vertical.

So we’re not giving him the path to get downfield. We’ve intersected him. If anything, he has to run up our back in order to get vertical. If he doesn’t do that position, he’s allowed the receiver the opportunity to run past him. So, again, roughly a three-yard cushion and that’s based of the ability of the man and the receiver that he’s playing against.

Again, we’ve got to intersect his body. We’ve got to make that transition tight. We’ve got to make it a burst. Obviously the tempo of that drill will increase as we develop that technique.

These drills are sure to help your defensive backs enhance their skills during your next football practice. Love this post? Don’t forget to share it with your fellow coaches and players!

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Category: Defensive Back Drills, Football Drills

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