Today, we’re focusing on football drills ideal for helping your defensive backs improve and become more skilled.
Three Weave Drill
Working against a receiver, we’re going to work on the weave in that transition–the three weave position. We’re going to attack the receiver three times in different directions. The defensive back will weave three times to maintain his relationship, either inside or outside, wherever he initially started.
His hips have to stay square. His arms are tight. Everything is rotating backwards. But he’s reaching and grabbing grass on an angle, all the while maintaining his square and horizontal relationship.
Speed Turn Drill
Functionally, your defensive back is going to speed turn three times. The toughest transition we have to teach at times is to make that speed turn when you lose a receiver.
We’re going to try to get him to do it vertically and get there the fastest way he can. It’s more of a straight-line speed turn than a 45-degree angle speed turn.
The idea is your player has to get the fastest way to find the receiver without losing his vertical cushion. So he’s going to spin and lose his vision for a second, but snap his head and eyes around to find the receiver. Do it three times, again, just to exaggerate the drill.
It’s a drill you can use in the off-season to get your players comfortable. You don’t need a football, you just need two guys working back and forth, developing that comfort level of getting that transition on a vertical push.
Chop Down Drill
What your defensive back is going to do is visually burn his eyes on the other player’s knees to his toes. As those knees sink and chop, his feet should mirror exactly what the other player’s doing.
We’re training his eyes and physically, we’re training him to sink down with the other player and transition with him. He’s working on backpedal, but the main focus of this drill is to get our players comfortable regarding where their eyes should be when they’re in a man situation.
Dramatic Break Inside & Outside
We want to work on two types of releases: a dramatic break on the inside, and a dramatic break to the outside.
The goal for your defensive back is to maintain a leverage where he’s aiming for the top shoulder of the other player, but he doesn’t want to beat the receiver to the reception point. He wants to be able to intersect his body, one-half of his body, on one-half of the other player’s.
We’re driving down, and the intersection should be half to a third of our body intersecting a half to a third of his body. As he drives down and breaks, he doesn’t want to break too far ahead and certainly doesn’t want to break behind. The one time we will allow him to drive to the low shoulder is when he has help in the middle or on top.
There are two types of man techniques. There’s one with help and there’s one without. We’ve started to work on the one where we have no help and we have to maintain our vertical leverage where we’re aiming for the top shoulder.
For the next transition, we will break on the out. We want to get our players comfortable right from the get-go in terms of their aiming points.
Typically the number one mistake that defensive backs make when they break towards the out is they over-break to the outside.
And that receiver will take the ball, catch it, and either come back or there’ll be some type of double move. We want to be slow to break on the outside move, and we want to intersect that receiver so if he’s coming back, he’s running right through us.
These football drills are sure to help your defensive back improve his performance out on the field.
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