In today’s video blog post, I am sharing some excellent defensive line agility drills. Incorporate these drills into your practice plan, and watch your defensive line’s speed and agility improve dramatically!

Defensive Line Wave Drill

In this drill, the player pops up, does a lateral shuffle and bursts past the partner five yards. The commands are going to be up – he’s going to come to the line; the coach says “feet” and he’s going to start buzzing his feet; and then you’re going to move a lateral shuffle and tell him “out of here” and he’s going to run by you.

Another way we change this drill up is, same commands and what the player will do is just a seat roll. And when the coach says go, he’s going to do a forward roll and burst past.

High Knee Drill

This drill is not a race – the players should try to pace themselves. The purpose if to get some good leg action, with the players raising their knees up, and coordinating some rhythm. You are looking to strengthen the muscles and work on flexibility. We usually do this for 10 yards. You want to see good forward body lean.

Quick Step

Now you want to see violent short arm actions with nice quick feet working like pistons. Again, this is a pace, not a race. And you’re going to see how many times you can pitter-patter your feet right down through the course. This drill is great for coordination and rhythm.

Four Cone Drill

This drill is great for endurance, flexibility, and body control. The player will start with a bear crawl, then he’s going to do a shuffle, a karaoke, and then a sprint. The most important thing in this drill is sprinting past the last cone. A lot of these are not football-based drills – they’re great for agility – but effort, total effort past that cone is part of getting to the football.

20-Yard Cone Drill

This is a competitive drill that is fun for kids. It gets them used to distributing their weight in a good football position to change directions, while reaching for a target. For kids, you may want to use a higher cone so they don’t have to reach as low to get the ball. You’re going to run, touch, change directions, run and touch, and reach for the target. The goal is to see who gets to the ball first.

Lateral Shuffle with Tennis Balls

The coach is going to roll the tennis balls on 45-degree angles. The player is going to shuffle back and forth, taking the time to pick up the ball, find his target, and throw it back to the coach before he shuffles to the next ball. This drill is great for the quadriceps, and is really good on lateral change in directions.

Cat Drill

Place a cone five yards from the individuals with a tennis ball on top. This is another competitive drill for getting up off the ground, bursting to the football, and reaching for a target.

Want to see more like this. Check out Defensive Line Agility Drills – Part 2.

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