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Football Defence training drills

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Football Defence training drills

Post by Canuck Singh on Tue Mar 23, 2010 4:21 am

In football
A defensive player’s success will depend on whether or not he can position his feet correctly to place himself in the best possible position to make plays. Foot speed is critical for improving athletic performance on the field. If a defensive lineman’s first step is exaggerated or slow, he will lose balance and be driven off the line of scrimmage.

Whether a linebacker is working on pass drops or a defensive back is working on position in man coverage, foot quickness will determine who makes the biggest plays. Using position specific agility drills is an ideal way to increase foot speed as well as develop coordination and balance during individual time in practice or in the pre-season training months.

The stance is actually the most important aspect of agility and speed development for linebackers. The toes should be parallel and pointed straight with the feet slightly wider than shoulder width. Linebackers must be able to move forward with their feet apart and should avoid crossing them. Athletes must sit in a sound athletic stance with their chin over top of their toes and with their back flat. The head and the eyes should always be up to locate the ball.

In order to enhance game performance, linebackers must practice performing agility drills keeping their shoulders square when changing directions. (The shoulders must remain square when attacking lead blocks from fullbacks or interior linemen.) When performing the premier agility system using bags to simulate blockers, make sure that athletes attack the bag with the same shoulder and foot while remaining square.

* Make sure that athletes start with their feet shoulder width apart and that they are positioned in a toe to heel stance. * When performing any backpedal movements, the feet should scrape the grass. Be sure not to over-stride. The shoulders must remain over top of the knees, and athletes should maintain a constant body height.

While backpedaling, the arms are thrown back in a short hammer motion and must stay relaxed. It is vital that athletes be explosive out of their breaks with the shoulders remaining low at all times. On all cuts, athletes must practice finding the receiver or running back and then looking back for the ball. This will prevent defensive players from staring at the quarterback and falling for double moves by offensive players.

All drills can be performed with a predetermined direction on breaks or react off of the coach’s direction. Remember to always reinforce explosive speed and give a burst after coming out of all breaks.

Regardless of the position, while executing defensive position specific drills, make sure that athletes aren’t wasting movements or steps. Athletes should backpedal on the balls of their feet, not on their heels. In addition, athletes should break at different angles when performing drills to mimic game situations. An emphasis should be placed on exploding out of cuts. Defensive position specific drills are a great way to improve athletic performance and enhance speed and agility in or out of season.

- Kenneth Johnson
Canuck Singh
Canuck Singh

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