A DB’s Confidence is His Armor

By: Chad Wilson

It’s coming down to that one play in that one moment and their leading receiver is jogging out of the huddle to your side of the field. What’s going through your head? Well whatever it is, don’t take it for granted because it will dictate what happens next.

You don’t need me to tell you that playing defensive back and particularly cornerback is a pressure packed situation. Make a wrong move or two out there and it could be a touchdown for the opposition. If the margin at the end of the game happens to be a touchdown then you already know what’s coming your way and that’s heaping amount of criticism.

When those moments of truth come and it’s you vs. a skilled, athletic opponent, what is going to be your weapon of self defense? I can tell you, it’s your confidence. Confidence opens up the door for you to drown out the noise, use your technique and make a play when the ball is coming your way. Let some bad thoughts enter your head and chances are you are letting your opponent into the end zone or across the first down marker. Neither one of those outcomes are desirable.

So now that we know that confidence is key, how do we get it? Here are a few ways to gain confidence.

First, some people are seemingly born confident. It’s just their personality. Others have to work at it. If you are in the latter group then work is what you will have to do. Often times confidence is developed in other areas before it shows up on the field. Practice being confident in all things that you do. This includes things you may not be good at or you are doing for the first time. First of all, if you are not good at something, continuing to do it will make you better. Second, if you are doing something for the first time, you should know that doing it more in the future will only make you better than you are now. Have confidence that you will improve and that you should have no fear about this first rep at it. It’s only up from here.

Second, preparation is one of the best ways to build confidence. Some of the elite players of this game and in sports typically exude confidence. Basically all of them acquired their level of confidence through hard work and preparation often when others weren’t looking. There were some who faked it first with the idea of making it later. Those guys spoke their future into existence and went to work on making it happen. Speak boldly and then hold your feet and your mouth to the fire by going out and doing the work. It’s ok to write a check for money you don’t have in the bank yet but it’s a crime to not work to make that deposit to cover the check when it comes due.

Being more specific about preparation, film study gives a defensive back big confidence. One of the biggest reasons Hall of Famer Ed Reed was so confident on the field was because he knew that he put in the hours and hours of film study that it takes to know where the ball is going to be. There’s nothing like knowing what your opponent is going to run before they run it. This includes not only plays on game day but in 1-on-1 situations at a camp or 7on7. Perhaps you don’t have film for those situations but observing players when you are not playing against them can give you some clues that you can use when it comes for your time to line up across from them.

Finally, we all know that there is a tremendous amount of physical work that goes into being an elite football player. Don’t cheat the game in terms of the physical work. If you don’t cheat the game, the game won’t cheat you. At some point, you get paid for all of the hard work. Part of this hard work is being in shape. The G.O.A.T. Jerry Rice was not blessed with elite speed. However, he lined up against the fastest defensive backs in this game with confidence because he knew they would get tired before he would. Being in great shape when the big moment comes will make you feel like the bigger man in the matchup.

It’s camp and 7on7 season. Do yourself a favor and never line up in front of an opponent with any thoughts other than you will win the rep. Failing to do that means that you have lost already. The mind controls the body. In order for the body to move the way it should, the mind should send the message that it’s here and ready to win. Bring your armor with you for every rep.

Author: Chad Wilson

Chad Wilson is the owner of All Eyes DB Camp and author of "101 DB Tips". He played college football at the University of Miami and briefly in the NFL for the Seattle Seahawks. Over his 15 year high school football coaching career, he tutored over a dozen Division I defensive backs and as a trainer has worked with NFL All Pros, first round draft picks, college football All Americans and Top 10 ranked high school football prospects.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Comments 2

  • Pingback: Pragmatic play
  • Pingback: 220
  • You must be logged in to post a comment