I was asked recently by one of my members what would be a good schedule of drills for him to do if he was learning how to play defensive back. Often times the question voiced by one person is the one in the head of many. With that in mind, I have decided to put together this quick guide to a drill schedule for beginners.
First of all, before I get into the actual drills and number of reps, you need to already be familiar with the drills. To do so, you will need to first view the following posts in my member’s area. If you are not a member, I highly recommend!!
Now if you are just starting out as a defensive back it is super important for you to nail down the basics. Trying to skip ahead to more advanced stuff before you have adequately mastered the basics will only slow your growth and limit you reaching your potential.
One of the secrets to excelling at DB is being able to automate a lot of the processes that occur out on the football field. By automate I mean be able to do things physically without having to think about them. For that to happen you will have to, in practice, do those things over and over again.
For beginners, here is the schedule that I recommend:
(from Masters of the Basics Part I)
– Back pedal for 20 yard x 5
– Weave and Stay square for 20 yards x 5
– Flip your hips for 20 yards x 5
Notes: When you are playing in zone coverage or off man coverage (as a safety or cornerback), these are the moves on the field that will occur the most. With that in mind, it is essentially early on that you master these moves.
(from Masters of the Basics Part II)
– Back pedal W drill x 3
– Shuffle W drills x 3
– Cross over run W drill x 3
Notes: Remember the points of emphasis that I speak of in the videos. It makes no sense to do the drills wrong over and over because you will execute them wrong over and over in the game. You will do in the game what you practice. Do them right !!
(from Master of the Basics Part III)
– 4 Cone 45 degree breaks x 2
– 4 Cone shuffle drills x 2
– 4 Cone 90 degree breaks x 2
Press Cover Drills
Kick slide 100’s
I do not have a video of this entire drill currently posted anywhere but it is simple for me to explain. First of all, check out the kick slide mirror drill from Outstanding Press Man Coverage Drills Part III. The only difference for you here is that you will not have a partner in this drill. You will start at the goal line and kick slide four times at a 45 degree angle to the left and then plant quickly and change direction to a 45 degree kick slide 4 times to your right. You should then be able to kick back to your right again for four kick slides before reaching 10 yards.
Once you have reached 10 yards stop and rest 30-45 seconds. Then repeat the process but first start off going to your right. Once you reach another 10 yards stop and rest for 30-45 seconds. EMPHASIZE keeping your hips down in your kick slide. Yes! your legs will burn doing this. The more they burn the weaker your legs are and the more you need to work this drill. EMPHASIZE keeping your eyes straight ahead and imagining yourself looking at the waist of the WR. EMPHASIZE having your hands ready to strike and not down to your side.
Continue this exercise until you reach the goal line on the opposite end of the field. That is 100 yards thus the drill is called Kick Slide 100’s.
(from Outstanding Press Man Drills Part I)
Slide N Get Up Drill x 3 each side
Note: Getting vertical up the field when a WR gets outside of you is a crucial element in press. Emphasize making a hard turn up and staying vertical.
(from Outstanding Press Man Drills Part III)
Note: You need a partner to do this drill. If you do not have a partner then sub this drill with another round of Kick Slide 100’s. You simply can never have too good of a kick slide.
That’s it. This workout should take about 45 minutes minus the warm up and stretch. I recommend you doing this 2-3 times per week. A good 4-6 weeks of this program and you are ready to move on to a more advanced drill training regimen which I will be posting soon.
Should you have any questions or feedback on this post, feel free to email me: email@example.com
Chad Wilson is the owner of All Eyes DB Camp. 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.