Don’t Forget the Football

This one may sound crazy but bear with me and I think you might agree.  There are so many components to being a defensive back.  Eyes, hands, feet,  body positioning, mirroring the release, reading the routes,  determining the formation, tackling.  The list goes on and on.  Lost in all of the sea of information and assignments can be this very important element,  the football.

Yes,  at it’s essence,  football is a fight on the field amongst 22 men over an oblong object covered in pigskin.  A person who has never seen this game before would quickly come to this conclusion if they were watching a game.  Those of us who have gotten so wrapped up in the details and strategy of the game could quickly forget it.  It is very easy for a defensive back to do so.

At the end of the day,  everything that you are training, studying and drilling is for one purpose and that is for you to get the football.  Have you ever seen a defensive back running down the field covering a wide receiver and never looks for the ball?  Perhaps you have been that guy.  You get so wrapped up in staying glued to your receiver that looking for the prize (the ball) became an afterthought.  Well,  you can’t allow that to be you.

Being elite at this position is most definitely going to involve you getting your hands on quite a few footballs.  They giving starting positions to guys who get the football.  They give out scholarships to guys who get the football.  They pay a lot of money to guys who get the football and they hand out gold jackets to guys who get the football.

As you go about training and practicing for the impending battles that will take place in the Fall,  don’t forget to remember the end goal and that is to get the football.  Don’t just be content with knocking a ball down or that your receiver did not catch the pass.  Taking the ball away when the quarterback puts it up is what should be on your mind.  Train your mind to think this way and watch your body follow suit.

Of course,  you must also work diligently on catching the football.  Sometimes defensive backs get all caught up in their footwork that they forget to work on catching the football.  Understand that receivers catch 100’s of balls per day.  While it is not realistic for you to match that unless of course you are obsessed with greatness,  you have to give yourself the best chance possible to secure the prize when it’s you and a guy in the opposite color fighting for it.  It’s no fun spending the entire week or offseason thinking about the interceptions you dropped.  At the end of it all,  it’s about the ball.

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.

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