Don’t Untrain Yourself

A Message to Defensive Backs About Correct Training

It’s that time of year when we turn up the heat on our preparation for the coming season. They say champions are made in the summer, and that may be true, but it can also be a time when you form some bad habits.

There is power in repetition and consistency. This is something that I have held strong to as a motto for All Eyes DB Camp. When people hear this, they think of the positive aspect. Consistency in training can bring you extremely positive results. However, consistently doing something wrong can cripple your ability to reach your maximum level of performance.

One of the hardest things to train as a defensive back is your eyes. It’s even harder if you are training on your own. Let’s face it, it’s impossible to see your eyes. It’s also very difficult to feel what your eyes are doing. Without the benefit of another person there watching your eyes to give you feedback, it takes a very focused effort to do the right things with your eyes while you are training.

As a rule, when you are doing DB drills by yourself, start no drill without first asking, “Where should my eyes be?” You could not play this game if you were blind. As such, having your eyes in the wrong place will render what your feet and hands are doing useless. What your eyes are doing comes first. Put your focus on your eyes first and foremost in every drill that you do when you are training. If you are doing drills by yourself, be especially diligent in doing the right things with your eyes.

For instance, if you are working on your kick slide, be sure to use your imagination and pretend that there is a man in front of you that you are covering. This prevents your eyes from going all over the place. Many times players will develop the habit of looking at the ground during their drill work. Undoubtedly, this comes from training by yourself. It’s human nature to look at the ground during intense moments of physical activity or skill development. You have to drill that tendency out of yourself.

If the eyes are the most important part of playing defensive back, then they should be a major focus when you are training. Keep this in mind as you hit the park and get some work in by yourself. It’s easy to just focus on the feet and the hands because they are easy to see and judge. However, the real focus in your drill work should be on what your eyes are doing. When the eyes are right, the feet and the hands follow.

For more information on how to train in the off-season, pick up a copy of my book “101 DB Tips.” It’s the ultimate reference guide for defensive backs, coaches, and trainers. Click here for more info.

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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