When the 2019 season was ending and you were talking about becoming a lockdown DB in 2020, being locked up in the house was not what you were envisioning. This whole coronavirus mess is disheartening for sure but like any good coach or player, what you need to do is adapt. Here are 3 ways you can get better during your quarantine.
(1) Keep Training
Being quarantined doesn’t mean sit on the couch and do nothing. Depending on where you are in the country and the World, there are things that are still available to you. If there is a small park that you are still allowed to go to, you can still perform critical basic drills even with limited space. Please check my article Coronavirus Drills to Keep You Sharp for a list of drills you can do on your own and with limited space.
Even if there is not a park available to you, you can go to a parking lot and perform drills from the list in that article I referenced above. If you are in a total shutdown and can not leave your home then move to the garage, backyard or front yard. You may need to get a little creative but where there’s a will, there’s a way. If your space is super limited then you would do well to run the drills in my Master’s of the Basics Part I video. Get really good at those.
Outside of doing DB drills, getting on a push-up and sit-up regimen along with running sprints in your neighborhood street can do wonders for your overall fitness. If you have a ladder, you can hit ladder drills like these in your garage. Just don’t sit around and become a video game junkie and think you will return to the football field a Hall of Famer.
(2) Watch Old Football Games
This younger generation doesn’t watch enough football. I get it, you have a ton of entertainment options available to you these days. Certainly more than the older generations. You must weigh the option of watching 2010 Oregon vs. Auburn vs. binging on the last season of Narcos or a group session of Call of Duty on Xbox. However, the guys that truly love ball and want to be great will dive into YouTube and just start watching old football games.
You really can just start by watching your own games from last season. Learn about the opponents you faced that you will face again this year. You can learn something about how you played. Each time you watch a game you learn something new. That’s a guarantee. You can alternate that with watching old college and pro football games. You will learn a ton watching games from that level. You will subconsciously pick up things about how offenses operate and what defenses do. Remember, each time you watch, you’ll learn something new. I’ve obviously watched a ton of football in my lifetime and still, I will learn something new each time I watch a game despite the fact that I’ve seen it 10 or 20 times already.
If nothing else, use YouTube to go watch clips on defensive backs. There is a ton of stuff out there like the video I just posted on my account of Brandon Browner’s 1-on-1 reps at practice when he was playing for the Seahawks. It’s over 20 minutes of straight 1-on-1s.
(3) Learn How Defense Works
The first way you can do this is by studying your own team’s playbook. Yes, I know that can be boring but making big plays can be exciting. Knowing exactly where everyone on the defense is supposed to be on a play call is one of the best ways to put yourself into position to make a big play.
Next, you can learn how different coverages are played. I have a whole section in my Member’s Area on explaining some of the most popular coverages that are used in football. It’s well worth it. The best players are the smartest players. Knowing the defense is what smart people do. Learn not only what your position is supposed to do but where your help is on each defense and what the other players on the defense are doing. You’d be surprised how knowing where you defensive line is going to pressure the QB will help you know where to be on a play.
You can come back from this quarantine being a smarter player which will make you a faster player which will make you a better player. Wouldn’t that be nice?
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.