It Takes Faith to Be a Playmaking DB

I’ve harped on it. Your coach has harped on it, and perhaps your dad has harped on it too. What am I talking about? It’s watching film, but what good is watching all that film if you’re not going to have any faith?

In my time playing and coaching, I’ve come across players who will spend a great deal of time studying their opponent on film only to not trust what they saw on film when it’s happening in the game. You absolutely can’t be this kind of player. What good was watching all of that film if you’re not going to believe what you’re seeing when it’s happening?

Offenses must have routines and consistency to be good. They cannot come into the games each week with a brand new set of plays. It takes repetition to have great execution. After all, it’s 11 men having to work together to make it happen. If you change the plays every week, you run the risk of several of those 11 men failing to do their job. In fact, the best offenses are the ones who run a smaller amount of plays but execute them extremely well. This means they are consistently doing the same thing.

What the offense is hoping you do on the defensive side is not study as much. Offenses will literally insult your intelligence by aligning in a certain way that is quite obviously telling you what’s coming. They will also do the same thing with personnel. Once again, they are banking on you not having studied or you not believing what you studied when the game has come.

If you’re not going to study your opponent, then you will just play into the offense and give them an advantage over you for for four quarters. That is certainly not ideal. However, I believe it to be worse to have spent the time studying, see these things when the game comes, and fail to act. The way that plays on the mind during and after the game can have long-term effects.

If you find yourself being this type of player, you must do all that you can to correct that now. The best way for you to do this is to begin in practice. This means study your own team and when you see what you’ve studied happening in practice, commit yourself to going and making the play. You may actually have to say to yourself “to hell with the consequences”. Now I am not telling you to act outside of the coverages or the defense called. I am merely telling you that within the structure of your defense when you see a play unfolding that you are supposed to make, go make it. When the time comes, don’t start playing games. What you saw on film is happening live, be present in the moment and make the play you’re supposed to make.

Big plays play on themselves. Once you start doing this, you begin to have more confidence that you can continue to do it. Furthermore, it starts to weigh on the offense. They are hesitant when attempting to execute in your area. Now the routes aren’t run as well and the throws aren’t as crisp because they’re nervous. This,  in turn,  leads to you making even more plays. It’s like compound interest in your bank account. Start stacking up your paper by attacking the plays you’ve studied when you see them coming together in real life.

I have a motto and it’s “see it! Believe it! Go!” You can adopt this for yourself and watch your value to the team grow exponentially. If you want more information on how to watch film, you can pick up a copy of my book “101 DB Tips” or join the All Eyes DB Camp members area. Studying and believing are key to being a playmaker as a defensive back.

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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