Paying Attention to this One Thing as a DB Can Speed Your Feet Up 10x

By: Chad Wilson
Owner All Eyes DB Camp

When the offseason hits,  the evaluation of the in season starts.  If you are a high quality player,  you are going to cut the film on,  watch yourself play and take a good look at where you need to improve.  For most defensive backs,  the improvements are going to land somewhere around their footwork.  What most defensive backs are going to fail to notice about their footwork in their aim to improve is how their upper body plays a big role in what their feet do.

There are many defensive backs that encounter some weird things in their footwork that they desperately want to get rid of.  Whether it is a triple tap out of their back pedal or rounding out of their breaks when covering a speed out,  correcting these things can be a headache.  Often times,  countless amount reps seemingly do nothing to solve the problem.

The reason why those 1,000’s of reps aren’t providing a cure for your footwork sickness is because the source lies above the waist.  If you were asked to run a race and had to put on a backpack loaded with a pair of 45 lb. plates in it,  it’s safe to say that you would not run your best.  If you hung that same bag off of your right shoulder and someone asked you to break hard to your left,  that would not look good either.  The point is that weight and it’s distribution matters.

In your drill work this offseason,  focus on where your weight is distributed as you make your movements.  The reason that your coaches (the good ones at least) have told you to keep your nose over your toes in your back pedal is because having some weight forward when it’s time to break will help you get out of that break faster.  Leaning back in your pedal and expecting to come forward fast out of your breaks defies all of Newton’s Laws of physics.

The same applies for getting out of your breaks when you are in a crossover run.  Leaning too hard into that run won’t help you much when it comes time to break on a dig, curl or an out.

This doesn’t just apply to getting out of your breaks either.  Sometimes we are in a weave from one area to another.  The reason we are in a weave is so that we can stay square.  We are staying somewhat square because there’s a chance we may have to break in the opposite direction.  Once again,  where our weight is distributed will be key.  If we lean our upper body to the right as we weave to the right,  weaving back or opening up to the left is going to be a stressful event.

Balance your weight in your weave and let your feet move you in the direction that you want them to go.  Leaning one way or the other is like putting the 100 lb. backpack on and hanging it off of your shoulder.  That’s going to cause a movement problem.

As you aim to improve your footwork this offseason,  pay attention to what you are doing up top.  This is especially so for you linebackers out there and bigger safeties.  If you are big guy that has spent his time in the weight room,  you are likely carrying a lot of weight up top.  Placing it in the right place will help your feet move the way you want them to.

I go more in depth and give a ton of great footwork tips for you to bank on in my book 101 DB Tips.  It’s the ultimate reference guide for DBs of all ages hitting on topics like footwork,  technique, coverages, training, eye discipline and more.  Pick up your copy today and 10x your on field production.   Click here to get yours.

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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