Football – Cornerback Drills

Coaching Tip  /   /  By KGfly / 

Elite defensive backs have explosive speed, great play reaction, and the ability to break on the football and make a play. The football cornerback drill Drop and Read Assisted Sprints are an excellent way to incorporate all of these football skills into one cornerback drill. By implementing the Reactive Stretch Cord into the football cornerback drill, athletes will be able to focus on these skills and start seeing improvement in game like situations.

Speed is an important factor for defensive backs. However, how you use speed is just as important as having speed. The football cornerback drill will help athletes harness and improve on their speed by implementing quick change of direction and overspeed training. The quick change of direction forces athletes to be explosive on the balls of their feet, while testing footwork with the quick change of direction at the top portion of the cornerback drill.

The football cornerback drill can help athletes of all levels improve on explosive speed, acceleration, and footwork. The Drop and Read Assisted Sprints will help athletes improve their acceleration out of the break. The football cornerback drill can also greatly improve athletic footwork as the athlete quickly changes their direction and break on the football.

Football Cornerback Drills | Drop and Read Assisted Sprints: Setting up the Drill

To set up the football cornerback drill athletes will need: four Speed and Agility Cones, Reactive Stretch Cord and an anchoring partner. Place three Speed and Agility Cones in a straight line spread evenly 5-8 feet apart. Place the last Speed and Agility Cone 15-20 feet directly behind the center Speed and Agility Cone already set. The Reactive Stretch Cord will stretch to around 20 feet. Placing the final Speed and Agility Cone as close to 20 feet as possible will allow for maximum assistance and overspeed training during the sprinting portion of the football cornerback drill.

Athletes will secure the Reactive Stretch Cord around their waist, allowing the ring to rotate around the body. The anchor will attach the safety harness to their wrist. Athletes will begin the football cornerback drill directly behind the center Speed and Agility Cone. Athletes and anchors will begin facing each other as the athlete begins to backpedal to the single deep Speed and Agility Cone.

Increase Speed With The Reactive Stretch Cord

Football Cornerback Drills | Drop and Read Assisted Sprints: Execution

To begin the football cornerback drill athletes will explosively backpedal toward the deep Speed and Agility Cone. Athletes should keep a good forward lean and work off the balls of their feet, pushing against the resistance provided by the Reactive Stretch Cord. Once the athlete has reached the deep Speed and Agility Cone they will break down their feet and prepare to explosively accelerate toward one of two wider Speed and Agility Cones, reacting to the lead of the anchor.

Anchors play a critical role in this portion of the football cornerback drill. As athletes reach the deep Speed and Agility Cone anchors will sprint toward one of the two wide Speed and Agility Cones. While providing assistance anchors need to remember to pull the runner in a straight line as the anchor works to get out toward the Speed and Agility Cone they choose. Anchors also need to be sure the athlete does not trip or become entangled in the Reactive Stretch Cord as they are sprinting past the anchor. To avoid injuries, anchors be conscious of the Reactive Stretch Cord location and drop it, or move it out of the way as the runner sprints past.

The ability to get out of a break and play reaction are two important elements of the football cornerback drill. It is important for anchors to work hard to maximize the runners sprint. Anchors also need to keep the athlete guessing as to which Speed and Agility Cone they will break toward to help the cornerback drill simulate game like scenarios.

It is important for athletes to utilize the assistance during this portion of the football cornerback drill. Athletes need to sprint at maximum speed, keep their chest forward, and explosively sprint all the way through the Speed and Agility Cone.

For the final phase of the football cornerback drill athletes will remove the Reactive Stretch Cord and perform the Drop and Read Assisted Sprints un-resisted. Athletes need to pay attention to form and footwork during the un-resisted sets. This will ensure athletes are properly executing and pushing their speed during the football cornerback drill.
Football Cornerback Drills | Drop and Read Assisted Sprints: Sets and Repetitions

The football cornerback drill should consist of 6-8 assisted repetitions. Give 15-45 seconds rest in-between repetitions, to allow for proper recovery. Anchors keep athletes guessing by varying the side the athlete sprint towards. After the assisted repetitions athletes will perform 2-4 un-resisted repetitions of the football cornerback drill.

The Drop and Read Assisted Sprints are meant to be performed explosively and at full speed. Coaches or partners should closely watch form and footwork. If either begins to breakdown during the football cornerback drill, then rest time in between reps should be reevaluated and adjusted if necessary.

Football Cornerback Drills | Drop and Read Assisted Sprints: Final Notes

One of the best defensive back coverage drills is the Football Cornerback Drill | Drop and Read Assisted Sprints. This cornerback drill simulates defensive backs dropping into coverage, breaking down, reading the action in front of them, and explosively accelerating toward the target.

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