Often a team's last line of defense, defensive backs are indispensable. Their major function is to cover fast receivers and stop plays that slipped past the linebackers. They need to be extremely fast sprinters with the ability to change direction on a dime. (Read more on STACK'S Defensive Back page.)
Develop speed and footwork with the following three drills, which every defensive back needs train with. Perform them three to five times during your speed and agility workouts. The first two involve specific movement patterns: backpedaling and turning with a pivot.
This drill teaches a defensive back how to backpedal, turn on a dime and sprint fast after a receiver. Use it three to five times as part of your warm-up, gradually increasing speed.
Set-up: three cones in a line—cone one at the start line, cone two five yards ahead, and cone three ten yards ahead of cone two.
This is a simple drill to help teach speed and footwork.
Set up: four cones set up as illustrated.
To add difficulty, perform with a partner who acts as the receiver and forces you to conform to his route running. Also, you can have a third person put the ball in the air as both you and your partner near cone four. This will give you something to sprint and jump for. (See Four-Cone Backpedal and Break Drill With Devin and Jason McCourty.)
This drill assumes that the defensive back did his job and covered his receiver, but someone got loose and could run for a touchdown. Keep that from happening by improving your ability to change direction, react and accelerate.
Set up: five cones as illustrated.
To add difficulty, have a partner line up next to cone four. When you reach cone four, have partner take off running towards cone five and try to catch him.
Looking to get recruited? Top 5 Attributes College Coaches Look For In a Defensive Back.
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