Spring Journal #2: Technique, technique, technique

Posted: April 15, 2012 in Coaching Chronicles, Memoirs
Tags: , ,

This off-season marks my second year working with the defensive secondary after eight years of coaching on the offensive side of the ball. The experience has been very rewarding in terms of re-invigorating my passion for teaching and coaching as well as pushing myself beyond my own limits of comfort and knowledge.  The intensity and devil may care attitude that defines the appeal of the defensive side of the game has been not lost on me.  Breaking down offensive game film was second nature for me and I was able to contribute to the development of our defensive coverage schemes.

Still, however, there is that pull that tugs at me when I catch a glimpse of the offense throwing routes on air, spreading out in formation, working on timing and execution, linemen in the chutes and on the boards . . . there’s just so many moving parts to work together; I miss the conformity of it all.

When I first started coaching defense I got caught up in approaching the defensive back position like the wide receiver position.  I tried to diagnose specific techniques for specific scenarios; offensively, techniques are designed by assignment and assignment is defined by scheme.   It’s all very neat and orderly, in a way, and I was able to develop a sound schema for coaching several positions on offense based on learning and teaching the techniques that would help to increase the efficiency of execution.

I soon found out that it was more important on defense to focus on things like run/pass recognition, change of direction, pursuit angles and other more general skills that would allow the defender to be in position to utilize his athleticism within the scheme of the front or coverage.  I was taking for granted the reactionary aspect of defensive play early on and it made my foray into coaching defense akin to learning how to coach all over again.

In retrospect, that is exactly what I needed…

DB techniques drilled during the first week of spring ball:

1. Stance

2. Creep

3. Tempo

4. Weave

5. Ball Drills

6. T-Plant footwork

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