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DEFENSIVE PRIORITIES
To be a great defensive line, you must place special emphasis on the following suggestions and you must work on these everyday in practice. It will be very repetitious and at times may seem to big a project, but your football players must mentally prepare themselves to work hard on them everyday. You can't loaf through them or toward the middle of the season your defense line will go downhill. The only way to improve on them is to continually work on them and you know from experience as a coach that Mental Discipline, Physical Discipline, Keys, Technique, Quickness, Tackling, and Consistency are the most important things to have in order to have a great defense.
1. DISCIPLINE:
Discipline means that your defensive line do it your way. Discipline keeps your defense line from acquiring bad habits that will in turn hurt you and your team's performance. Your approach to discipline will give your team the strength to overcome adversity.
As a football coach, do not demand discipline to build your image as a tough guy or to have a dictator atmosphere. Discipline is for the reasons mentioned above and most of all so that you, as a coach can be fair and honest with your players whether they be a starter or a back-up. The best way to accomplish that is to treat everyone the same and the only way to do that is to have discipline (be at practice on time, helmets snapped at all times, etc.)
2. MENTAL DISCIPLINE:
A. Your defensive line must be mentally ready to play as well as physically.
B. Your athletes must be on time for meetings, practice, etc. This will carry right on to the practice field and will make you a better team.
C. You cannot have mental mistakes. One mental mistake by one player can mean a touchdown or as in most cases, keep a drive going that results in a touchdown.
D. Demand that your athletes learn their assignments during the week so on game day or scrimmage day they won't be confused and can react and be aggressive.
3. CONDITIONING:
A. Discipline your defensive to stay in shape throughout the year.
B. Push your athletes to work on sprints, endurance running or any other type of running during the season.
C. No pain - no gain. The fourth quarter must be yours.
D. Discipline your defensive line to play with pain. If injured, you don't need to expect your players to play. Remember, there is a difference between pain and injury. Your great players and teams know the difference.
4. KEYS:
A. Your defensive line must know their key's on every play and concentrate on them.
B. Your athletes must be able to read their keys, understand the type of play which is developing. Keys must always be apart of your drill work.
C. Read on the run after attacking the L.O.S. A defensive lineman's ability to react to his secondary keys (blocking schemes, pass or run) will make him a sound defensive football player.
5. TECHNIQUE:
A. To be a great defensive football team you as a coach must sell your players on understanding the need for great technique.
B. Don't just understand X's and O's but pride yourself in being a great technician of the game.
C. Be aggressive with your technique and don't be satisfied with controlling your man, but beat him.
D. Great technique is obtained through total concentration and effort in practice.
6. QUICKNESS TO THE FOOTBALL:
A. Always talk quickness to the football, after you key and play your technique, then quickness becomes of utmost importance.
B. You can never be too quick; this will improve if you work hard at practice and demand your coaches to always emphasize it.
C. It's possible to give up size and strength for quickness and play but, never give up quickness for size and strength.
D. Agility - agility drills, bags, ropes, and sprints, work hard on these everyday. Work on agility everyday it will make for greater team speed.