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7 Skills Necessary to Play Cornerback
Football is a game that demands a lot from its participants both mentally and physically. Although every position presents challenges, the most difficult side of the ball is undoubtedly the defense and more specifically the most difficult position is the cornerback. Except for a few other positions, cornerback requires the most athleticism and the greatest combination of various technical skills. Playing cornerback requires skills, skills that cannot be developed overnight, they require time and patience, but if you master these 7 skills, you will find yourself locking out even the best receivers.
First, a cornerback must have excellent foot speed. Due to the nature of the position, a cornerback must be able to react to any slight change in direction a receiver may make and to do so requires exceptional foot speed. A cornerback’s foot speed is probably his most important tool in his arsenal, as it can help compensate for a slight lack of speed. That doesn’t mean you can be slow and play cornerback, but if your speed isn’t up to par, good foot speed will help you stay in position.
The second important skill for a cornerback is exceptional reaction time. This and foot speed go hand in hand as your reaction time will be crucial in ensuring you don’t get beaten deep and ensuring you get your hands up in time to smash or intercept a pass. It is important to realize that as a cornerback you are at a huge disadvantage to the receiver in front of you, he already knows where he wants to go but more importantly he is running forward unlike you. who pedal backwards. Because you don’t know the game, as a cornerback you always have to be on your toes, ready to react to every move the receiver in front of you makes.
The third important skill to have is hand speed. This skill is especially important when jamming a receiver on the line of scrimmage. When blocking a receiver, it’s important to have great hand speed so you can get your hands on him before the receiver can move you and try to escape your block. If your hand speed is good, it’s a great tool for disrupting the timing of the rout between quarterback and receiver, making your job much easier.
The fourth crucial skill for a successful cornerback is excellent hand-eye coordination. This skill is particularly important as it aids in a cornerback’s ability to intercept the football. A good quarterback will leave a small window of opportunity for even the best cornerbacks to intercept the football, so when the opportunity presents itself, you have to take advantage of it.
The fifth skill is not so much a skill but more of a natural ability and it is a high vertical jump. Most cornerbacks are usually shorter than the receivers they will line up against, so a high vertical jump is a great skill to have on a ball that will require you to jump and challenge the receiver in the air. It’s a skill that not everyone is born with, but it can be improved through various training techniques as well as weightlifting. Being able to outrun your opponent will give you a major advantage in deep balls that a quarterback can try to throw to your side.
The sixth important skill to have is knowing your opponent. All of the aforementioned skills are enhanced when you know what your opponent is going to do. Every quarterback has tendencies and if you manage to grasp them, your chances of jumping routes and intercepting the ball will be greatly improved. These types of readings are usually done during the pre-game prep week through countless hours of film, as well as in-game experiences.
The seventh and final skill a cornerback must possess is short-term memory. At some point or another, you’re going to get beaten, whether it’s for a big play or a touchdown, but your reaction to a miss will truly describe what kind of cornerback you are. Understand that even the greatest cornerbacks that have ever played the game have been beaten at some point in their careers, but they have bounced back and learned from their mistakes.
You now know the 7 essential skills required to play cornerback. If you follow my advice and develop all of these skills, you will find yourself at the top of your game and maybe even at the top of a few leaderboards.
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