This past weekend I traveled to Houston, Texas where I coached 19 of the best high school linebackers from Texas and Louisiana.
I was extremely impressed at each athlete’s ability to change direction. In today’s game, playing linebacker at any level requires the ability to play in space. What this means is that there will be times you will have to play outside “the box” and cover down on a slot receiver. When I say, “box” I am referring to an area on the field that extends laterally between the offensive tackles on either side of the offensive line. Playing in space requires the ability to change direction in response to a visual que by an offensive player. Here your ability to decelerate is far more important than your ability to accelerate.
A few weeks ago I emphasized how important acceleration (The Burst) is to an athlete. It may surprise you but what really separates the best athletes from the rest is how quickly they decelerate or “brake”. This is true in all court and field sport athletes where being elusive and reactive is key.
To enhance the ability to change direction you must work on all of its components. This includes: acceleration, deceleration, stopping, and reaccelerating. At Get The Edge we train deceleration first. Most injuries occur during the deceleration phase and stopping phase of sports performance. Every time an athlete stops or lands from a jump incorrectly, tremendous strain (force) is placed on the body. This can occur thousands of times during the course of a season! Studies show that when athletes learn and practice the proper techniques to slow down, stop and land, they reduce the chance of injuries.
Our deceleration training is designed to enhance an athletes braking system. We do this by teaching and practicing proper techniques to reduce force and put less strain on the body. By enhancing the braking system not only will you become more resilient to injury, you will enhance your ability to play in space. Just another way we help you “Get The Edge”.