Soccer is a game that demands a lot from its participants both mentally and physically. Although each position presents its challenges, the most challenging side of the ball is undoubtedly the defense and more specifically the most difficult position is the cornerback. With the exception of a few other positions, cornerback requires the greatest amount of athleticism and the greatest combination of various technical skills. Playing corner requires skills, skills that cannot be developed overnight, they take time and patience, but if you master these 7 skills, you will find yourself blocking even the best receivers.
First of all, 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 might make, and to do so requires exceptional foot speed. The speed of a corner’s foot is probably his most important tool in his arsenal, as it can help compensate for a slight lack of speed. This doesn’t mean you can be slow and play corner, but if your speed isn’t up to the task, having good foot speed will help you stay in position.
The second important skill a cornerback should have is excellent reaction time. This and foot speed go hand in hand, as your reaction time will be crucial in ensuring you don’t get a deep beating, as well as making sure you put your hands up in time to hit or intercept a pass. It is important to realize that as a cornerback you are at a huge disadvantage compared to the receiver in front of you, he already knows where he wants to go, but more importantly, he is running forward instead of you pedaling. backward. Because you don’t know the play, as a cornerback you must always be alert, ready to react to every move the receiver makes in front of you.
The third important skill you must have is hand speed. This ability is particularly important when blocking a receiver on the line of scrimmage. When blocking a receiver, it is important to have great hand speed so that you can get your hands on it before the receiver can make a move on you and try to escape your jam. If your hand speed is good, this is an excellent tool to interrupt the time of loss between the quarterback and the receiver, making your job much easier.
The fourth skill crucial to the success of a cornerback is great hand-eye coordination. This ability is particularly important as it aids in a cornerback’s ability to intercept the ball. A good quarterback will leave a small window of opportunity for even the best cornerbacks to intercept the ball, so when the opportunity presents itself you should take advantage of it.
The fifth skill is not so much a skill but more of a natural skill and is a high vertical jump. Most cornerbacks are typically shorter than the receivers they will line up against, so a high vertical jump is a great skill in the event of a ball that requires you to jump and challenge the receiver in midair. This is a skill that not all people are born with, however it can be improved through various training and weight lifting techniques. Being able to jump over your opponent will give you a huge advantage on the deep balls that a quarterback can attempt to throw alongside you.
The sixth important skill you must have is knowing your opponent. All of the above skills are enhanced when you know what your opponent is going to do. Every quarterback has tendencies, and if you can recognize them, your chances of skipping routes and catching the ball will be greatly improved. These types of readings are typically done during the pre-game prep week through countless hours of film as well as playtime experiences.
The seventh and final skill a cornerback should have is short-term memory. At one point or another, you will be beaten, whether by a big play or a touchdown, but how you respond to failure will really represent what kind of cornerback you are. Understand, even the best cornerbacks to ever play the game were beaten at some point in their career, but they bounced back and learned from their mistakes.
Now you know the 7 crucial skills needed to play cornerback. If you take 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 some record boards.
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