By Dan Guttenplan, FNF Coaches Managing Editor
Rischad Whitfield earned the nickname, “The Footwork King,” after training NFL stars like Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, Deandre Hopkins and Andre Johnson. He is now the go-to speed trainer for high school prospects in the Houston area.
Five Footwork Drills
- Reverse course. Whitfield has his players sprint for 10 yards in one direction, stop, and then retreat at a full sprint in the opposite direction.
- Hip flexibility. A scout will often mention the way in which a defensive back can open his hips. Whitfield has his players practice that skill by backpedaling until their back foot hits a cone, then sprinting on their toes for 15 yards.
- The octagon. Whitfield sets up cones in the shape of an octagon, and gives a player the order in which he wants him to sprint to each cone. The goal for the player is to get low at each cone and explode in a new direction.
- The Icky Shuffle. A big part of making sharp cuts is maintaining balance. The Icky Shuffle consists of two steps in a row with the same foot, before switching to the other foot. That strengthens balance.
- Ladder drills. Whitfield sets up a ladder on each side of a set of six cones. A player has to take as many steps in each gap of a ladder while moving forward before moving to the other side of the cone and doing the same.
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