Part/Whole Teaching Drills to Improve your Defense

May 8, 2022 | Position Groups, Defensive Line, Linebackers

By Joey Ginn
Head Coach
Bethel High School (OK)
Twitter: @CoachGinn



We believe in Part-Whole teaching when training our Defensive Front 7 Players.  Therefore, we have picked up a few drills that we emphasize every week to ensure our Athletes are learning our system and how to fit the run.  Defensively we focus #1 every week on stopping our opponent's run game, and we stand firm that the #1 way to stop the run is to play physical and #2 is to ensure our players are in the proper position.  We dedicate at least 20 minutes each week in our emphasis to our part to whole teaching when it comes to establishing proper run fits.  We are very consistent in our practice schedule and feel like the routine that we utilize with these group drills leading into Inside Run period, has helped our players understand our defense and their role in the run fit.  Every Monday we are going to spend 10 minutes inside on what we call Pods.  Every Tuesday we are going to focus 10 minutes on what we call run fits.



You can see in Diagram 1 how we set up our Pods.


Diagrams 2-6 demonstrate how we work different plays in our Pods setup.


As I mentioned earlier, we are going to spend 10 Minutes every Monday in a period with pods.  How we organize this is we have one Coach who each week works with our Rush (Weak) End and a Will LB.  We have another Coach that will work with our Nose (Shade), Tackle(3-Tech), and a Mike LB.  Lastly, we have a 2nd DL Coach that will take our Dog (Strong) End and Sam LB.  We will meet each weekend and come up with what we call our Opponents' "Big 4" these are our opponent's top four Run plays, we may extend it to five run plays, but we are going to work to stop these “Big 4” each week, so these are the blocking schemes we’re going to see in our Pods Period.  This drill is very simple in terms of setup and use.  We simply split the groups up and everyone gets work during this period.  We have a rotation set up where kids go from Offense to Defense & everyone gets to get reps in this drill so even our JV or Scout Team guys are getting Defensive reps here during our Defensive Period. This is a very fast pace drill in terms of reps, but it's focused primarily on teaching, if we have to sacrifice reps for teaching in this period we will!  As far as execution each pod works independently of the other pods.  So, the Coach on the Weakside is in charge of that side, the coach in the middle is in charge of the Middle Pod, and the coach in charge of the Strong Side is in charge of his side.  Each coach stands behind their Defensive players and uses their fingers like a piece of chalk and gives instruction to the offense on how to execute the specific blocking scheme of the play.  Again, this is a teaching period for us, so we are careful in watching the defensive execution and quick to correct during this period.  Our hope is we can teach in this period and perfect during our inside period that will follow.  I have attached a video of our Pods Drill, so hopefully, it helps.  We have done Pods as an Odd Front also, the only change in an Odd Front is we use one Nose Guard and two ILBs in our Middle Pod, the Strong and Weak End still work with their OLB.