Forcing Turnovers: The Key to Elevating Your Defensive Performance

We are constantly looking for ways to improve our team’s performance on the field. One of the most crucial aspects of a successful football team is the ability to force turnovers and hold onto the ball.

If you are thinking – we do these drills STOP! 

The coaching points and philosophy shared by MTSU Defensive Coordinator Scott Shafer can really help you improve in this area. MTSU has been one of the best at creating turnovers under Coach Shafer’s leadership.

It’s  a skill that can be developed through hard work, dedication, and the right mindset. In a clinic talk for Lauren’s First and Goal, Coach Shafer shared the techniques and drills that can help turn your athletes into turnover-producing machines, creating a culture of success that starts and ends with the players themselves.

Forcing turnovers is not just about luck or chance; it requires a consistent and relentless focus on perfecting the techniques that can make a difference on the field. Coach Shafer discussed the importance of sacrificing time to practice and perfect these techniques and how this effort translates to success on the field. By committing to this mindset, he created a culture where players are empowered to make plays and dominate the field.

One of the key aspects of forcing turnovers is improving ball disruption techniques. The pre-practice drills that can help players improve their ability to disrupt the ball, such as the scoop and score drill, lawnmower strip, hoop drill, match hands break on drill, Air Jordan, and batted ball. These drills help players develop the muscle memory and skills needed to effectively force turnovers during games.

Another aspect he discussed is the significance of effort and the importance of practicing with intensity. By focusing on effort and pushing players to give their all during practice, he instills a mindset that will carry over to game day. This mindset is crucial in creating a culture where players actively seek to force turnovers and make plays on the field.

In addition to effort, he also discussed the importance of muscle memory and the benefits of slowing things down during practice. By practicing techniques at a slower speed before ramping up to full speed, players can develop a better understanding of the proper techniques and movements needed to force turnovers. This can lead to improved performance on the field and a higher likelihood of success in forcing turnovers.

Lastly, Coach Shafer touched on the importance of recruiting the right players for your team. By focusing on multi-sport athletes who have experience playing in high-pressure situations, you can build a team of dynamic players who are more likely to excel at forcing turnovers. These players, combined with the right mindset, techniques, and effort, can create a winning culture that leads to success on the field.

Coach Shafer’s philosophy on creating turnovers is shared in this video:

Video: Philosophy on Creating Turnovers

By focusing on the right techniques, drills, effort, and mindset, you can create a defensive culture in which taking the ball leads to success on game day. 


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