Defensive Line Swim Technique Drills

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Defensive Line Swim Technique Drills

Darius Gilbert

Assistant Football Coach Oxford High School

A skillful swim technique will help your defensive lineman beat a bigger and faster offensive lineman. To develop a skillful football swim technique, a defensive lineman must practice until the movements are second nature. Until those movements necessary to perform the perfect swim technique just happen without your defensive lineman having to think about the details.
Surprisingly, the swim technique gets its name because when properly executed, it looks like the defensive lineman is swimming right past the offensive lineman! OK...maybe it's not a surprising name, but it is an essential pass rushing technique.
This series of football drills works the swim technique as the defender is shading right and left with an objective of getting to the ball carrier, securing the tackle and getting control of the football.

Swim, Swim Tackle and get the ball!

This video begins with the defensive lineman working against one blocking dummy until the swim technique is practiced and perfected. Next the defensive linemen work against 3 dummies, swimming left, right then changing direction to move downhill to secure the tackle.
Study each set of defenders as they move through these football drills and use this opportunity to teach yourself to detect areas that need correction with each football player. As you learn to detect and correct the subtle points, you will field a better defensive line and become a better football coach.