Wear Proper Equipment
Football is an aggressive and dangerous game that requires proper safety equipment for players to stay safe. One of the primary safety precautions that football players can take is to make sure that they wear the right equipment. As a safety, proper equipment is critical, as it can mean the difference between getting hurt and staying safe. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at the equipment that every safety should wear during a game to protect themselves and their teammates.
The first piece of equipment that every safety should wear is a helmet. A helmet is the most important piece of equipment in football, as it protects the head and brain from significant injuries. Helmets come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but all helmets should meet current safety standards set by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE). A proper-fitting helmet should be snug and not move around on your head, and it should have enough padding to keep your head safe in case of impact.
The second piece of equipment that every safety should wear is a mouthguard. A mouthguard helps protect the teeth, mouth, and jaw from injuries. There are three types of mouthguards: stock, boil and bite, and custom-made. Stock mouthguards are inexpensive but provide less protection as they are less comfortable and less secure. Boil and bite mouthguards are mouldable, using boiling water, to fit the shape of a player’s mouth. And custom-made mouthguards are made by dentists and offer the best protection and comfort. As a safety, it’s essential to wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and jaw from those heavy hits on the field.
Third, shoulder pads are a crucial piece of equipment for every player, especially the safety. Your shoulder pads must be of the correct size, with the length of the pads covering the collarbone, shoulder blades, and the upper chest. Before purchasing shoulder pads, try different sizes on to see which fits best. You will need flexible shoulder pads that will allow you to move freely while still protecting your shoulders. The correctly sized and fitted shoulder pads protect you from injuring your shoulders, arms and collarbone.
The fourth piece of protective equipment that every safety needs is a mouthguard. A mouthguard protects player’s teeth, gums, and jaws from impacts and hits. Not only does a mouthguard prevent these injuries, but it can also help to prevent concussion. There are protective helmets with a built-in mouthguard that can safeguard against mild traumatic brain injury caused by an impact to the head. These helmets have been shown to lower concussion risk by around 35 percent in football players, so consider investing in one.
The fifth and final piece of equipment that every safety should include in their ensemble is athletic tape. Athletic tape is essential to protect your ankles from twisting and spraining as you pivot, jump or change direction quickly. Both ankles should be taped before the game; your trainer can demonstrate the right way to do this. Taping your ankles might not be the most comfortable, but it can make a difference in protecting your ankles.
Wearing proper equipment is crucial for every football player, especially the safety position. Each piece of equipment plays a vital role in protecting players from injuries on the field. While safety equipment can be pricey, it’s an investment in your safety and well-being. Players should never hit the field without wearing all the required equipment. We hope that these tips will help safety understand the importance of proper equipment and have a safe and comfortable season of play.
Know the Rules of the Game
As a safety in football, having a good understanding of the rules of the game is vital. You need to know how the game works, what the different positions do, and most importantly, what your role as a safety entails. Ignorance of football rules could lead to unnecessary and preventable injuries on the field.
To begin with, you should understand defensive formation. You have the responsibility of keeping an eye on the entire field and ensuring every player on the opposing team is covered. The amount of pass coverage provided depends on the type of defense the team decides to use, which could be either man-to-man or zone coverage. Man-to-man coverage involves each defender marking a specific player and following them across the field. On the other hand, zone coverage involves defending a particular area of the field, with the focus on stopping passes and runs in that area.
Another important rule to know is the concept of pass interference. Pass interference occurs when a defender prevents the opposing team’s receiver from catching the ball. As a safety, it can be challenging to defend against opponents who are faster and more agile than you. Hence, it is crucial to know how to defend against pass interference without breaking the rules.
The rules also cover tackling. Failure to comply with these rules could cause injury to you or the opposing team player. Most importantly, you need to apply your tackling skills within the rules, which require that you target the body and not the head or neck area of the opposing team player. Attempting to injure an opposing player intentionally or using illegal tackles that cause harm to the opposing team can lead to penalties, fines, suspensions, and even lawsuits in some cases.
Being a safety also means knowing your role in special teams, which are formations such as kickoffs, punts, and field goal attempts or blocks. The specifics of your role in special teams will depend on the type of formation that is called. For example, if you are playing kickoff coverage, you need to be aware of the position of the ball and the players on the field, as well as knowing the correct technique for running down the field and tackling the player in possession of the ball. You need to do so without violating any of the rules and putting yourself or others in danger of injury.
Finally, it is essential to keep up to date with changes to the rules of football as they are introduced. The rules of football can evolve over time, and it is your responsibility to know and understand these changes. The National Football League (NFL) publishes an updated rulebook every year, and it is available online or in print. You can also receive updates on new rules or rule changes via the NFL’s official website or social media channels. Knowing the rules can make you an excellent safety, and it can significantly reduce your risk of injury as you play the game.
Use Proper Technique
Being a safety in football requires a combination of athleticism, quick thinking, and technique that is well-honed through practice. While there are many different physical attributes that can make a player excel in the position, such as speed and agility, having good technique can mean the difference between a successful play and a game-altering mistake.
Proper technique as a safety is crucial in order to maximize your effectiveness on the field. One of the most fundamental aspects of proper technique for safeties is maintaining a low, balanced stance. This allows a safety to react quickly to changes in the play and prepare to make a tackle or break up a pass. In order to maintain a low, balanced stance, safeties should keep their knees bent at approximately a 45-degree angle. They should also keep their heads up and their eyes on the ball, or on the quarterback, to monitor the direction and movement of the play.
Another important technique for safeties is proper tackling form. When making a tackle, a safety should keep his head up and his eyes focused on the ball-carrier. Before making contact with the runner, the safety should drop his hips and approach with a wide base, giving himself a stable foundation from which to make the tackle. Once contact has been made, the safety should wrap his arms tightly around the runner, driving him to the ground with his shoulder and chest.
Safeties must also be effective in coverage, both in man-to-man and zone scenarios. In man-to-man situations, the safety will be responsible for covering a specific receiver. Proper technique here involves shadowing the receiver closely, staying within arm’s length at all times. As the receiver runs routes and changes direction, the safety must stay low and balanced, mirroring his movements and quickly reacting to any change of direction or route. In zone coverage, the safety will be responsible for a specific area of the field. Good technique in this situation involves staying aware of the location and movement of all players on the field, anticipating pass-routes and maintaining good positioning to prevent any deep passes or big gains.
Finally, proper technique for safeties in football requires clear communication with the other members of the defensive backfield. In many defensive schemes, safeties serve as the “quarterbacks” of the defense, relaying signals and commands to the other members of the secondary. Good communication involves speaking loudly and clearly, using specific language to signal coverages, shifts, and other important plays.
In conclusion, safety is a demanding yet rewarding position in football that requires a unique combination of physical and mental skills. Proper technique is a fundamental aspect of success as a safety, and it includes maintaining a low, balanced stance, using proper tackling form, being effective in coverage, and communicating clearly with other defensive players. With dedication and hard work, players can hone their skills and become top-performing safeties on the field.
Communicate with Your Teammates
Football is a team sport, and communication plays a vital role in winning games. As a safety, you need to be in constant communication with your teammates to ensure that you are all on the same page. Effective communication helps in avoiding confusion, which can lead to missed assignments and ultimately cost your team the game. Here are some tips on how to communicate better with your teammates.
1. Use Clear and Concise Language
During a game, there is a lot of noise, so it’s essential to use clear and concise language when communicating. Avoid using long sentences and complicated jargon that your teammates may not understand. Use simple and direct commands like “gap right” or “cover the receiver.” You can also develop hand signals with your teammates to communicate silently on the field.
2. Be Confident and Assertive
As a safety, you are the last line of defense, and you need to be confident and assertive in your communication. You need to take charge and make sure that your teammates hear and understand what you are saying. Speak with conviction and use a tone that exudes authority.
3. Know Your Terminology
Football has its terminology that you need to know to communicate effectively with your teammates. Study your playbook and understand the different terminologies used in your defensive scheme. This will help you communicate better with your teammates during games and practices.
4. Listen to Your Teammates
Communication is a two-way street, so you need to listen to your teammates as well. Pay attention to what they are saying and respond accordingly. If a teammate has an idea or suggestion, listen to them and see how you can incorporate it into your defensive strategy.
5. Develop Chemistry with Your Teammates
Having good chemistry with your teammates is essential in football. You need to develop a strong bond with your fellow defensive players to communicate effectively on the field. This can be achieved by spending time together off the field, building trust, and holding each other accountable.
Good communication is vital if you want to be a successful safety in football. As a safety, you need to be in sync with your teammates, and effective communication is the key to achieving this. Use clear and concise language, be confident and assertive, know your terminology, listen to your teammates, and develop chemistry with them. Remember, football is a team sport, and your success as a safety is dependent on your ability to communicate well with your teammates.