Football How To Backpedal

football backpedal

What is Backpedaling in Football?

Backpedaling in football is a movement used by defensive backs in which they move backward while facing forward to keep an eye on offensive players. Defensive backs backpedal right after the snap, which gives them some time to read the quarterback, the receivers, and the play; while still maintaining the closest receiver in front of him. Backpedaling is one of the most basic football fundamentals for defensive backs at all levels, and practicing it while also improving play reading abilities makes for great defensive backs.

How to Backpedal

In order to backpedal, defensive backs need to position themselves in a specific manner. Before the snap, they must:

  • Be in a forward-leaning position
  • Keep their knees flexed and their back straight
  • Have their toes lined up with the dominant leg’s heel

By positioning their bodies this way, defensive backs will have a quick and powerful first backpedal step. While continuing to backpedal, the defensive back’s attention must watch the quarterback, reading his movement and checking where the ball is going. By properly backpedaling, defensive backs can move in virtually any direction in which they are needed.