TOPIC: How do you determine which football position you are best suited for?
What physical characteristics are common for your position?
What supplements and dietary plan have gave you the extreme competitive advantage for your position?
What three tips can you give beginners looking to play your position?
If you are looking to change positions, what transition is easiest to make and why?
What changes should one expect moving from high school football to college football?
Bonus Question: What position do you play and what training regimen has gave you the best results? Why?
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1st Place - UnleashedBeast
What Physical Characteristics Are Common For Your Position?
Though there are exceptions to the rules, stereotypically, there are certain physical characteristics that each position has.
Linemen are usually the strongest people on the field. This is necessary, as the people you'll be going against, will most likely be big. This brings us to the next characteristic.
Linemen are usually the fatties on the field. This doesn't give you the excuse to eat like a fatty, but carrying extra body fat is not unusual. With this size, comes strength that's necessary on the field. This is also good to have as it will make you harder to move and you'll fill gaps better.
You have to be quick to be a lineman. Quick out of the stance, quick to hit the other guy, and quick to get to where you have to be. It's also helpful with getting away from you're man if you're on defense, or keeping him there on offense.
Running Backs / Linebackers
If you want to make plays at running back, you have to be fast. You'll need speed to hit the gap, get away from tacklers, and it's also good to have for getting out of trouble. If no one can touch you, you're not going to get tackled.
At linebacker, speed is also necessary. You need to be able to hunt down that ball carrier and take them out. This is also needed for when you're in coverage.
It's good to have agility to make the crucial spin move or juke that can make a 5-yard play, a 40-yard play. One move can make the difference of a first down, and a touchdown.
This is good to have at the linebacker position as well. It's necessary for change of direction and also moving around the field. You'll have to be able to get the running back, and if he's more agile than you, he may be able to get past you. If you get juked out of your shoes, not only will you give up the play, you'll look foolish.
Though you don't have to be as big as a lineman, it's good to have a good amount of strength. This can help you break away from tacklers by stiff-arms or just mowing them down. This also comes in handy with blocking situations.
Linebackers need it to take down backs and also shed blockers. This can make the difference of a wannabe or a playmaker.
Wide Receivers/Defensive Backs
These are the guys who are usually the fastest on the field. Wide receivers have to be fast to get down field and where they have to be. They need to be able to get away from defenders and get open.
Defensive backs need to be fast to keep up with the person they're covering and be able to get to the ball.
At this position, if you can't catch balls, you can't make plays. First of all, if you're a wide receiver and you have hands of stone, there's no way you're going to play. That's pretty much your job most of the time. Though you do block, I'm not going to lie to you, we don't expect the most out of you with blocking. It's your hands that count.
Same goes for defensive backs. Though not as important, it's still crucial. How are you going to get an interception if you can't catch the ball ... you can't.
You may not have to dunk a ball, but you sure as hell have to be able to get up there for it. This can make the difference of a reception, or an interception. Whoever gets up there for the ball first, has the better chance of making the play. Easy as that.
For a quarterback, you need a good arm and the ability to make good decisions under pressure. Footwork is good to have. Strength and speed, though good to have, are optional.
For a kicker/punter, let's be realistic. All you need to be able to do, is kick.
Supplements & Diet
First of all, as athletes, it is important to be healthy. Just because you're a lineman, doesn't mean you can eat all the ice cream you want. And just because you're a wideout, doesn't mean you have an excuse to make toothpicks look like Ronnie Coleman.
Eat a good amount and eat healthy. I personally find that a high protein, high carbohydrate, and low fat protein diet is the best.
A good source of protein is lean red meat, chicken breast, protein shakes and fish.
For carbs, it's crucial you eat healthy ones. There are monosaccharide (glucose, dextrose, fructose), disaccharides (table sugar (sucrose), lactose) and polysaccharides (maltodextrose, starch).
Stay away from disaccharides. Mono and polysaccharides are more what you should be aiming for. These can be attained through fruits, vegetables, oats, dextrose/maltodextrose, brown rice, potatoes, etc.
For fats, try to be healthy with it, getting a diet full of Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Good sources are fish oil, olive oil and flax seed oil. Water intake should also be high.
Also, when it comes to steroids, just say no. You're creating an unlevel playing field for others, and could be harming yourself badly. No matter what you're told on television about how these elite athletes are taking steroids, they aren't there because they took steroids. It probably won't make you an NFL superstar. It will however make you a cheater.
- Stay low, the lower man usually wins. Even when the size match-up is unfair, if you can get lower, you can win the match.
- Drive your feet. Move the other guy, and have control.
- Be quick off the ball
- Don't be afraid to take a hit. If you run hard, you'll run good.
- Be quick. Make your decisions quickly and don't take time to think about what you're going to do. A play doesn't last long, make your decisions quick.
- Never give up. Don't give up on a play, the best players can make something out of what seems like nothing. Just keep on keeping on.
- Be aggressive. Think of yourself as the man on the field. This is your territory, don't let anyone run on it.
- Like a running back, you need to be quick about your decisions. Anticipate what gap the play is coming through.
- Be aware of what's going on around you, especially in coverage. You need to be able to know what's going on and anticipate the play.
- As with running backs, don't be afraid to take a hit. Be tough, and take a hit like a man. Don't be afraid to go across the field for the ball.
- Practice your routes and get them down. Route running is important.
- Be quick to get past your defender on the line and get open.
- Just because you aren't normally one of the bigger guys on the field, doesn't mean you shouldn't be laying people out. Be tough and make tackles.
- Watch the receiver's hips, not his eyes or anything else. Wherever his hips are going, so is he.
- Jam the receiver at the line and don't let him get past you.
- Be as quick with your decisions as possible. Stay focused and be aware of the rush.
- Don't try to make plays that aren't there. What I mean with this is, don't pass to a guy in triple coverage unless you feel really good about it for some odd reason.
- Be good to your receivers, line and running back. You need them.
- Not much can be said here. Kick good.
- Always work hard.
- Never give up.
- It's a game, have fun.
Positions usually have a counter part that's on the other side of the ball. They usually go as this:
- Offensive Lineman/Defense Lineman
- Running back/Linebacker
- Wide Receiver/Defensive Back
There are always exceptions, you should probably go to where you think you think your athletic ability will be best used. No one position is easier to make a transition to then the other. Every position is different from another.
High School To College
As the transition from Pop Warner to Middle School, Middle School to JV and JV to Varsity, the game will be much faster. There will be more talent on the field with you and more elite athletes. Be prepared to play with the big boys.
You will most likely be putting in a lot more time into football. With more meetings, practices and all other kinds of things. A lot of your schedule will be taken up by football, but as it was in high school, there is NO REASON why you should let this effect your performance in the class room.
This isn't high school anymore, you may not be the best player in the locker room anymore. Not yet anyways. Be prepared to be a little humbled, because you're playing with the guys who were the best at their high school too.
Step It Up
It's time to step up your game another level. You're most likely playing on a scholarship; therefore, the college is expecting something out of your game. It's time to play with the big boys.
I'm a defensive lineman. I'm usually at defensive tackle, so when I train, I train mainly for strength and quickness. I lift heavy, and with strength. I go for size too, as it's important to be big at that position. I have found that the "Bigger, Faster, Stronger" program is a good one, especially for a beginner. It's a workout made for athletes, rather than bodybuilders.
I also am a big fan of Westside training. Though mainly a power lifting program, it can be utilized for athletes of all sorts. When I run, I run sprints. I'm not going to have to run a marathon for football anytime soon, so I don't train for one. Everyone is different, it's best you find what's best for you and your needs.
2nd Place - STUD
What physical characteristics are common for your position?
Having the ability to find the seam that will provide you with the most yardage is crucial to anyone who plays running back. This means following blockers and knowing when you cut, stiff arm, juke, spin or lower the shoulder.
A running back has to have good speed or they will never break off the 60-plus yard runs that can spark a team up and put a quick 6 on the board. A running back has to be as tough as anyone on the field and be able to get up after a rough tackle and play the next play.
Quarterbacking is just as mental as physical because you not only have to know your assignment but also every fake and pass pattern that makes up a play.
To be a good quarterback you must have a good throwing arm and be able to get the ball to your receivers and limit your interceptions. A quarterback has to be quick as they will have to dodge blitzes and find pockets.
Size and strength with moderate mobility are required to play this position. You must have a sturdy base and be strong enough to push a defensive lineman out of the way to make a hole for the ball carrier.
Offensive linemen must also be mobile enough that they can pull and block a man on the opposite side of the line. In a few words an offensive lineman should be an impenetrable force than can open up a hole for the ball carrier.
Route running, agility and speed are the most common characteristics among wide receivers. I put route running first because it is the most important characteristic for a wide receiver to have if they plan on being successful at that position.
Catching falls in the category of route running because after all the catch is part of the pattern.
Agility is also important when it comes to playing wide reciever. Agility means acceleration, deceleration and cutting. If you can make a cut quicker than your opponent you will be open much more, thus resulting in more catches under your name in the stat book.
Speed is necessary for playing wide receiver but speed is also nothing if you are running poor patterns and making weak cuts. If you can run textbook patterns and catch anything you touch then there is no reason why you can't dominate the man covering you even if he is faster.
A tight end for the most part is a bigger wide receiver that can pass block and open up holes for a counter. A tight end must have good size and strength as they will have regular blocking assignments in most playbooks. They must also be able to run a short crisp pattern and catch the ball to pick up a few yards.
Most tight end patterns will be short like a drag or a curl. A tight end must be tough and have the ability to catch a ball in the middle of the field and fight for those next few yards.
The defensive back position requires just about the same characteristics that a wide receiver requires. You need to be fast enough that you won't get burned on the deep ball and you need to be agile enough to front the receiver when he makes a quick cut.
Open field tackling is also important for any defensive back because if a defensive back lets the ball carrier by him the chances are the other team just put up 6 points.
Defensive backs also need to know how to read the pattern the receiver is running. Unlike the receiver, the DB does not know where the pattern is going, so it is his job to read the wide receiver's steps and eyes trying to figure out where he will go next.
The characteristics of a linebacker are similar to the ones of a running back. Linebackers must be big, strong, fast and tough as nails. A linebacker must have no regard for the well-being of his body whatsoever and just focus on tackling the man with the ball as soon as possible.
A linebacker's job is to go out there for four quarters and pummel someone play in and play out. Tackling form is important to being a successful linebacker to get the ball carrier down as fast as possible.
A defensive lineman needs to be stronger and faster than the man trying to guard him. You must be fast enough to get by an offensive lineman to make a big play in the backfield. Strength is important in pushing an offensive lineman out of the way to get to the ball carrier.
A good defensive lineman must be fast enough to contain a running back and big and strong enough to plug the middle up on a dive. A defensive end is a little different than a tackle or guard as they need to have the speed to chase down an outside run and get to the quarterback before he throws it.
Supplements & Diet
If you want to perform on game day you have to give your body what it needs to make it possible. Whey protein, creatine monohydrate and multivitamins have greatly helped me to prepare for this upcoming season. I have packed on a good amount of solid mass in the off-season and it has made all the difference in training camp thus far.
I can tell you I wouldn't have gained nearly as much mass without these supplements helping along the way. I'm not telling you to go out and load up on supplements if your have a poor diet, because no matter what supplements you take, they will never benefit you like a steady diet will.
This means getting your fair share of protein, complex carbs and essential fatty acids to promote new muscle growth. During my off-season I took in 1.5g of protein/lb of bodyweight per day, 2.2g carbohydrates/lb of bodyweight and about 20% of my total caloric intake came from fats. If you want to perform on game day you have to give your body what it needs to make it possible.
- Find the holes
- Follow blocks
- Never stop moving your feet and fight for every inch, you never know what's going to happen
- Read where the secondary is playing on a pass (Throw it only where your man can catch it)
- Sell the fake
- Accurate throws, get set before you release
- Quick cuts
- Catch, tuck and turn right away
- Find the DB's weakness and exploit it
- Never stop moving your feet
- Stay low, get a sturdy base
- Don't ever get pushed back, go after him
- Stay low
- Chop your feet and push your opponent out of the way
- Remember, a big play can ruin a whole drive
- Hit them low, wrap and take down
- Read and React
- Killer instinct, pump yourself up before the snap
Football is not the sort of game where you can just play wherever you feel, but there are some positions that are similar enough that the change won't be too drastic.
For example, a running back could become a linebacker while an offensive guard could most likely not become a defensive back. Here is a list of similar positions that would not be too big of a change that you could look into if you are looking for a position change:
- WR and DB
- QB and DB
- RB and DB
- RB and LB
- RB and WR
- TE and DE
- TE and LB
- TE and WR
- OL and DL
- DE and LB
High School To College
For the most part the change from high school to college football is a big one. Simply put, the players at the collegiate level are much bigger, stronger and faster than players at the high school level. You have to be an outstanding athlete to play at this level or you will not succeed.
College football is much faster paced than high school football and the pass is incorporated much more into the game plan. This means you have to know exactly what you are doing on every play or you will find yourself with a nice seat next to the water cooler.
The mental aspect of the game becomes that much more important at this level. The physical side of college football is different than in high school.
Only the best players from a high school football team will go on and play in college. A lot of these college recruits will not play until they are juniors or seniors. This means in their first two years of college they have all the time they want to get bigger and faster so they too can play when given the chance.
If you plan on playing college football you must be in the elite group of high school football players.
I play running back and outside linebacker. These two positions require speed and power. I always had the speed but the power did not come until I worked on it during the off-season. My off-season workout routine consists of a Mon-Fri/5 day split with Saturday and Sunday off working every muscle once a week.
I lifted in the 4-6 rep range because I see the best strength gains using this range. My bench, squat and deadlift have all skyrocketed from last season to this one. Since I am a running back I worked on my speed and agility also.
Sprinting, squatting and light plyometrics have helped knock 2 tenths off my 40-yard dash in the off-season and my agility has also greatly improved. You don't get bigger, faster and stronger during the season. These are things you must work on during the off-season.
3rd Place - footballstar
Determining what football position are you best suited for?
During Little league football when you were in elementary school and for some of you, middle school, most likely were given a position based on your speed.
In my Pop Warner league there were weight limits so there was really no need for position debates, the general rule of thumb goes if you are fast you will play RB but if you are slow you will play as a lineman.
Our coaches used to tell us that the harder we hit or if someone dominated a drill or someone was giving there all during sprints then they would have a chance at the backfield. This system was simple yet effective but as we move onto high school things change.
Saul Patu, Football Enthusiast
Click To Enlarge.
High School Freshman
In order to effectively say what position you are going after you must know what the characteristics of the position are. There are 3 different types of positions on the playing field there are the skill guys, semi-skilled and Lineman. The skill guys are typically the RB, WR, QB and DB. The semi-skilled are the TE, DE, LB and FB. The Linemen are just OL and DL.
There are 3 different body types but also hybrids of people that are in between. The three bodytypes are:
Dr. William H. Sheldon introduced these somatypes in the 1940's, even though they have been around for more than 60 years they are still applicable to describing where an aspiring football player belongs.
Ectomorph describes people that have trouble putting on weight, usually they are tall and most as a freshman have the appearance of being fragile. The Ectomorph body type typically defines the attribute of a DB, WR, or QB.
Mesomorphs are those that can gain weight and lose weight easily and typically have thick skin and have an athletic appearance. The Mesomorph body type typically defines the attribute of a RB, FB, TE, DE or LB.
Endomorphs are usually the chubby kids with soft skin and have a round shape to them. The endomorph body type typically defines the attribute of an OL or DL.
Hybrid Body Types
Humans evolve and can train there body to alter it either by training and adopting a healthy diet.
When I was a freshman I wasn't obese but I was a little chubby kid with decent athleticism and I decided that I was a mesomorph, looking back I was ignorant and didn't know that the body types could overlap and now I know I have a meso-endomorph body type which was perfect as I developed into a TE that could block and catch the ball and I became a good rush end.
Meso-ectomorphs are typically the tall, big and fast guy on your team that seems to be able to play any position these guys are usually fast-twitch monsters and develop into great athletes who just grew into being tall, lean and fast.
Another somatype is the endo-ectomorphs. These are usually the tall big kids that develop into nasty linemen and usually go on to play at the next level because that is what college coaches want in DL and OL.
Actually Playing The Game
Some of you are reading this and saying that you knew your coach was wrong because he put you at DE but you are a MLB or some other scenario. Listen to your coach and if you really want to play the other position tell him how you feel and what you could work on to get there because there must be some odd reason he gave you that position.
Some people just get caught in a bad situation where they were always a back-up for a D-I prospect in a case like this I would attempt to switch positions as quickly as I can or rise up above the competition and make the D-I prospect feel like crap because of how you handle yourself on the field.