Under coach Ryan Conley, the 11-and-under North Houston Panthers have been one of the top defensive units in their league over the past few seasons. The Panthers captured a Texas Youth Football Association state title in 2017.
In particular, strong linebacker play has been a major component of the Panthers’ defensive identity. The Jingle-Jangle drill is one way Conley ensures his linebackers are sharp and prepared for game day. The Panthers have run the drill one or two times per week in 7-10 minute intervals for the past three seasons.
The Jingle-Jangle, also known as the pro agility drill at the NFL Scouting Combine, requires three coaches and at least one player. It is typically is run with two players.
The three coaches take spots at the 5, 10 and 15-yard lines.
The player straddles the 10-yard-line to start. At the sound of a whistle, he takes off to one side. The player touches the line in front of the coach, then turns and runs 10 yards to the far line before finally running back to where he started. The coaches on each line verify that the player went all the way.
Another way of performing the drill is to sprint to the first coach, shuffle to second coach and backpedal to the third coach.
In Conley’s experience, this drill can translate to direct success for linebackers on the field.
“It helps the player to break down and explode to build up speed when changing to go in a different direction,” Conley said. “It’s good for pursuit. It helps them become more explosive when reacting during in-game situations.”
Agile linebackers who can move quickly to all spots on the field are a necessity for a strong defense. Conley often looks at NFL players like Carolina Panther star linebacker Luke Kuechly for example. The five-time Pro Bowler has found success with his smarts, leadership ability and quickness.
“When linebackers can do those things, it allows your defense to be flexible playing the run or covering the pass,” Conley said. “This in turn allows the other defenders to lock in on their assignments and the entire unit will be in unison.”
The linebackers are just one level of a defense, but they can make a big impact on the game. Having linebackers that can move quickly to the ball and make plays is just part of Conley’s overall defensive philosophy.
“We want to have an aggressive but disciplined defense,” Conley said. “We want to get after the ball but at the same time limit mistakes and penalties. So our drills and teaching points in practice reflects the culture we want to be about.”
TIP: This drill can be used for any sport that requires quick movement and explosiveness.
Here are some other variations we found from the Iron Hoyas YouTube channel.
From GameChanger and Rolando Rosa
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