Football 101: Off Man Coverage

Every DB wants to be labeled a playmaker, but before you can show off your ball skills and footwork you need to master the basics.

If you line up against some of the best receivers in pro football week in and week out you can bet that your technique is going to be put to the test.

In my years of experience, I’ve realized that it takes hard work and lots of practice to become a shutdown cover guy at any level. A good defensive back relies on sharp reflexes, great instincts, and composure under pressure to make plays and impact the game.

Of course, you want all of your players to become playmakers, but before they can show off their ball skills and footwork you need to help them master the basics.

As a coach, you want all of your players to become great playmakers, but before they can show off their ball skills and footwork you need to help them master the basics.

When you teach man-to-man coverage (m2m) keep these 3 Coaching Points in mind:

  • Alignment
  • Pad Level
  • Eyes

Continue reading “Football 101: Off Man Coverage”

How to Make a Solid Highlight Video

“You can accomplish a lot with a camera and a laptop.” – 22

Each year thousands of student athletes across the country compete to earn a spot at the next level. Everybody wants to get noticed, but the question is “How?”.

Photo Credit – Hamilton Tiger-Cats
If you want to be recruited, or better yet, if you want to earn a scholarship offer you have to catch the attention of university scouts. Some people believe that if you are talented enough, scouts will simply find you and the rest will take care of itself. I’m not sold on that theory. That probably works for some people, but why leave it completely up to chance? Why not take control of your recruiting destiny?

Not everyone gets to play on a well known team with national exposure and media coverage. When I was in high school almost no one would come to our games. It wasn’t rare to have a handful of my friends and a few family members make up the majority of the crowd.  Our team had a reputation for underachieving, which meant that our games were usually skipped over when the scouts came to town – and you couldn’t really blame them either. I had to take matters into my own hands.

“You can accomplish a lot with a camera and a laptop.” – 22

In 2004 my older brothers helped me put together my first highlight tape. I was 15 at the time and believe it or not, YouTube didn’t even exist yet. Now, over 10 years and 10 videos later, I’ve had a chance refine my production process and identify the key elements you need to put together an eye-catching highlight reel.

Here’s the Formula

State Your Name – When your video begins viewers should immediately know who they are watching. List your first & last name, position, team name and the year you will be graduating. Make sure to also include any impressive measurables, statistics or awards that could add some credibility to the performance your audience is about to watch.

Highlight Yourself  – Before each play use on screen grahics to point yourself out. Without any direction most people will naturally just watch the ball. For the Quarterback or Running Back that works great, but when are any other position you need to draw attention to yourself. This helps the audience easily isolate you through the action leading up to the big moment.

Put Your Best Play First – You only get one chance to make a first impression. Set the tone for the rest of your video by starting off with a bang. Grab the attention of your audience with a Touchdown or a Big Hit. This video is your resume – be bold and really emphasize the things you do best. The average adult has an attention span between 7-10 seconds. Get them engaged early to give make them want to keep watching.

Quality Over Quantity – People don’t like long videos. They get bored. Limit your highlight reel to a couple of minutes. To be safe, no longer than one song. Remember, this is not an “every play you ever made” video.  Be selective with what you include and make sure that each clip is an example of your true talent and athleticism. Also, trim the few seconds leading up to the beginning of each play. Limit the breaks in the action. Often that will help shorten a video by 30 seconds or more.

Light On The Music – The truth is that most coaches are going to watch your video with the sound off. With that being said, you still don’t want your music distracting from your video.  Use instrumentals or clean versions only. Less is more.

Leave Your Email – The goal is to catch the eye of scouts and coaches by showing them a bit of your talent and athleticism. You don’t have to impress everyone, just someone. When you finally get that attention you’re looking for, make it easy for the coaches to get in touch with you.  At the end of the video leave an email address where they can reach you or your coach. No need to post your phone number publicly, an email address will get the job done. Also, don’t be afraid to leave your Instagram handle if you have one… as long as you manage your social media posts responsibly.

No matter what sport you play, if you want to get noticed you need to put yourself out there for the world to see. Next time you hit the field make sure the camera is rolling.

“Don’t tell people what kind of player you are, just put on the tape.” – 22


I love watching Highlights! Post Your YouTube or Hudl Link in the Comments

Check out My Best Clips on the Game Tapes page.

Opt In Click Here

The Formula for Success

The ABCs of Dream Chasing

The ABC’s

Ambition. Belief. Consistency.  Three ingredients that you can never get enough of.

(Ontario Varsity Football League HOF induction ceremony in Guelph, Spring 2016. Left to right – ME, Austin Huh, Jerome Messam)

From time to time I find myself in the midst of greatness. Over the course of my career I’ve had the privilege of meeting some amazing people. Athletes, executives, entrepreneurs,  parents – the list of people who have made their living while beating the odds is endless. Fascinated by their stories I always ask myself what they all have in common.

In the end, it’s simple. The difference between those who Do and those who Try comes down to three core principles. Ambition, Belief, Consistency. In almost every situation I found that the most successful people were passionate about their goals, made detailed plans and stuck to them.

The ABC’s

Ambition comes from a very personal place inside you.  Ambition is deeper than a craving or a passing thought. Ambition is like hunger. Ambition comes from purpose. When your goals are attached to a worthy cause you will be able to channel new energy to get over any obstacles that may threaten your mission. That energy is called motivation. Only you know what means the world to you. Find something you are passionate about and use that as motivation to propel you towards your goals. When obstacles appear, remember the reason you started and keep your eyes on your ambitions.

“Chase your dream or stay asleep.” – 22

Belief is a strong word.  We usually look for proof of something before we can truly believe it. When it comes to believing in yourself, the proof is in the plan. Not every situation can be planned for ahead of time, but a good strategy goes a long way in avoiding unnecessary trouble.  Set yourself up for success. Find mentors who have experiences to share with you.  Keep yourself accountable by writing things down and setting deadlines.  Your vision will only become clearer as you begin to execute your plan. Monitor your progress and always take the time to plan your next steps.

“Confidence is a product of preparation. Be Confident.” – 22

Consistency is the key. They say that nothing works unless you do. Everyone on earth is given the same 24 hours each day, but it’s what we do with our time that separates us.  Consistency means waking up with the same mindset everyday, looking for that next step towards progress. Think of each day as a deposit in the bank and when you reach your goal you get to make one big withdrawal! Not very many people have the discipline to stay dedicated to their plans. Let your commitment separate you from the pack.  Speed is overrated. It doesn’t matter how fast you work, but rather that you just keep working. Fast or slow, you will always be making more progress than someone who quit.

“Just keep making deposits…” – 22

When it comes to getting the things you want in life just keep it simple. Decide what you want. Make a plan. Work towards it day by day, decision by decision. If you can stay committed, you can make it happen.

Opt In Click Here


Welcome to “Channel 22”

My name is Courtney Stephen & this is my Blog…

Channel 22

Welcome to…

Channel 22

– starting Oct. 27th –

I’m going to give you an inside look into my lifestyle and my mindset.

I’ve been fortunate enough to see a lot on my journey from high school to the Canadian Football League. In a way, this is my story. These articles, videos, and pictures are the best way for me to share my experiences with You all…

Hit the Follow in the sidebar for email updates so you never miss an update!