What exactly are the characteristics of a great wide receiver? Is it the track star-like speed? The sticky hands of the five plus receptions per game wideout? Or is it the uncanny ability to out-jump and out-muscle almost any defender? No matter what your skill set is, the basic fundamentals of the wide receiver position must be mastered before aspiring to an elite level.
All of these are options for a developing wideout, you just have to discern which one is meant for your game, body, and ability. But first, try starting with these tips and routes before moving onto superstardom.
When learning to play the wide receiver position, the athlete must learn how get in his stance. A wide receiver’s stance is not like a batting stance in baseball or a free throw stance in basketball. Those routines can vary greatly and there's generally no wrong way to stand. However, every wide receiver should utilize the same stance as there is a right and a wrong way to prepare.
In a broad sense, wide receivers should be balanced and steady with one foot out in front of the other. By keeping your shoulders square to the line of scrimmage, it'll be easier to place his center of gravity over the toes of his front foot. Finally, the receiver should have a straight back in a relaxed, but ready to explode position. This way, the athlete won't give away their route, but will be ready to go as soon as it's snapped.
One of the most important attributes a wide receiver can have is a great pair of hands. Nothing can kill an offensive possession more than a big drop on third down. We're sure you’ve heard it a million times before but we're going to say it again: catch with your hands, not with your body. When you watch the great wide receivers in the NFL catch a pass, they hardly ever let the ball hit them in the chest. They attack the ball with their hands and then bring the ball in close to protect it.
(Related: Learn How To Workout Like Patriots’ Star Julian Edelman here
Last but not least, every wide receiver must know how to run proper routes. If your quarterback is expecting you to be at a certain point on the field and you don’t get there because you ran a poor route, then that mistake is on you. Clean routes may be the most important drill to work on when training. Most NFL players go over what is called a route tree with their quarterback every day in practice.
(Related: Check Out Our Route Running Tips For Elite Receivers here.)
Now that we've highlighted the basic fundamentals of the wide receiver position, take it to the field and get to work. Working with a football trainer in your area is a great way to make sure you're practicing the proper form. Once you have mastered the fundamentals, you can incorporate your own, personal style to become a unique and effective wide receiver.
If you're still struggling with your stances and routes, consider hiring one of CoachUp's private trainers! They're an incredible group of people ready to pass down their extensive knowledge to you! In no time, you'll be tearing up defensive backs on your way to the end zone. What are you waiting for?
Be prepared for the biggest moments by mastering the small ones off the field.