To a casual viewer, one might mistakenly target wide receiver as the easiest position in football. What’s so tough about it? You run in a straight line until you run in another straight line and then you catch the ball that quarterback throws right to you. Right? That’s it? Wrong.
Becoming a dominant wide receiver in football is challenging -- there are thousands of people exactly like you, right now. Raw, fast players without the fundamentals might pass at the lowest levels of football. But if you strive to take your game to the next level, you must develop the skills that only come with hours and hours of hard work.
Hand-eye coordination, breakaway speed off the line of scrimmage, and putting yourself in positions to succeed are all crucial, key factors towards developing a scary game out wide -- but it won't be easy. Thankfully, CoachUp has put together a short list of drills you can do at home or with a personal trainer in order to elevate your game.
Over-The-Shoulder Place two cones five yards apart, positioning your coach at cone one, ball in hand. On the coach's signal, sprint toward cone two and catch the ball over your shoulder. Then, repeat. For additional variance, try switching it up and use just one hand, just your opposite hand, or while jumping. You never know what will happen during a game, so prepare beforehand with extensive training here.
Pro Tip: To help develop hand-eye coordination even further, perform the drill with a tennis ball, racquetball, or golf ball -- a smaller ball requires greater focus.
This is a particularly excellent team or solo drill that develops quick hand-eye reaction. Place four cones five yards apart in a square and have a different teammate stand at each cone with a ball. On the signal, sprint to a cone and catch the ball tossed by the teammate. Drop the ball and sprint around to the next cone yelled out. Then, repeat. Like the preceding drill, this can also be performed with a smaller ball.
A receiver's breakaway speed acceleration occurs in the first ten yards on average. Weighted Sprints develop breakaway speed by increasing the amount of power you put into the ground. Much like being in the box with a donut on your bat, it’ll make the free-swinging, weightless at-bat even easier -- and the same applies here.
- Resistance bands
- Speed Sac
Trying sprinting for 40 yards with resistance, then release the resistance and sprint at max speed for an additional 40 yards. Recover for two minutes before performing your next rep. Repeat for a total of 10 sprints.
(Related: Read about elite route running here.)
If you want to become the best wide receiver on the field, it’s going to take practice. Simply out sprinting your opponent might be possible at the lowest levels of the game, but as you progress, the other team will get stronger and smarter, shouldn’t you as well? If you're still struggling with certain parts of your game, consider booking one of CoachUp's private trainers to speed up the process. Our distinguished team and their extensive knowledge will have you burning backs in no time! What are you waiting for?
Be prepared for the biggest moments by mastering the small ones off the field.