If you’re born with a large set of hands, catching the football can come with relative ease. However, if you’re not fortunate enough to posses that advantage, there are several drills that you can do at home to improve your catching abilities.
Tennis Ball, Wall Ball
For this drill, you’ll need at least two people and about 5-10 tennis balls. The receiver stands with one hand behind their back about 5 feet away from the wall. Another person stands behind the receiver and tosses the ball will moderate speed against the wall. The receiver catches the ball with one hand and then drops it in preparation to catch the next ball. The person behind the receiver continues to throw the balls until they are gone. After one set, the receiver switches hands and repeats the steps. To increase difficulty, throw the balls faster off the wall and reduce the time between catching and throwing.
This drill will be performed with the receiver on both knees. The quarterback will line up five yards away and throw imperfect passes to the receiver. The goal is to get the receiver accustomed to extending their hands and catching the ball without their chest or pads. After 10 passes, the quarterback can increase the distance and velocity at which they throw. The receiver has to continue to make catches without leaving their knees if possible.
One player takes three balls and throws them high in the air one after the other. The receiver attempts to catch all three balls. Repeat about 3-5 times. Adding more balls and throwing the balls higher will increase the difficulty of this quick drill.
Over the Shoulder Toss
This drill involves two quarterbacks and multiple receivers. Quarterbacks line up about thirty yards apart and 7 yards spacing. The receiver will start by jogging a fade route and the quarterback throws it over their shoulder. One the receiver catches the ball they are to plant, run 7 yards across and back up field the opposite direction. The second quarterback will then throw another fade route and the receiver catches the ball over the shoulder again.
These four simple drills should be run on a daily basis. Within a short period of time, your hand-eye coordination should improve and you can progress to more challenging drills that involve routes and defenders. Even the most talented receivers can benefit from catching drills when done consistently.
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