It takes a lot to become a wide receiver: this player needs good strength, agility, flexibility and is a fast runner. One thing a wide receiver has to be good at: catching passes. But catching a football is no way an easy task. Yes, wide receivers can catch the ball with no problem during practice but when it comes to actual, intense games, many are unable to catch the ball or drop it a lot. There are various reasons for these issues and here are some of them:
- They do not focus on the ball: if they want to catch the ball, they must keep their eyes on it. Too bad, their attention is mostly likely directed towards the defender because they make the catch (it happens a lot with young players). As a result, they miss the ball or fumble.
- They do not adjust properly: wide receivers cannot expect to receive consistently good passes all the time. They must be well-prepared to deal with poor passes (especially from young, inexperienced quarterbacks) and adjust to the ball well. This is highly important if they want to become good players.
- They forget to run through their catches: surely they are taught that their job is far from over even then they catch the ball firmly in their hand; yet they can still forget it in the middle of the game. By doing so, they give the defenders great opportunity for attacking and lose the ball possession as a result.
So what are required skills for catching a football that a wide receiver must master? Below are a number of skills, all are equally important for consistently successful catches.
The coordination of eye and hand movements is a critical skill for any wide receiver. The player needs to keep his eyes glued to the ball and control his hand movements to catch the ball at the same time.
Even if a player can coordinate your hand and eye movements well, just a second of losing focus and he will be in trouble. Strong focus is required to control the mind and body.
A good wide receiver knows that he is supposed to catch the ball firmly on his hands, not to use his whole body to attack it. But in a game, one never knows how intense the ball velocity can get. Addition, the defenders of the opposite team do not go easy on the wide receiver. So if such player does not have strong hands, he cannot keep hold of the ball well and squeeze it.
Proper Hand Placement
A wider receiver can stay focused as much as he can but if he does not have good catching techniques, he is done. Proper hand placement is a must to consistently catch the ball; or else the player must have some lucky catches. The right way to catch the game is to let the thumbs face up the ball and spread the fingers wide but head down. In case of a deep ball that goes over the shoulder, try to grab the end of the ball.
Protect The Ball
A wide receiver must know how to tuck the ball and protect it from the defender. Or else, a fumble can easily occur.
Some Handy Tips For Catching The Football
Practice drills for the lacking skills
Different coaches can have different drills to teach their player how to improve their skills. One effective method for hand-eye co-ordination and hand strength is to use a tennis ball. Bounce the ball lightly at first, then try to catch and squeeze it. Over time, use more strength to bounce the ball and aim at different angles, not just straight down. Notice that this exercise is useful for both left hand and right hand.
The proper stand of a wide receiver is different from the stand of other players. While there is no stance that works for all players, the key for a good player is to practice a consistent stance for consistently good result. Generally, a balanced stance is required with one foot ahead of the other: the focused centered of gravity is placed on the front foot’s toe. Also, a wide receiver must be ready to act so it is best to keep his back straight back but not too relaxed.
Understand how to run proper routes.
Knowing how to run a clean route can make a different between a good and a poor/average player. A wide receiver must know how get to a certain spot in the field when required: he can blame no one but himself for running a poor route.
For wide receivers, it is not only about how to catch a football but how to catch it consistently. The only way to get there is, of course, practicing diligently.