How To Be A Good Wide Receiver
Whether you’re a backyard football player or an all-star, the mental aspect of knowing how to be a good wide receiver can be as important as the physical aspects. As any quality receiver can tell you, the key to playing the position well lies in practice. It takes hours on the football field and in the gym improving your agility, strength and concentration to take your game to the next level. Use the following guide to sharpen your skills as a wide receiver.
- Speed and agility are the keys to getting open. To improve yours, you’ll need to do lots and lots of aerobic exercise. This includes drills such as running tires and coming off the line on the snap. Plyometrics are beneficial as well. They can help make you more explosive by improving the response of fast twitch muscles in your legs.
- Work on your catching ability with a pure and simple receiving drill. When you see professional wide receivers in practice, they’re always catching footballs launched purposefully off target by machines. You can mimic this by having someone throw over your trailing shoulder, a short ball and a high ball while you run a crossing pattern. As you get in a rhythm, increase the speed of your route.
- Make your concentration rock solid with a drill involving shields (large pads). A good wide receiver will be focused on one thing only during his route: the ball. It doesn’t matter if you're about to get creamed by a safety, you should be one-hundred-percent focused on bringing the football in. You can achieve this concentration by using footballs painted with numbers. Have someone throw it to you as you run towards two or three people holding shields. When you catch it, call out the number painted on it and have the shield holders immediately hit you. Getting used to this drill, especially at higher intensities, will prep you well for actual game situations.
- Use blocking drills to be a more complete wide receiver. The best wide receivers in football don’t just catch, they block too. To improve your blocking skills, line up against a defender and practice the stalk block. To perform one, you run to the outside of the defensive back, forcing him to backpedal, and use that momentum to push him as far away as possible from the play. This drill, though demanding, will help to round out your skill set as a good wide receiver.