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Drills Report: 10 Advanced Drills for Wide Receiversby: Denie Marie
© March 2007
Our March Drills Report comes from Denie Marie, a veteran high school, college, and professional coach who is now working in athletic administration at Virginia Tech. Marie has coached at various levels for over 20 years including St. Thomas More Prep, the US Coast Guard Academy, Trinity College, Brown, Kent State, Marietta College, Virginia Tech, and the Arena Football League II. Included are a selection of wide receiver drills that Coach Marie used throughout practices sessions. Each drill is related to actual playing conditions that WR’s will encounter during the course of a game. Each individual drill has its own purpose and objective.
1. Funnel Drill (See Diagram 1)
Drill: Receiver will face coach and the remaining receivers will wave their arms to distract the receiver who is catching the ball.
a. Reach out with hands away from the body, thumbs in, little fingers out.
b. Look it in.
c. Catch, tuck and turn.
NOTE: You can have receiver with his back to coach, turn quick and repeat.
Purpose: To develop concentration.
2. Bag Attack Drill (See Diagram 2)
Drill: Receiver will run end of route and catch ball thrown as he is being hit with bags or has to split bags.
a. Head and eyes on football.
b. Proper body position.
c. Pull ball down and tuck it away.
d. Relax your hands.
Purpose: Teach concentration, catching in a crowd, running after the catch, proper ball maintenance (fumble drill also).
Note – Players holding the bags will make contact on the receiver high, not low, just as he is catching the ball.
3. Bag Drill (See Diagram 3)
Drill: Jump over bag, making good concentration catch.
Purpose: Teach concentration – catching in a crowd over the middle.
4. Bag Agility Drill (use six flat bags)
Drill: Jump over bags – sideways; hop over bags – sideways and facing front also; running in and around bags.
Purpose: Teaching proper balance and developing quick feet.
5. Bag, C, T and T, Explode and Cut Drill (See Diagram 5)
Drill: Catch, tuck, turn, explode and cut maintaining proper running form and technique.
Purpose: To teach concentration, ball maintenance and running with your head and eyes up.
6. Bag Balance Drill (See Diagram 6)
Drill: C, T and T drill to stay in bounds.
Purpose: Working to stay in bounds and keeping shoulders square and moving forward.
7. Strip Drill (See Diagram 7)
Drill: Line up two receivers on an angle about arm’s distance apart. On coach’s command they both take off. Throw the ball to the lead receiver and then have the chaser strip him of the ball. Grab arms; pull down over the top, etc.
a. Use your body between ball and defender.
b. Catch it away from your body.
c. Tuck it away tightly.
d. Separate from defender.
Purpose: To increase concentration, toughness and ball maintenance.
8. Five Yard Turn Drill (See Diagram 8)
Drill: Receiver stands five yards away with his back to coach. Coach will yell ‘ball’ and throw over the right or left shoulder. Receiver will turn only his head; he must keep his shoulders up field. Locate ball with eyes and hands.
a. Thumbs out, elbows in, little fingers together.
b. Snap head around.
c. Bring ball down to tuck position.
d. Adjust body to ball if needed.
Purpose: To develop hand and eye coordination finding the football.
9. Cruise Drill (See Diagram 9)
Drill: One hand catches while running at X speed. Line up receivers and have them run about ten yards and make extended catch.
Purpose: To make the great catch and develop good concentration.
10. Quick Feet Drill (See Diagram 10)
Drill: Put six cones about two feet apart (tighter as you get better). Have receivers run in and out of the cones at full speed. When all receivers have gone through, repeat the other way. Have the receivers carry a ball and emphasize proper ball position and running form.
Purpose: Emphasis on quick feet, proper running form and ball control.
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