During today’s blog post, I’m going to present some basic fundamental receiving drills and techniques for receivers in youth football.
The Receiver’s Stance
First we’ll begin with the stance. The approach that we’ll use is where the receiver is aligned in a wide receiver position, and the ball is to the inside, so he will have his inside foot forward, giving him a good solid base.
He’ll have his hands up in the ready position and his eyes inside, looking at the line of scrimmage, so he can see ball movement and his release. This is the basic stance, and one that your receivers should know well.
Release Youth Football Drill
You can do this drill with pairs, and there are several types of releases. The two that we’ll deal with are the rip-on and the swim. The first player should get in the regular receiver stance, and the second player will come in and play the role of the defensive back.
The key here is the receiver wants to attack half of the defender’s body.
The player should use foot fire (quick feet) and then, depending on the release, he’ll attack half of the inside defender and will rip with the inside arm. This is called a rip arm release.
The next one that we’ll talk about will use the swim technique or the swim arm, which can be used in an outside release. The stance is the same. This time though, your player will attack the outside half of the defender. He’ll use his hands again and then he’ll swim over the top.
Fingertip Pushup Catching Drill
In catching the football, it’s all done with the hands and fingertips. This drill involves “punishing” your players for not catching the ball correctly. If they don’t successfully execute the catching, they get down and do five-fingertip pushups. By fingertip pushups, we want pushups that are done up on the fingertips, trying to create strong hands.
Flip Youth Football Drill
This drill can be done by a player while he’s sitting around at home, in the locker room before practice, etc. Basically, it’s an attempt to control the ball with the fingertips and then catch the football.
All the player does is flip the football back and forth. This can be done with both hands and helps to create great finger strength, great concentration, and great control of the ball.
Ball Dribble Drill
For this drill, your player will release the ball. This spreads the fingers and creates a strong grip. If you have receivers with smaller hands, they can place their opposite hand underneath the ball in case they don’t grip the ball.
Do ten catches with the right hand and then switch to the left hand. As a receiver, you want to do drills with both hands because oftentimes you end up catching the ball with one or the other; the preference is always two hands, but some situations necessitate a one-handed catch.
Tug of War Youth Football Drill
This drill is fairly competitive. The coach places the ball between the two receivers and lets them grab the ball with one hand and get the best grip that they can get.
Hopefully it’s an equal grip and when you release it, they try to take it away from each other.
This drill uses cones and emphasizes footwork and working on making route cuts.
Get a set of four cones and create a square, and the receivers make a square, cutting with their outside foot. What we want to emphasize here is planting the outside foot and making a sharp cut.
These are just some of our favorite youth football drills for receivers. Do you make sure to take some time out to run your receivers through drills such as these?