WR: Catching the Rock
Possessing blazing speed, running crisp routes, and having innate ability to create a big play with your feet after the catch doesn’t mean anything if you can’t catch the rock. The great thing is, your ability to snag in balls is all mental, which means you can become better through proper technique, repetition, and consistently focusing on the task at hand. The most important asset you have as a receiver is your mind. Use your ability to visualize and plan how to catch each given pass. Accompany this skill with loads of repetitions of catching the ball. Focus on using proper technique, and over time your body will produce muscle memory. Between visualizing, muscle memory, and focus, catching the ball will become automatic. Today we are going to discuss ten simple rules to help you snag both the football and the cheerleaders’ attention:
- Reach out to catch the football by making a diamond with your two hands. Try not to catch the ball with your body. If you let the football hit your body, you have less control over the catch and the football can easily bounce away from your grasp.
- Watch the point of the ball into your hands. Zeroing in on a smaller target allows you to aim small and miss small. Plus, you’re trying to catch the tip anyway.
- Catch with your fingertips. This prevents the ball from bouncing off your palms.
- When running away from the quarterback, catch the your palms up and open to the sky. This keeps your momentum going in the same direction as the football, and the palms up increases your reach. If the ball is thrown behind you, come back and catch the ball at the highest point with the palms out.
- When in stride, wait until the last second before reaching out for the football. Reaching prematurely will slow you down, throw your balance off, and increase the defender’s pass awareness.
- Catch the football with you palms out when running towards the quarterback. Scoop the ball if it is thrown below your stomach.
- Use your body as a shield when going up for the ball in traffic. Using your body to act as a barrier between the football and the defender will prevent the defender from getting his hands on or near the football.
- Catch the ball before running with it, unless you want to drop it. Don’t be in a hurry to make a play and start running before you catch the ball.
- Come back to the ball and attack it at the highest point. Don’t allow the defender an opportunity. If the ball is in the air, make the play!
- Consistently catch the ball with two hands. Two hands are better than one for two reasons. One, you have more catching surface, which allows for more grip ball. Two, it is easier to control and absorb the momentum of the ball into your body with two hands.
Work on creating muscle memory and increasing the ability to focus, and catching the ball will become second nature. The only problem you’ll have is figuring out which college you want to go play for.
Tools and Tricks
Cutters Great Catch (www.amazon.com) A good tool for using the diamond and your fingertips to catch the ball.
Cutter Receiver Gloves (www.amazon.com) Solid gloves to provide the extra traction to haul the ball in.
Nike Air Zoom Vapors (www.amazon.com) Look good, play good.
Power Balance (www.amazon.com) It’s worth the $15 if it works.
Jugs Field General Football Machine (www.amazon.com) The Jugs Machine for catching passes and kicks at different speeds. A little be pricey though.