Youth Football Coaching: Receivers

Everyone wants to be a receiver, but it takes a lot of work to get good at receiver. In my experience, the best players are so far ahead of the worst players, so it’s hard to get the best players better, and not leave the younger kids and inexperienced kids behind.

The most important thing is to get your players better, so you can win more games. And to win more games, a playbook might help. So, get a free youth football playbook here.

Hands, Hands, Hands

What good is speed and quickness and size, if the ball is never caught? Well it isn’t worth much at all, at least at receiver. Drill into your players how important looking the ball in is. Don’t try to run or turn up field before you secure the ball. Lack of concentration is the main reason for dropped passes.

The best way to get hands better is to simply practice. Not every team has a jugs machine, because they are really expensive. But in youth football, nothing is more valuable than just simply throwing and catching.

At the start of the season just have players play catch for a few minutes, and that will show you what you need to know. With the guys who appear to catch confidently just playing catch, take them and throw some routes to them. See how they catch while running, and how fast and quick they are.

Other ways to improve hand eye coordination is using a small ball, like a tennis ball, and just having them catch it. Have them partner up and toss balls back and forth. Switch it up by catching high, low and cross body. And always catch with one hand, even though it could be hard for some.

Speed Kills

Get your players faster. Everyone should be joining in on a short plyometrics workout after warmups at the start of practice.

Plyometrics workout

  • 10 Tuck Jumps
  • 6 Scissor jumps/lunge jumps
  • 30 yard bounds down and back

Find a line in the field and continue with these 4 exercises.

  • 20 seconds: lateral one leg hops each leg
  • 20 seconds: Forward/back single leg hops each leg
  • 20 seconds: lateral step overs
  • 20 seconds: Forward/Back step overs

Route Running

Practice all your routes. That is the best way to get better. Teach players how to mix it up and make their routes look similar. If you have really good players teach them some tricks. A basic one is on a vert sticking your arm out like you want the ball at around 10 yards. Then if you run a comeback, stick that arm out like you would on a vert, but then sink the hips, and hit the comeback.

Violent hips are important because they help you change directions easier. Dip the hips on a route to change direction better. Don’t slow down before dropping the hips.

Keep feet inside the base. That means don’t over extend because you can slip on the field and it can slow you down out of the break. So keep your feet moving within the base to avoid either of these things.

A drill that has helped me a lot is a box drill. Set 4 cones up in a box about 5 yards apart. Take each angle sharp and controlled. Take a look at these 8 drills for more ideas.

And those are the best tips and ways to get better at coaching Wide Receivers. While it’s great to have good receivers, other positions are more important, especially in youth football. So just remember that. It’s better to have a great QB or running back than a great receiver in youth football. Now use these tips, win games, and be great.

If you need a playbook to maximize your teams potential, look here.