receiver tips

hi i am a receiver in high school. i am in the tenth grade and am starting on jv. they were thinking about putting me on varsity. I consider myself a great receiver for my age when i want to be but three days ago i did really bad. no i am lacking in confidence and im dropping alot of balls.does anyone have any good tips to get my mind in the right place so i can get out of my slump. it sounds alot easeier than it really is to “just relax and not think about it.”

Also if anyone has any other good tips for a high school receiver to keep in mind or any good drills i can do at home it would be greatley appreciated.

It sounds to me as if you’ve got the tools to be a good receiver, but you need to put them together. Also, you’re probably a very good athlete if they were considering moving you up to varsity as a soph. First of all, work on catching. See if you can arrange with one of the quarterbacks to stay with you after practice a couple times a week and just work on running routes and catching balls. This will help the timing betweeen the both of you, and will make both of you better. In terms of catching, look the ball all the way in. Dont take your eyes off the ball until it is safely tucked away. The only thing you should worry about is getting the ball, not the move you’re gonna put on the guy, not the hit you’re gonna take (remember, you’re gonna get hit whether you catch it or not, so you might as well catch it), and not the TD you’re about to score.

First off listen to the advice of MrC he has made some good points that you will do well to follow.

You are not alone in this particular situation many top athletes have had to overcome the issue of self doubt. I have a video somewhere of a fifteen year old Mike Tyson in tears before an amateur fight because he was worried what may happen to him if he lost.

What you are feeling is perfectly natural just do not let it overcome you.
That is why people are telling you to relax the more tense you are the more you will be snatching at the ball the more likely you will fumble it.

Go back to the basics.Know that you are a good receiver and just relax and catch the ball.

Pressure to perform is a reflection of your own ambition. - Michael Johnson.

You only have as much pressure as you put on yourself to do well.

Man, I used to be in the same boat as you. I used to drop alot of footballs because I didn’t have the self-confidence and trust in myself that I would make that catch. One day of bad practice shouldn’t bring you down. It’s all about how you handle adversity. Are you gonna keep hangin your head or pick yourself up, shake it off, and tell yourself “I’ll get the next one”. The big thing is here as a receiver is to not let the little things get to you. In high school, I was so hard on myself if I dropped a ball and I wouldn’t play as well throughout some games because I was so down on myself for dropping a ball. But when I made a huge catch or starting making plays, it’s amazing how much better I played and felt about my ability once everything started workin out. All you gotta do is practice, practice, practice catching footballs. The more reps you get in, the better you get. And practice catching while you are running. Focus on the tip of the football and “frame” it in. Focus and watching the ball in will make catching that much easier trust me. It’s all about hand-eye coordination.

So remember, don’t let one day get to you if you didnt do as well as you thought you should’ve. Pick yourself up, coaches like to see players who can shake off those little things and get to the next play, not guys who hang their heads and don’t have confidence in themselves. I know you are only a soph in high school, but if you take in these tips it will make you much better. Good luck.

Our season just started and I have a question. Since I have very limited game time experience (one game) I was wondering what the correct mindset is. In my first game I started with a drop but then after the half i caught my first pass. The reason was because i didnt have much confidence. I know some recievers have differnt mindsets but Id like to know what your thinking when you are lined up. Do you envision your self as a great reciever like randy moss or smonthin? i dont know im just very scared to drop a pass.

I used to think just like you did. The more you catch balls in practice and make the plays in practice, the more self-confident you become about yourself and your abilities. I have the mindset now that a dropped ball is unacceptable; you gotta take pride in catching balls because that is what a wide receiver does! I have focused very hard on watching every pass into my HANDS, not so much body catching anymore if I can help it. That will help you out immensley; if you focus on just watching the ball into your hands, eyeing the tuck and THEN getting upfield, you will get better. When I line up, ever since 10th grade, I always told myself there wasn’t a DB I lined up against that could cover me or keep with me. Either way, it’s all about confidence in yourself and having a little swagger about you. Remember to watch that ball into your hands, like my receiver coach always says:focus on the APEX and frame the ball with your hands! In other words, get your face down to wherever the ball is and frame the ball with your hands so you can see it coming into your hands to make the catch… Make any sense?

Have fun, relax, and know that you are good! Don’t second guess yourself. Just concentrate, focus, and believe that you can do it. Good luck man. And another thing: a drop is a drop; no one is perfect. You can do two things when that happens; you can either forget about it, move on, and make the next play- or you can dwell on that the rest of the game, be pissed off, and make yourself miserable. What do you think the coach would rather see? Handle adversity when it comes to you !

I assume a high school game takes 2 hours to play. You catch 8 passes and you’ve had a huge day. That’s an average of one touch every 15 minutes.

Therefore … I always tell Receivers-RB’s (and DB-LB’s for that matter - any position that handles the ball) to keep their hands warm in practice and game.

Keep a ball in your hands as much as possible and every opportunity you get throw the ball back and forth with a partner. (Just don’t lose track of what’s going on in practice or the game - coaches don’t like that.)

You will have to get permission from your coach to do this.

ya, I’m the Running back for my team and at the beginning of last year I was having trouble hanging onto balls, my coach always recommends every single moment I have to hold a football in my hand and practice holding it like I would in a game, basically whenever I watch TV I hold the football like I’d carry it, school starts in 2 days and football in 3 so I’ll let you know how it works

I assume a high school game takes 2 hours to play. You catch 8 passes and you’ve had a huge day. That’s an average of one touch every 15 minutes.

Even though a football game may take two hours, more if there is much passing, the actual time spent playing the game is closer to 12-15 minutes because of the game clock running almost all of the time with the exception of called timeouts, out of bounds, penalties, injuries, dropped passes, etc…

If the player is only going one way, the time actually played would be much less, so the ratio of one catch to every 15 minutes is incorrect.

james, have the mind set that every ball will be caught no matter where it is thrown. As the ball is arriving, say to yourself “Catch the ball”, not “Don’t drop it.” See the ball out of the QB’s hands immediately, rather than picking it up halfway. The only person that’s never dropped a ball has never had one thrown at him. Keep your hands “soft”. There shouldn’t be much sound when the ball meets your hands. Have hundreds of ball thrown at you. Wear your helmet and shoulder pads. Catch balls under all types of conditions. Rain, sun, mud, night, artifical lights, etc… Get a pair of NFL/Reebok gloves. Super sticky.

Do you know if Reebok produces gloves with the tips of the fingers exposed? Currently playing rugby and the rules forbid gloves that cover the finger tips, but the current ones designed for rugby are not very good (they wear out very quickly).

David, not sure. Why don’t you cut the fingertips off?


I wasn’t talking about game time. I was talking about real time and it was a broad example. A player at any position that catches the ball can go for long periods of time without touching the ball in the game. For example, James may not have a ball thrown to him until midway through the 2nd quarter. In real time that could be 45 minutes (I don’t coach high school so I’m guessing) since he last caught a pass in the warm-up.

You are right in telling him to be psychologically ready, but he needs to be physically ready as well. In the games I coach with TV timeouts it can be longer than 45 minutes. Even college and pros can struggle with this and James is just a kid.


In addition to what Thomas posted about seeing the ball leave the QB’s hands: Make sure you do that. Also, know where the launch point for your QB is on every pass play because you may not see the QB. The ball is going to come out of mess of O-Linemen, D-Linemen and blitzing LB’s-DB’s. You better be looking to the right spot.

Like a sprinter keep your face and shoulders relaxed so that your head is calm and therefore your eyes are calm. Bouncing head = bouncing eyes = bouncing ball = tough catch.

Football Coach

Yeah I am kinda short (5’6) so it is hard to see over the line. Also since this is my first year playing organized football Im not that used to the pads. I am very tense anyway with the pads and then in the game i am even more tense. I feel unbalanced. we dont practice much with pads because the trainer said it is too hot so i dont get much time with them on. I have alot of trouble runnig short routes(slant) because they require alot of shifting to catch the ball like a ball thats behind me and i have extreme difficulty adjusting.

I played wide out in high school and college, i know how you feel. If your having a hard time catching the ball and running certain routes you have to practice, practice and more practice on your own. if you are really serious, then you will literally live with a football in your hands. When your at home keep it your hands watching tv, walking around the house with it, when you lay in bed at night throw it up in the air and catch it. feel the ball and work on all aspects of catching a football, spend so much time with the football that whenever you catch the ball it feels like it belongs in you and only your hands. Also go to the field on your own and run routes, no ball, nobody else. just you, running the routes over and over again. Start slow and speed up. Before practice, get with the QB’s and make them throw to you for 20 minutes, first standing then running routes half speed. Use every opportunity to make yourself a better wideout. Good luck.

Thanx alot guys.
I am very serious about football and thanks for all the tips. i will take all this in consideration and try to be a better receiver.

James as far as some coaching points for catching footballs I would say the basics are 1. Catch with your hands
2. Locate where the tip of the football is and catch it
3. utilize maxium finger spread
Hope these help

I had my first tryout today and I didn’t drop 1 ball in practice and last year I would be dropping boatloads of balls, you should just as me and someone else said before, walk around the house with the football and keep it in your hands as much as you can