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“All In” Wide Receiver: Catching the Football

Feb 1, 2012 | Pass Game Mechanics, Position Groups, Wide Receivers



So far we have extensively covered the Blocking, Stance, and Release portions of our Wide Receiver Series.  Those were listed first because we truly believe in the simple saying, "No Block, No Rock."  And as it was covered in the ABC's of blocking article, a great block starts with a great stance and release technique.  So now that they know how to block, we can start talking about how to grab that rock making them Confident Playmakers.

The Basics of Catching the Football


Catching the football is an inexact science.  Unlike so many other parts of football (kicking, throwing, base block), the receiver has to be ready to catch the ball from a variety of angles. Teaching specific things to do in all of these situations  is not only impossible, but it also impractical.  Instead, we suggest that you start by teaching and stressing the absolute basic fundamentals.  Then you can use your drills to put the receivers in a variety of common situations that allow the receivers to make realtime adjustments to put those fundamentals to work.

This article we have outlined the fundamental concepts that we teach our WR's from day 1.  Check back later this week to see how we use a variety of drills to reinforce these concepts on a day to day basis.

Thumb Rule Fundamentals



  • Used to catch a pass that is above the chest

  • Create a diamond with thumbs together and index fingers together

  • Put the tip of the ball into the diamond

  • Catching the ball away from the body

  • Hands should collapse around the ball as the point of the ball contacts the thumbs and forefingers


Pinky Rule Fundamentals



  • Used to catch passes below the waist and over the shoulder

  • Hold hands together with pinkies touching or crossed

  • Fingers should be spread wide apart

  • Hands should collapse around the ball as it contacts the pinkies.

  • Watch the ball into the hands

  • Absorb the ball into the body

  • Watch the tip of the ball as it is rotated into the "high and tight" position

  • Remind the campers to use the "five points of pressure" to secure the ball and avoid fumbles


Catch and Tuck



  • Watch the ball into the hands

  • Absorb the ball into the body

  • Watch the tip of the ball as it is rotated into the "high and tight" position

  • Remind the campers to use the "five points of pressure" to secure the ball and avoid fumbles


Owning the Football



  • Catch the ball at its highest point

  • Do not allow a defender to get between you and the ball

  • Use your body to shield the defender

  • Sacrifice your body to make the catch ("Lay out")

  • "Give the QB a target"

  • "Watch the ball into the tuck"

  • "Thumb Rule"

  • "Own the Football"


Coaching Points / Verbiage:



  • "Give the QB a target"

  • "Watch the ball into the tuck"

  • "Thumb Rule"

  • "Own the Football"