By Chris Zablocki, Head Football Coach, Cedar Grove-Belgium (Wis.) High School
We have found that high school players need to start with two basic fundamentals when becoming a wide receiver: stance and route running.
We found these two drills very helpful in the development of youth and high school receivers.
1. Resistance stance: At the high school level, it is up to the coach to decide which foot they want their receivers to have forward. We like having our receivers start with their foot closest to the ball in front, then have a coach hold the receiver’s front heel.
Finally, the coach gives the signal for the wide receiver to start. The coach holds the heel down so the receiver has to start with the back foot, which eliminates a false step.
2. Sink the Hips: For this drill, we use five cones, five yards apart, on a field about 20 to 25 yards in length. Just like the old agility drill, “the W,” we have the players cut on each cone.
The receivers start by over-exaggerating the pumping of their arms and also use high knees while not running at full speed. When the player arrives at the cone, they maintain control of their feet by chopping them and also sinking their hips when they come to the cone.
Next, they explode out of the cone, resembling a cut in a pass route. Finally, the players once again over-exaggerate pumping their arms and high knees until they arrive at the next cone, when they sink their hips and cut again.
Players should do this until they reach the last cone. We find this drill helps players learn how to properly cut in their pass patterns.