The most important skill for wide receivers besides confidence is knowing how to catch a soccer ball. Don’t get me wrong, catching a soccer ball is not as easy as it might seem. If that was the case, there would be fewer defensive backs in the world of football – trust me.
Imagine, a ball pass thrown at you by Michael Vick just a few yards away; Something “simple” suddenly becomes a little more difficult and requires a great deal of concentration. If you’re aiming to be an electrifying wide receiver with the ability to snag any ball in the air on command, here are the basics for catching a soccer ball that you must learn first:
Correct hand placement
Tuck in the ball and protect it
Hand-eye coordination is the basis for learning to catch a soccer ball and is simply the coordinated control of eye movement with hand movement, and visual input processing to guide reaching and grabbing. In this case, we are working on hand-eye coordination to successfully reach and catch a soccer ball. The better a wide catcher looks at the ball with hand-eye coordination, the better their chances of catching a ball thrown to them.
Improving your hand-eye coordination is not a complex task to conquer, but it does require a great deal of concentration, which is the second key element in catching soccer balls. Thinking back to the example of the ball pass thrown at you a few yards by Michael Vick, you should think about how concentration will allow you to control your body and mind to focus on and see the football. in your hands. Your goal as a top receiver is to focus and lock your eyes on the football, take a deep breath and see the football in your hands. This step should be a constant with every ball thrown in your path. Keep in mind that you don’t want to attack football. You want to absorb the football in your hands and away from your body, followed by tight pressure, which brings me to the next important aspect of the ability of large receivers to catch a football; hand strength.
In organized football, the speed of the ball is much more intense than it would be when playing ball with friends. In addition, the defenses are much more aggressive. To compensate for this, you need strong hands. It can be the difference between catching a soccer ball to make an important completion and not. You won’t always be wide open on a route, and you’ll rarely have a ball thrown at half speed, so you need to be prepared to squeeze the ball after all the passes you catch. This will boost your stats and prevent big falls when a defender hits you or slips your arms and hands after a capture.
Good hand placement is another important factor in knowing how to catch a soccer ball. Fortunately, this is one of the easiest aspects to adapt due to the natural positioning of the limbs. When a soccer ball is thrown directly at you or over your chest, you want to form your diamond hands. When a ball is thrown directly at you anywhere under your chest, you want to place your hands with your thumbs up and your fingers tilted toward the floor. Another important hand positioning for a wide catcher where you will be making the big changing catches is when you catch the deep ball.
You will definitely want to incorporate all aspects of how to catch a soccer ball when the deep ball is thrown. When a deep ball is thrown over your shoulders, you want to position your hands with your fingers wide open and the tips of your little fingers overlapping. For better grip of the ball when catching, try grabbing the end of the ball before the laces. This type of grip requires strong hands, concentration and even more correct hand positioning. Big games equal great concentration.
The last key to successfully catching a soccer ball is to reenter the ball and protect it. Once you have completed the steps mentioned above, the last step is to roll up the balloon and protect it. You don’t want to take all the appropriate steps and forget about this one. This step is the difference between a gain of thirty yards and a fumble. So ALWAYS, always, always, store and protect the ball after every football catch.
To help you improve your catching ability in football, I have listed some good exercises for hand-eye coordination and hand strength below. Once you have mastered all of the key components mentioned above, you are sure to be on your way to becoming a premium receiver.
Tennis ball exercise for hand-eye coordination:
With a tennis ball, you can do several wide receiver exercises to improve your hand-eye coordination as a wide receiver. It’s a great exercise that has helped me improve my hand-eye coordination considerably.
For beginners, slightly bounce the ball on the ground. When the ball bounces, look at the ball in your hands and squeeze it. Make sure you focus on the ball throughout its journey, from its decency to its ascent into your hands. Make sure to practice this exercise with both hands. Once you have mastered this drill, increase the difficulty level by bouncing the ball harder and from different angles. Also try to throw the ball off a wall, challenging yourself to catch the ball in different places in the air and before it hits the ground, while focusing on the ball from the moment you release it. until it comes back to your hands. After you’ve successfully mastered this drill alone, I’m sure you’ll have over 80% of what it takes to know how to catch a soccer ball.
Tennis Ball Drill Bit For Hand Strength:
Tennis Ball Pressure – Using a tennis ball, just squeeze and hold for 90 seconds. Practice both hands with three sets each. This movement strongly targets the forearms. This exercise is important because after catching a soccer ball, you will be squeezing it so that it does not slip out of your hands.