We’ve got a kid this year with INCREDIBLE speed and vision. But this is his first year playing football for us, and first year ever returning kicks. So, he’s a bit raw there with the most important aspect, making a good, clean catch. He’s already returned two kicks for touchdowns in just our first two games. I need to continue to coach and develop him as the best kick returner he can be. (I’m the Special Teams Coordinator.)
I thought about a drill yesterday to help him focus on the catch. It went very well today, and I wanted to share it with you.
This drill is for kick returners. It helps to teach them 5 things:
1. Find the ball
2. Get in position to make the catch
2. Set their feet
4. Find the ball
5. Cradle the ball as they catch it, using legs as shock absorbers
I bought my son a “tee in a bucket” a few years ago for Christmas. It came with about 20 wiffle balls. So, I took this bucket out to practice today. Right away, kids were telling me I had the wrong sport! They were all asking what it was for. I like to keep them guess, so I didn’t tell them!
How to run this drill
1. Get 10-20 wiffle balls
2. Line your receiver up 10-15 yards away from you
3. Tell him the 5 things you want to teach him with this drill (see above).
4. Throw the balls high at him, just straight at him, so he isn’t having to move too much
5. Progress to where you make him work for the balls; throw them short, to his right, to his left, deep, just vary it up so he is having to move