Improve Your Route Running With Speed Training Drills

Become better at route running with these three foot speed drills from STACK expert Giovanni Grassi.

Football Route Running

Route running, catching footballs, lifting weights—all great ways to improve yourself as a wide receiver. But although you might think you're doing everything you can, you could be missing a key element that will help you become more explosive.

Most receivers don't train for the break point at the end of routes. The following four drills will allow you to become more explosive off the line of scrimmage, run better routes, come out of your break more explosively and lose defenders in coverage. Having great foot speed will also improve your overall speed and agility. Implement these quick foot movements, and see how much better your route running will become.

Ladders

Ladder drills are great for improving foot placement. When doing the drills, move your feet in and out of the boxes a quickly as possible. Perform anywhere between 10 and 15 ladder drills, twice each drill, at high-speed. (Here are five speed ladder drills.)

Diamond Drill

This drill is great for developing quick deceleration and re-acceleration. It teaches receivers how to get in and out of their breaks and change direction as quickly as possible. You can do this drill two ways, wide or tight.

For the wide version, set four cones five yards apart in a diamond pattern. The wide version gives you more space to run and settle your feet before coming out of your break.

For the tight version, set the cones at three yards apart in a diamond pattern. This makes the drill shorter and more explosive, which promotes quicker foot movement.

Start at cone one with cone two directly in front of you, cone three to your right and cone four to your left.

  • Start on the right side of cone one
  • Sprint to the opposite side of the cone two
  • Quickly move your feet around the cone without stopping and sprint to opposite side of cone one, making a figure 8
  • Quickly move your feet around the cone without stopping and sprint to opposite side of cone three
  • Quickly move your feet around the cone without stopping and sprint to opposite side of cone four, making another figure 8
  • Quickly move your feet around the cone without stopping and sprint through cone three

Cone Icky Shuffle

This drill is great for teaching receivers how to stick hard on their outside leg after making a quick foot movement.

  • Line up eight cones in a straight line about one yard apart
  • Start weaving between the cones and sticking hard with the outside leg as you go around each cone
  • Do not step over the cones; sway in between them

Lateral Two-Over-Two-Back Line Drill

This drill helps receivers develop a quick twitch for double moves.

  • Begin with toes behind a white line
  • Step over line with left foot, then right foot, then back over the line, left, then right, as quickly as possible while moving laterally down the line for five yards
  • Try to get more taps on and off the ground for five yards
  • Repeat starting with right foot
  • Rest 45 seconds before going again


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