Wide Receivers: Boost Your Speed and Agility with These Drills

STACK Expert John Cissik prescribes six drills to enhance the speed and quickness of wide receivers and offers a three-day sample workout.

Wide Receiver Speed and Agility Drills

A successful wide receiver needs to be able to sprint down the field, separate himself from defenders, catch the ball and elude tacklers. To be effective, he needs a blend of speed, agility and conditioning.

Geared around three workouts per week, these specialized drills can help. The first focuses on learning how to take the first few steps to improve your ability to get off the line of scrimmage explosively. The second focuses on enhancing your top-end speed. And the third includes short sprints and total-body exercise to improve your conditioning and endurance.

Ideally, take a day off between workouts.

Speed and Agility Drills

Stick Drills

Stick Drills develop your ability to increase your speed during the first few steps. Start with seven cones. Place one cone  at the start line and the second cone 12 inches in front of the first. The gap between each subsequent cone is 6 inches wider than the last (e.g., the third is 18 inches ahead of the second, the fourth is 24 inches from the fourth, etc.)

  • Begin in a two-point stance.
  • Run so that you place one foot between each set of cones.
  • Remember to run through the final cone.

Resisted Sprints

You will need a partner for this drill, which teaches you to be explosive off the line of scrimmage.

  • Line up facing your partner in a two-point stance.
  • Your partner puts his hands on your shoulders and braces you, keeping his arms straight.
  • On a start command, run forward for 5 yards, as fast as possible with your partner providing resistance.

Breaking Away

Breaking Away Drill

Breaking Away Drill

For this drill, you will need four cones.

  • Start in a two-point stance at cone 1, facing the field.
  • Run as fast as possible to cone 2.
  • As you approach cone 2, chop your steps and lower your hips.
  • Pivot on one foot and turn in the opposite direction; e.g., if you pivot on your right foot, turn your body left.
  • Turn all the way around and run to cone 3. Run around cone No. 3 and sprint toward cone 4 (the finish).

Coaching Points:

  • When running around cone 3, drop your inside shoulder so you are rotating around your arm. This will help you keep your turn tight.
  • Every time you stop, chop your feet and lower your hips. This helps you maintain balance.
  • Change the locations of cones 3 and 4 each time you perform the drill.
  • An advanced version of this drill uses the ball (e.g., have it thrown to you somewhere between cones 2 and 4).
  • This can also be done against a defender instead of with cones.

Stride Length Drill

Begin this drill with six cones. The first cone is the start line. Place the second cone 20 yards ahead of the first. Set the third cone at the distance of your height minus 12 inches. The fourth cone goes to your height minus six inches. The fifth cone is equal to your height, and the sixth cone is your height plus six inches.

  • Begin the drill in the two-point stance.
  • Sprint as fast as possible to the second cone.
  • Sprint so that you place one foot between each two cones until you have run through the finish line.

 T-Drill

T-Drill

T-Drill

This is a modification of the classic T-Drill. It is designed to teach you how to start, accelerate, decelerate and run around objects. Set the cones up as detailed in the figure. Cone 2 should be 10 yards ahead of cone 1. Cones 3 and 4 should be 5 yards to the right and left of cone 2.

  • Start next to cone 1 in a two-point stance.
  • Run as fast as possible to cone 2.
  • Run around cone 2 toward cone 3.
  • Run around cone 3 toward cone 4.
  • Run around cone 4 back toward cone 2.
  • Run around cone 2 until you are facing cone 1.
  • Run to cone 1.

As you run around each cone, drop your inside shoulder so that you are pivoting around your arm. This will help you keep your turns tight.

Up 2/Back 1 Drill

This drill teaches you to start, stop and change directions on a dime. It is also a great conditioning exercise. You will need six cones. The first cone is at the start line; set the remaining cones at 5-yard intervals.

  • Stand in a two-point stance facing the field.
  • Run as fast as possible to the 10-yard line (i.e., run forward two cones).
  • Backpedal 5 yards.
  • Run forward to the 15-yard line.
  • Backpedal 5 yards.
  • Repeat the pattern of running forward two cones and back one until you have run through the finish line.

Sample Wide Receiver Workout

Day One

  • Warm-Up: 400-yard jog followed by 10-15 minutes of mobility and sprint technique drills
  • Stick Drills, 3-5x
  • Resisted Sprints, 3-5x5 yards
  • Breaking Away Drill, 3-5x
  • Standing Long Jump, 10x

Day Two

  • Warm-Up: 400 yard jog followed by 10-15 minutes of mobility and sprint technique drills
  • Stride Length Drills, 3-5x
  • Sprints, 3-5x60 yards
  • T-Drill, 3-5x
  • Bounds, 3x20 yards

Day Three

  • Warm-Up: 400-yard jog followed by 10-15 minutes of mobility and sprint technique drills
  • Circuit: 20-Yard Sprint, Squats, 20-Yard Sprint, Lunges, Sprint, Inchworms, Sprint, Bear Crawls, Sprint, Push-Ups, Sprint, Jumping Jacks. Perform each non-sprint exercise for 60 seconds. Rest two minutes. Perform entire circuit three times.
  • Up 2/Back 1 Drill, 3-5x
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Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: FOOTBALL | WIDE RECEIVER | FOOTBALL DRILLS | WORKOUTS | MOBILITY | EXERCISE | SPRINT | DRILL | STANCE | CONES | RECEIVER