Marques Colston knows how to catch the football.
The retired receiver hauled in 711 receptions during his 10 years in the NFL. According to Fantasy Index, during the 2013 season, Colston dropped just 0.9% of the catchable balls thrown his way, the second-best mark among qualified receivers. STACK recently spoke with Colston, who shared one of his favorite secrets for building sure hands.
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“It’s really simple, one I learned in college,” Colston said. “My coach would always tell me to ‘freeze the catch.’ When you’re catching the ball with your hands—especially in practice or drills—just holding it out that one extra second with your eyes frozen on that point [of the ball]—it trains you to focus all the way through the catch.”
Receivers often get in trouble when they take their eyes off the ball too quickly. When you start thinking about racking up YAC before you secure the catch, you overlook the most important job of a receiver—catching the football. By “freezing the catch” for an extra second during practice and drills, you’re training yourself to look the ball all the way in every time.
“A lot of receivers, young and old, where they get in trouble is trying to run before they secure the catch or trying to make a move before they secure the catch. Focusing on securing the catch for an extra second in practice or drills improves your catch rate,” Colston says.
So there you have it, straight from the mouth of the New Orleans Saints’ all-time leading receiver. The best part is that this tip doesn’t require any fancy equipment or a complicated setup—just focus and a desire to get better.
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