New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. knows how to pull off spectacular feats. At a training session in Los Angeles before the Giants reported to camp this week, Beckham put his fancy footwork on display in a series of drills that put the word “speed” in “speed ladder.”
“It’s very hard to describe Odell, but if I had to use one word, it would be ‘explosive,'” says Jamal Liggin, who trains Beckham and several other NFL players. “There are a lot of things that he does that other athletes make look hard, but he makes look very easy.”
Beckham’s performances in the drills are so smooth they appear effortless, but make no mistake: The receiver is going all-out. In fact, Liggin says that what makes Beckham unique is his willingness to go full speed on every rep.
“[Beckham] is very comparable to Marshawn Lynch,” says Liggin, who led Lynch’s training sessions after the running back was traded from Buffalo to Seattle. “Marshawn would come in and put 100 percent effort into crushing the weight on the bar. Odell comes in and puts game-level effort into every drill. He’s chasing down tennis balls or running through the ladders at full speed. He’s not just going through the motions.”
Throughout the drill, Beckham has to be alert for Liggin’s verbal cues, which tell him whether to complete the ladder or sprint. The receiver also must be on the lookout for tennis balls, which the trainer tosses at him at any time and at varying speeds—some lobbed, others thrown hard and fast.
It’s worth noting that, in the video above, Beckham performed all of the drills without shoes. There was something about the way the astroturf felt beneath his cleats that OBJ didn’t like that day, so we went through the workout in socks only. That means he’s capable of moving this fast with only a thin piece of cotton providing traction.
Beckham spent this off-season wowing onlookers with acrobatic training sessions, occasionally practicing with European soccer teams and working out with LeBron James at least once. He—and Giants fans everywhere—will get to see how well those efforts paid off when the team plays its first pre-season game August 12.
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