If you’re dropping more pigskin than you’re securing, you’ll probably find yourself on the pine more often than in the end zone. To score some key tips on snagging balls, we hit up former Pro Bowler and current Kansas City Chiefs WR Chris Chambers for wide receiver tips.
Wide Receiver Tips
STACK: What’s the most important attribute for a wide receiver?
Chris Chambers: You’ve definitely got to have hands if you’re going to play. If you don’t have hands, they usually turn you into a defensive back; that’s what the old saying is.
STACK: Do you have any wide receiver tips for a young receiver with not so good hands?
CC: You can learn how to catch the ball. You really can. You can definitely get better. I’m constantly getting better [at] catching the ball [by] just strengthening my hands, strengthening my forearms every single day. I’m doing little drills, and you only have to throw the ball 10 to 20 yards. I can be right in the face [of a partner] just catching the ball over my head.
STACK: What key points do you focus on when doing this?
CC: Just repetition of looking [at] the ball—and that always helps because it’s all about your eyes; it’s really not your hands. You’re looking [at] the ball all the way into the tuck. A lot of guys mistake that, because they’ll look at it and then they’ll turn away because they’ll try to run. One thing you want to do is watch the point of the ball and grab the fat [of the ball]. If you can concentrate on that, it makes a lot of catches easier. Now sometimes the ball [is] all over the place so you can’t do that; but for the most part if you pay attention to those simple rules, that’ll help you catch the ball a lot better.
STACK: Do you need a partner to work on this?
CC: You definitely want to work on this with somebody else. [The partner doesn’t] have to have the best arm in the world. You could probably work on it with your girlfriend if you want to, if she [doesn’t] mind, because all you have to do is stand five yards away and turn different ways to catch the ball overhead and low.
STACK: How often should a receiver practice this?
CC: If you can, do 100 reps a day. Then, when you get out [on the football field], it’s really just like clockwork. It’s all repetition, and you can definitely get better catching the ball [by] doing that.