Sideline Catch Drill

Setup

Place receivers ten yards away from the sideline and ten yards downfield from the coach/quarterback.

Purpose

Increase comfort level with routes on the sideline and develop the ability to haul in the ball while keeping a foot in bounds to successfully complete the catch.

Drill Description

The receiver runs towards the sideline as the coach/quarterback throws a ball that will purposefully make it difficult for the receiver to catch it while remaining in bounds. Many repetitions of this drill will teach receivers to not look down directly at the sideline, but instead, feel where it is and not step over. Outside of the professional leagues, most leagues require only one foot to remain in bounds for a catch.

As the ball is arriving, proper sideline technique is for receivers to stick their last foot in the ground, never letting it lift off the ground. The other leg can be brought up to allow the receiver to reach his upper body further, but only let that leg touch the ground again if the ball is already secure in the hands. As the receiver drifts out of bounds, the back foot can lift to the toe, but the toe must drag on the ground, never lifting off the ground. The trail of dirt on the ground will signal to the referee that the receiver did indeed stay in bounds long enough to make the catch.

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