Josh Morgan's Tips for Kids Playing Wide Receiver

Tips on catching the football:

The most important thing to know when catching a football is

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understanding how to use your hands properly. When the ball is headed in your direction, you must keep your hands close together in the shape of a diamond. This is when the palms of your hands are facing the ball, and the tips of your pointer and thumb fingers are touching. That's how you make the diamond with your hands.

When the ball is thrown above your waist, always put your hands in a diamond shape, but when the ball is below your waist, you have to put the tips of your pinky fingers together like your making a human baseball glove with your hands.

It's important to keep a close eye on the tip of the football as it gets closer to you. You have to see the tip of the football as you catch it with your hands, and get your hands around the fat part of the ball and watch it as you bring it close to your chest to make sure you have possession of the ball. Always remember to not focus strictly on the laces, or you will make yourself dizzy.

Tips on route running:

My favorite route to run would probably be a fade route in the red zone or on the goal line. A fade route allows you to combine all of your athletic ability in one play. Basically, you have to take three quick steps off the line against the defensive back guarding you, and you have to break away from him and beat him to the back pylon of the end zone. The route requires speed to get past the cornerback at the line of scrimmage, it requires good leaping ability because the ball is usually thrown high in the air, and it requires strong hands that are able to grab the ball right out of the air.

My second favorite route to run is a deep post. You use the same kind of start as the fade, but you break your route off when you get inside of the safety's inside shoulder as fast as you can and turn your head inwards to look back for the quarterback's pass.

Tips on picking up yards after the catch:
Before you can even think about running with the ball after you make a catch, you have to focus on catching the ball first. That's a big key. Once you have the ball in hand, you have to keep it secured tightly to your chest or it can be stripped away by a defender.

A good way to practice running with the ball on your own is setting up your own cone drill. If you set up a bunch of cones in your backyard and try to juke each cone as if it was a defender, it should help your moves in the open field. Running around cones will really help your acceleration. It really helped me out because it kept me outside practicing. Lots of practice, I think that's a big key to becoming a better player.

Tips on becoming a better blocker:

Blocking has everything to do with determination and good

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footwork. You have to want to not let your man get by you to become a good blocker. You have to have the will, but there is a technique involved in being a great blocker as well. You have to have great footwork, because the guy you're blocking is usually trying to move around to get by you. You have to keep a good base for your body by keeping your feet shoulder-width apart and you have to keep your feet moving or you won't be able to stay in front of who you're blocking. You also have to keep your eyes focused on your opponent's chest, so you don't follow their head fakes or moves.

Best qualities needed in a wide receiver:

To be a great wide receiver, you have to be intelligent, determined, athletic, disciplined, focused and you have to be very confident. I also think you have to have a short-term memory, because if you drop a pass, you have to be able to forget about it and move on to the next play. To be great, you really have to have the will to win.

And most important of all, you have to really be willing to work hard. You really have to make a lot of sacrifices to become a great football player. Not one player in the NFL made it to this level without putting in hours and hours of practice time.

More Routes:

Curl Route: Run straight up the field and take a 45 degree angle back towards the quarterback.

Hitch Route: A hitch route is the easiest. You run straight up the field for 5 or 6 yards and make a quick turn around so that your numbers are facing the quarterback.

Slant Route: A slant route is just like a hitch route, but when you get to the top of the route at the 5 or 6 yard mark, you cut in at a 45 degree angle.

Quick Out: A quick out is the same as a hitch but instead of turning around at the 5 or 6-yard mark, you break out towards the sideline.

Post Route: A post route is route you run 15 yards up the field where you do a 45 degree angle in towards the inside goalpost upright.

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