Advanced Catching Skills for Kids

By RonUsher | Uncategorized

Nov 25

This is not me…but I wish it was!

I’ve been enjoying my son’s new found love for football. It reminds me of my youth.

One of my earliest memories is when I was four and played with some big kids on the block. They let me score a touchdown (though for years I thought it was my amazing skills).

I remember playing YMCA flag football when I was about 8. My dad got mad at me because I had my hands in my pockets. I think that was the moment he gave up on me as a football player.

In junior high, I intercepted a pass against a screen play and scored a touchdown.

All through upper elementary school, junior high and high school we played after school and on weekends. We played in the street and moved out of the way when cars came. We played down at the local schools to get covered with mud when it rained. At the beach, we would throw a football and try to impress the girls. Yup, lots of great memories.

So with his new found fascination it’s been great going to the local fields and throwing the ball. He doesn’t really understand the game (I’m not sure I did…though I think I did.) so I’m trying to teach him the skills, strategies and rules of the game.

Today, as we were throwing the ball around, I realized that he had a difficult time catching passes when moving. He’s got good hands if he’s standing still. He’s got pretty good hands if he’s running across the field. But downhill runs are very difficult for him.

So, using my advanced adapted pe and coaching skills, I came up with some simple progressions and drills. We didn’t spent a lot of time doing them…maybe ten or fifteen minutes but I did notice an improvement.

These are the catching drills we did.

  1. I had him stand facing away from me. Then he had to keep his feet pointed away and turn is body as I tossed the ball to him gently. We worked on both sides.
  2. We did the same drill but with the ball being tossed higher. I aimed for it being over his shoulder. I’m not sure how successful I was at hitting my target.
  3. Then I had him only turn his head and raise his arms. This was difficult for him.
  4. We did the same progressions but with him walking and jogging. The end result was that he was greatly improved at catching the ball over his shoulder. Not quite Jerry Rice but on the right path.

There’s more catching drills we will be doing. We’ve been working on routes which he doesn’t completely understand yet. I think a lot of the problem is he isn’t used to running at full speed. I also think he doesn’t know how to make his body change direction quickly.

I am sure these are common problems with kids. I think my friends and I got pretty good at these basic athletic skills because we played all the time. Because he doesn’t get out much with friends at home, I think he’s a little delayed at them.

We will keep working on them and more athletic skills. I really likes sports and wants to be good at them. But like most kids he needs support and instruction.

PS. There was a guy punting and doing field goals at the field. He was probably a semi-pro player working out.

He kicked the ball so high that it was amazing. I don’t know if at any point in my life, I would have been able to catch that ball.

It just goes to show you that there are always more difficult and challenging skills to learn.

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