Leg Saver Drills

We invented the leg saver drill as a way to practice our deep routes without having to run the entire route with every rep. We still run the entire route most of the time because we feel like the timing is very important to our deep routes. However, our receivers usually have many duties on the team and most hold down a position on the defense as well. To work on the catching aspect of a deep route we use the leg saver drill to train our receivers without running them to death.
The drill is simple and I am sure some other programs have used this technique to polish their receivers while keeping their receivers somewhat fresh for other parts of practice or a game the next day.

The basic drill has the receiver line up on a cone that is already down field and thus cuts off a certain portion of the route. This allows the receiver to run only the end portion of the route. The coach can determine how much of the route to run. Usually we start the receiver at the break point of the route or just before the break point of the route. The following is an example of the Leg Saver applied to the post route.

Leg Saver Post Drill

You can use two or three quarterbacks to help keep their arms fresh. If you need to you could set up another station so that they could face each other but you would need to get a good distance between them so that the receivers and the player returning the ball from the other line do not interfere with each other.

We stress that the receivers run at full speed so that the drill is accurate.

Leg Saver Diamond Drill

On these two and three leg routes we stress good quick cuts. We want the receiver to post the outside leg so that the QB will know when to launch the ball. It is also a good idea to make the receiver turn up field after the reception just like a real game.

It is always good to make your receivers tuck the ball quickly. The quicker the tuck the faster the receiver can set himself up as a running back. Getting the ball tucked quickly makes it hard to fumble. Receivers that use their hands to catch the ball can tuck much more quickly.

You can apply this drill to almost any deep route that you want. You can also apply it to some short routes that use big chunks of the field from sideline to sideline.

We have found that we get our best results when we apply speed to our catching abilities. If your players can catch the ball at full speed they will be hard to stop.
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