For QBs and receivers timing is everything. Drop, route, throw, and catch need to be synchronized to the tenth and even hundredth of a second. The average high school football player can move over three inches every hundredth of a second, over two feet every tenth of a second, and eight yards every second. If a QB takes one extra step in his drop or waits for the receiver to break out of his cut before throwing or if the receiver cuts his route short or takes inconsistent angles our of the cut, timing is off and the risk of an incomplete pass and even interception skyrockets. Each hundredth and tenth of a second not synchronized exponentially changes your pass completion percentage.
The ONLY way to work toward synchronizing your timing in the pass game is to practice, to actually work on your timing, over and over. If you wait until August training camp you are too late. NOW is the time to start.
5 Keys To Developing Timing:
1. Practice Your Route Tree On Air
This is priority number 1. To really develop the timing you need you should spend 3-4 times a week in July running and throwing the routes you have in your offensive system without a defender.
2. Practice Your Route Tree at Game Speed
The only way to synchronize together and develop chemistry as a QB and receiver is to practice your drops and routes at full speed. The timing to a hundredth of a second comes after repetition after repetition at game speed. The drops, routes, throws and catches should become automatic together.
3. Get All Your QBs and Receivers To Join
Great offensive pass games have balance. If it’s just a one QB to one receiver show, the offense is imbalanced and the defense can adjust accordingly to shut you down. Timing with the whole receiving core (WR, TE, RB) will provide the balance you need to take pressure off of the top receiver(s) and giving the space needed to really use their skillset.
4. Practice 1 on 1 Vs. Defenders
As many times a week as you can, get defenders to work one-on-one after routes on air. Defenders add a variable. It’s the next step in synchronizing QB/receiver chemistry and timing. It’s incredibly valuable for QBs and receivers to actually experience the different adjustments needed when a defender disrupts a route. Adjustments need to be made and experience is the only way for a QB to anticipate the adjustment a receiver is going to make.
5. Organize 3 Defenders Vs. 2 Receivers and/or 7 Defenders Vs. 5 Receivers
One or two times a week, work to end your throwing sessions with a defensive unit giving various coverage looks. An additional set of variables is added that can adjust timing. A QB must work individually to read the defense and still maintain precise timing. A receiver must learn how to adjust to each of the various coverages and get to the spots where their QB can get them the ball. The key however is to build an understanding together of how each will react in various circumstance so a QB and receiver can anticipate and react as one with precise timing.
There is no substitute for practice. The more you practice, the less the imperfection.