FOR ODELL BECKHAM Jr., being one of the best players in the NFL isn’t enough. He wants to be even better.
Since breaking out as a rookie in 2014 with the one-handed “catch seen around the world,” Beckham’s been in the spotlight no matter what he does. Even when he doesn’t do something, it becomes news, too.
The latest example of this came when Beckham didn’t attend the first set of voluntary offseason workouts with the Giants, sparking some in the sports media to wonder if it set a bad example that Beckham wasn't there.
But Beckham wasn’t absent from those workouts because he was sitting around the house or partying with Drake.
In fact, Beckham was doing the exact opposite:
The ultra-talented wideout was in the gym working out with Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Cris Carter and his trainer, Jamal Liggin, the man who helps NFL players get faster than fast. If anyone knows how hard Beckham works, it’s Liggin.
“Odell is ready to work, no matter what the situation is,” Liggin told Men’s Fitness. “One time, he landed in Los Angeles at midnight and called me up to do a workout. We ended up doing an intense session from 2 a.m to 4 a.m. That’s the kind of guy Odell is and how dedicated he is.”
Beckham went through a similar workout with Carter and Liggin that included weightlifting, agility drills, and even catching bricks—something NFL great Jerry Rice used to do to strengthen his hands:
The most intense workout, though, was “the tennis ball drill,” a move that Liggin developed to help Beckham—and other NFL players he trains—with hand-eye coordination, agility, and change of direction.
The drill has Liggin tossing two tennis balls at Beckham, who has to catch them while changing direction and toss them back to Liggin before jumping back to the other ball:
“Football players have to do so many things with their eyes,” Liggin says. “They have to be aware of what their lower body and upper body is doing at the same time. For Odell, he has to watch what the quarterback’s doing, watch the cornerbacks on him, watch his feet, and then find the ball. It’s about the footwork and helping with reaction time, vision, and explosiveness."
Matthew Jussim | mensfitness.com | May 31, 2017