Football is a game of strength and technique. You can’t reach the top until you have mastered both of these qualities.
As we head into football season, many coaches are looking to get their players in top form.
For this purpose,
I want to introduce five critical components that are important for every quarterback. These components lay the necessary foundation of effective passing. Followed by the spring- cleaning, here are the two most essential steps in the mechanics of throwing a football.
- Grip (Pre-Pass)
- Thumb Side
- Palm Pocket
- Wrist (Pre-Pass)
Let’s move on to the first pillar of passing mechanics.
Finger Side with Laces on Pre-Pass
Every quarterback has their own style of grip, but the basics should be correct. It’s all about placing your fingers on the ball accurately.
As you are holding the ball,
- Make sure your pinky finger is behind the laces, and slide it between the lace’s digits.
- The middle finger should be above or against the laces, while the ring finger is running parallel to the laces.
- Most importantly, your index fingers should be on the back of the ball.
- To make sure the index finger is placed precisely, see if your index finger is right along the stitching connected with laces.
- The bend of your index finger should be nice and even to create a tight spiral.
While maintaining the grip, don’t put your finger on the tip of the ball. It might push the ball out of its rotation.
Note: Your hand size determines your grip on the ball. It is as good as the contact of your fingers with the ball. Every finger serves a purpose that is vital to having a good grip.
Placing your thumb in the right position is as critical as all the other fingers.
If you have never heard of the concept palm pocket, it is formed by the hand when you are holding the ball in a pocket-like shape.
- Slide your thumb downwards on the football to create a firm palm pocket.
- The thumb should be parallel to your middle finger on the opposite side of the ball.
Note: If you have placed your thumb correctly, you will see that the nose of the ball is in a slight upward position.
A Few Things to Discuss with your Quarterback
If you are the coach, tell your quarterback to keep some space between the palm and ball. Don’t mistake finger contact with palm contact because the former is needed.
Finger contact should be in a way such that, when the ball is held upwards, some light should pass through the space between the palm and the ball. Second, ask your quarterback to focus on the index finger being placed along the stitching of the ball.
Your wrist positioning must not be curled. Instead, it should be consistent and should not drop the nose of the ball.
Some benefits of the cocked wrist:
- Helps in strengthening the finger grip, as well as increases the ball rotation.
- Promotes accurate passing by reducing ball movement.
- Better release of the ball with the nose in an upward position, which also leads to a better trajectory.
Note: To practice cocked wrist better, try cocking wrist in pre-pass.
By following the above discussion on mechanics of throwing a football, not only will you grip the ball better, but you will enhance your ability to pass it substantially as well.
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