If you’re reading this article then it’s pretty obvious what you’ll be doing this Sunday! Your eyes will probably be glued to the TV, like so many other Americans and people around the world. You’ll also be watching one of the best Quarterbacks in the business ply his trade on the biggest stage in football.
To be a great Quarterback takes a variety of skills: vision, the ability to make decisions under pressure and the ability to execute the perfect throw time and time again, knowing full well that you could be sacked by the oppositions defense.
Arguably the most important quality of a great Quarterback is the ability to throw a football, short or long, with unerring precision and accuracy. Let’s find out how to throw a football perfectly.
How To Grip A Football
The first thing you need to get right before you actually throw the ball is your grip.
#1 Position Your Fingers Correctly
When you pick up the ball you need to position your fingers between the laces, as this will improve your grip on the ball and allow you to throw the ball in a spiral motion. Getting the ball to spiral in mid air is important, as it keeps the ball travelling in a straight line towards your target.
Use the white lines on the football to get your grip right. Your thumb should be gripping the other side of the ball, to give you a firm and controlled hold.
#2 Your Index Finger Placement
The positioning of your index is very important. You should place it near the tip of the ball over the seam, so your index finger and thumb are making a right angle.
There are a number of variations when holding the football, as to where your fingers are positioned as it depends on the size of your hand. Try some variations and see what works for you.
#3 Spin The Ball
When you release the ball you want to get it spiraling and this makes the positioning of your fingertips vital. You should be gripping the ball with the tips of your fingers. You do this by arching your knuckles so they lift of the surface of the ball.
If you place your whole palm on the ball then you will lose stability in your throw and this will cause the ball to wobble in flight and this will stop your throw from being accurate.
Posture When Throwing A Football
When throwing the ball it’s so important to position your body in the right way, and this all starts with the base of your body, from the bottom up.
#1 Feet Position
You need to stand with your feet a shoulder width apart, at a sideways angle, with your front foot pointing in the direction of your target. Bend your knees very slightly.
#2 Think About Your Weight
Your bodyweight position is important when it comes to transferring power into your throw. You need to lean back slightly, so your weight is on your back leg. One of the key features of a great pass is stepping into it, as this generates the power.
#3 Think About Your Arm Positioning
When you bring your arms above your head to throw the football, you need to keep them perpendicular to your body, so from side on your arms, head, body and legs are all in line. This gives you the perfect base to throw the ball from.
Throwing The Ball
Now it’s time to throw the ball.
#1 Throw With The Right Motion
When you bring your arm back in preparation to throw the ball keep your arm at a 90° angle in relation to your body. Remember to maintain the firm grip of the ball explained earlier. Do not lose the arch in your knuckles and allow your palm to fall flat against the ball.
To throw a football successfully it takes more than just your arm. You need to think about the motion of your whole body, as it all needs to work in unison. When you throw your whole body should rotate, bringing your back foot forward so your whole body is facing forwards.
#2 Releasing The Ball
You should let go of the ball at the highest part of the throwing action to maximize the distance and make sure the ball doesn’t wobble in flight, which will affect your accuracy. The ball will only spin if you make it by slightly turning your fingers as you release it.
#3 Follow Through
Make sure to follow through with your throwing action. You wouldn’t just stop your golf swing, so don’t stop your throwing action. Even if you’re only throwing over a short distance follow through to guarantee accuracy and good habit.
To become good at anything takes practice and to become great at anything takes even more practice! So get to the park with your friend and just practice throwing the ball to each other using this technique.
Throwing a football, and especially throwing it over a great distance, takes strength. This strength comes in the form of muscle. If you want to be able to throw over long distances time and time again then you need to go to the gym and work on your upper body strength.
Your biceps, triceps and chest muscles are all important in being able to throw the perfect long ball. Your grip strength is also important and this will come throw training. Let’s have a look at a plan you could implement at the gym to strengthen these muscle groups.
Exercise 1 – Dumbell Bench Press
Exercise 2 – Incline Barbell Bench Press
Exercise 3 – Dumbbell Fly’s
Exercise 4 – Tricep Dips
Exercise 5 – Dumbbell Bicep Curls
Exercise 6 – EZ Bar Skull Crushes
Exercise 7 – Dumbbell Hammer Curls
Exercise 8 – Rope Pulldowns
Exercise 9 – Barbell Curls, 21s
You should be looking to perform between 8-12 reps, and focus on an explosive action when doing each rep. The important thing for throwing a football is your fast twitch muscle fibers and these come from performing explosive actions for reps.
Take Home Message
You may be a beginner or maybe you’ve been struggling to pass accurately at distance. Hopefully this article has helped you realize what you can work on to improve how you throw a football.