How to Throw a Football – 6 Steps

A football is big, oval, and has raised laces down the middle. These characteristics make throwing motion more difficult than throwing a round object like a baseball. To successfully throw a football every time you need technique power and accuracy. 

When you combine these three parameters, what you get is a perfect spiral throw to the wide receiver.

First of all, let’s discuss how to throw a football and why a spiral throw is essential.

A spiral involves throwing the football so it spins around in a way that it cuts the wind in perfect form and gets to its destination as quickly and as accurately as possible. When you manipulate the ball the right way, it leaves your hand with predictable results. It enables the wide receiver to predict the movement of the ball so the quarterback knows not to throw harder and farther with uncertain results.

When the receiver can accurately predict where the ball will land, they’ll learn where to run to catch the ball correctly.

How do you throw a football accurately?

Now that you know that throwing a good spiral is the most accurate way to throw, the question is: How do you throw a perfect spiral?

Step 1: The basics

Get the right size. In throwing a football mechanics, the size of the football you’re throwing is important. Footballs don’t come in different shapes, but they come in varying sizes. Professional, collegiate, and high school teams start with a size 9 football – but that would be too sizable for a young child picking up the football for the first time.

Hence, the peewees coming into the game for the first time should learn to position and release with a size 6 football, and work their way up until they can handle a size 9.

Know the right weight range. The weight is the second most important basic consideration. The gas used to blow up the ball is around 12 pounds per square inch, and has an overall weight of around 380Grs – 450Grs.

Step 2: hand placement

1.       Place the hand on the ball with your index finger closest to the tip of the ball.

2.       place the finger off the end of the white laces

3.       place the ring finger in-between the second and third laces from the back

4.       place your pinky between the fourth and fifth laces from the back

5.       wrap your thumb around the ball

Step 3: hold the ball with both hands

1.       Maintain your throwing hand on the laces

2.       Use the non-throwing hand to help hold the ball

3.       Pick the ball up to chest level.

Step 3: stance

1.       place the feet shoulder length apart with your throwing shoulder back

2.       raise the ball with both hands to ear level, with laces facing away from you

3.       face the target with the free shoulder toward the target

Step 4: release

1.       Cock your shoulders back while raising the football 2 to 3 inches

2.       Drop the free-hand from ball to chest level

3.       Release throwing arm into forward motion

4.       While the throwing arm is in forward motion, raise the ball above your head

5.       While completing step 2,3, and 4 step forward with leg opposite the throwing hands towards target

Step 5: finger roll

1.       while trying to release the ball off the hand, allow the ball to roll off the fingers starting with the pinky and ending with the index finger

2.       After allowing the ball to roll off the fingers, end the throw with the index finger pointing towards the target

Step 6: follow-through

1.       Continue rotating the hand until the thumb points down while dropping the throwing arm down

2.       Bring back your leg forward while dropping the throwing arm to the side.

Is it possible to throw a football 100 yards?

Neither the NFL nor the NCAA has ever recorded a player throw a football 100 yards. According to the history books, Aaron Rodger owns the record for the farthest throw of any quarterback in nfl history. His Hail Mary against the lions in December 2013 covered 68 yards in the air. In the NCAA, Nick Marshall threw a 73-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Louis Ricardo in 2013.

Many a quarterback throw go beyond the 70 to 80 yards in practice situations. Also, there are lots of videos where over the internet like when Pat Mahomes effortlessly threw a football 100 yards.

Throwing mistakes to avoid

Now, let’s look at some common mistakes people make when trying to release a spiral.

An uncomfortable grip on the ball

Before you start throwing a football, it is important that you have a proper grip on it. Proper could mean different things to different people. Hence, you should make adjustments on your grip based on what makes you feel comfortable.

People have different-sized hands. And that is why someone with small hands is going to grip the football differently to someone that has a bigger hand. Most importantly, when you grip the football on the laces, place your index finger near the tip of the ball. The more comfortable your grip is the better you’ll be able to release the ball.

Position your feet correctly

The lower part of your body is as important in throwing as football as much as you upper body is. Your legs should be at shoulder’s length as this allows you to maintain balance when you’re throwing in order to get the most power and accuracy behind the throw.

Complete your throwing motion

The right throwing motion makes you feel as though you’ve made a complete circle with your arm. Your arm should go straight back, then up, the forward and then back again.

You must follow through on every one of your throws if you want to  learn how to make a perfect spiral. Not following through will result in you pushing the ball forwards instead of throwing in full circular motion. The football will be released with insufficient power to make its way through the air, causing the ball to wobble out of hand.

Master these steps on how to throw a football farther and start your journey on your way to throwing a football wherever you want it, with the predictability that enables the wide receiver to catch it.

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