How To Throw a Football

USA, Florida, Jupiter, Young men playing football on beach
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Throwing a football properly begins with getting a solid but natural grip on the ball. A lot has been written about hand positioning with relation to the laces on the football. The reality is that you should do what is most comfortable and natural for your hands and throwing style. Some players like their thumb on the end of the lace area, others use a specific finger-to-lace configuration and some don’t throw with laces at all. 

The best way to find what’s comfortable for you is to toss the football up the air and grab it where your hands naturally land. Do this repeatedly until you gravitate toward the natural grip that fits for you. Once you find that grip, keep it. After you find the right grip, follow these tips, which will allow you to create a beneficial throwing style that will help you at any level of football

Develop a Good Throwing Stance

A good throw starts with a good stance and good footwork. Your feet should be a little more than shoulder-width apart, and if you're right-handed, your left foot will be forward (if you're left-handed do the opposite).

Before, during and after the throw, use the 80/20 rule. Before you throw, keep 80 percent of your weight on your back leg and 20 percent on your front leg. As you transition the throw, gradually move so that 80 percent of your weight is on your front leg at release and 20 percent is on your back leg. Never put all of your weight on one leg because doing so will throw you off balance which will affect your timing, accuracy, and ability to scramble if needed.

Listen to the Ball

Start your throw with the ball over your shoulder, level with your ear. Pretend there’s a smartphone attached to the side of the ball, and you’re holding it up listening to an incoming call. Keeping the ball up high in this position helps you to develop a quick release, and you will learn to release the ball higher to avoid defensive linemen knockdowns.

Aaron Rogers, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning – all top NFL quarterbacks – are regarded as the being among the most efficient passers to have played the game because of their quick, efficient release of the ball. If the listening technique works for them, it will work for you, regardless of what level you play.

Throw the Football With Both Hands

A great thrower uses both arms to get good release and velocity on the ball. Before the throw, keep both hands on the ball, ensuring that it is secure. As you get ready to throw, swing your front, non-throwing arm down and turn your hips and stomach into the throw, while stepping in the intended direction. As you release the ball, the thumb of your throwing arm should point down toward the ground to finish the release. Practice these techniques and you'll be throwing like ​a pro in no time.​​