HOW TO: Throw a football
Quarterbacks on youth and high school teams are called upon to run the offense, run the ball themselves or hand off to their running backs a majority of the time. However, a team’s offense becomes even more lethal if its QB can pass effectively and consistently.
After taking the snap, your first step dropping back is crucial to get away from the line of scrimmage (and from onrushing defensive linemen). For right-handed QBs, your left foot will cross over your right foot as you drop back. Keep your body in a straight line. Grip the ball with two hands and hold it up around your chest area. (Note on gripping the football: Quarterbacks with smaller hands should grip the ball across the seams and more toward the middle of the ball. QBs with larger hands can grip the ball more toward the end.)
Surveying the field
As you drop back, scan the field so you can see the entire field and are able to react quickly. Determine who to throw to based on what the defense is giving you.
For right-handed quarterbacks, your left foot should be pointing in the direction you want to throw the ball as you bring the ball up from your chest area to a ready-to-throw position just behind your head.
Release and follow through
Most quarterbacks release the ball over the top when throwing. If you’re right-handed, you want your right hand to finish at your left hip as you follow through, and your right foot to follow through past your left foot to get added velocity on the ball. In addition, your shoulders should be square as you follow through.
Demonstrating each step is Elmhurst College senior quarterback Chris Kudyba, who has been starting for the Bluejays since his sophomore year.
Source: Kudyba and www.footballtrainingdrill.com
Staff photos by Erica Benson