What Are the Mechanics of Throwing a Football?


Quick Answer

The correct mechanics for throwing a football start with a small step off line to open the hips, followed by a short circular throwing motion, where the body rotates in the direction of the throw. The correct position prior to throwing the football is a sideways stance, with the throwing arm in the rear and the ball held next to the rear pectoral muscle while pointing down.

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Full Answer

The quarterback has both hands on the ball and keeps the elbows tight to the body before initiating the throw. The front hand comes off the football when the throw begins, and the throwing motion brings the ball behind the ear. When the ball reaches this point, the quarterback holds it so the football points up and away from the target.

As the ball comes forward, weight shifts from the back foot to the front foot, and the front hip rotates outwards. The front arm swings down to the front side of the body. The elbow and shoulder blade of the throwing arm line up, as the throwing arm comes forward.

Grip varies, depending on the quarterback's preference and hand size, but the pinkie is typically on the laces, and the index finger is near the end of the ball. At the throw's release point, the wrist flicks forward, and the index finger is the last finger to touch the ball. This wrist flick and the index finger make the ball spiral.

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