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A quarterback's throwing mechanics involve many small movements that must come together in the right sequence. The quarterback wants to throw a spiral -- which improves the ball's accuracy -- and usually must time his pass to hit a moving target, while ignoring the large defensive linemen trying to stop the pass before it begins. To be an effective quarterback, you should learn and practice your mechanics so they come automatically during a game, allowing you to focus on selecting your receiver and avoiding the defensive backs hoping to turn your passes into interceptions.
Grip the ball with your fingertips, with your pinkie directly on the laces at about the football's midpoint and your index finger close to the ball's tip. The index finger should be roughly parallel with the seam that runs around the ball but doesn't include the laces. Your middle finger should either be on, or parallel to, the ball's white stripe, depending on the size of your hand. There should be a bit of space between the ball and the palm of your hand.
In the Pocket
When you're in the pocket deciding where to throw, hold the ball with the outer tip pointed down, with the ball at a 45-degree angle relative to the ground. This sets the wrist in the proper position to throw a spiral. Keep both hands on the ball with both forearms angled toward the ground. Keep the ball close to your body and squeeze your elbows in, forming a tight triangle with the ball and both elbows as the three points.
Preparing to Throw
Take your front hand off the ball and bring the ball back when you've chosen a receiver. Take the ball straight back and keep it high, at approximately the level of your ear. Your throwing arm should form an вЂњLвЂќ shape with the forearm vertical and the upper arm parallel to the ground. Keep your posture erect with your knees flexed and just a slight bend at the hips. Most of your weight should rest over your back foot.
Step toward your target's location, shifting your weight forward. Make sure to lead the receiver, if he's in motion. Drop your front shoulder a bit as your body rotates; a right-handed quarterback's left hip should rotate to the left. As you step forward, your left arm swings to the left side with your forearm horizontal. Your elbow should be ahead of the ball, about 6 inches in front of your shoulder and aligned with your shoulder blade when your hips are square to the target.
Release and Follow-Through
As you bring your arm forward and you release the ball, the index finger should be the final finger to leave the ball, which helps apply the proper spin. Roll your wrist as you throw so the palm of your throwing hand faces down and to the right -- for a right-handed thrower -- on the follow-through. When you complete your follow-through your right thumb should be pointed at your left hip.