Arm action is like a ladder with steps going up and down. For the first step, a
right-handed quarterback uses his left hand to push the ball from the number position to begin the throwing action. The left
hand comes off the ball naturally at about shoulder height.
Next, the throwing-arm elbow extends out and back slightly higher than the wrist
until the ball reaches shoulder level. The football is lifted up from the shoulder to a position behind and higher than the
elbow. The distance from the body to the ball depends on the length of the quarterback's arm.
In step three, the football is turned outward from the body. The end of the ball
away from the quarterback should be tilted slightly up.
Next, the upfield shoulder and hip must turn in sequence with the back hip and shoulder
as needed for body momentum, allowing a full forward thrust of the arm to begin the throwing action.
As forward delivery begins, the elbow of the throwing arm leads while the front
hip and shoulder open, providing momentum and eventually full range of motion for the arm.
The football turns naturally from a pointed-out position to straight about when
the ball is at its highest place in the arc of the delivery.
The direction of the throw should be in line with the quarterback's belly button
when the ball leaves his hand.
The front foot steps as that opens in the direction the football is going to be
thrown. A whipping twist of the lead or front hip must occur as this step is being taken. This rotation provides complete
freedom for hip rotation as the ball is being thrown.
The elevation of the football nose varies with the type of pass being thrown, but
the nose must be positioned correctly as the ball leaves the hand. Deeper passes require more nose elevation at the peak of
the arm arc.
The fingers leave the ball in a little finger, fourth finger, middle finger, thumb,
and index finger sequence. The index finger provides accuracy and spin to the ball.
Velocity is generated from the time the passing action begins until the football
is about straight over the head. Follow-through takes over at this point and does not end until the football leaves the index
After the football leaves the hand, the wrist goes from straight to turned out.
This ensures that there is complete follow-throuhg. The back is bent a little at this point, while the shoulders are square
to the line of scrimmage for most throws. The elbow of the throwing arm locks up or straightens out as the football leaves
the hand, providing additional push to delivery.