Quarterbacking 101

Gripping the Football

The Quarterback Stance
Top 10 Quarterback Tips
Throwing The Ball
Making and Faking the Handoff
Quarterback Fundamentals
Off-Season Training
Game Preparation
Quarterback Drills
Gripping the Football
Making Reads
Passing Techniques

The Thumb
To be most effective when gripping the football, a passer's throwing hand ought to cover more than 50 percent of the football. The thumb supplies the leverage and to some degree pushes the ball during the release. The position and angle of the thumb have everything to do with the amount of push and control and balance of the ball. Be aware of the space between the thumb and palm and the football. Usually this space should not exceed 1/2 inch. A good way to check this space is to be sure the index finger of the nonthroing hand can be inserted between the palm and the football.

The Forefinger
The finger's angle should be about 45 degrees to the back point of the ball. This angle should change if the ball doesn't leave the grip true in its course. Like the tumb, the forefinger ought to be placed on the football in accordance with hand size so as to properly propel the ball. The forefinger is the last finger to leave the grip on the football, promotion precise ball direction. This finger also aids in the rotation and propulsion of the ball itself.

Other Fingers
Middle, fourth, and little fingers are also of monumental importance in gripping the football. Ideally the finger is just on or just off the laces and is pointed vertically across the ball. The fourth finger should have contact with the laces, at least to the fist knuckle overlapping the laces. A passer's little finger ideally needs to touch the laces and be angled slightly toward the back nose of the ball.

The distance between the fingers is called the spread and provides stability to the overall grip. A grip has to feature wide enough finger spacing to allow the quarterback to hold the ball securely in one hand while rotating his arm in a complete circle. Another way to test if the grip is appropriate is to have the quarterback hold the football with the throwing hand extended down toward the ground while running. If the ball doesn't fall out of his grip, then the grip is appropriate. Another aspect of spacing is the distance between the football and the palm of the throwing hand. This space is critical for proper feel because the palm doesn't provide assistance to the delivery process other than to act to connect the fingers with the grip itself. In fact, when the football rests too close to the palm, it negatively affects the pushing of the ball on the release.

Thanks to Don Read, Author of "Complete Quarterbacking"