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Archive for the ‘QB mechanics’ Category

Fine Adjustments Make a Big Difference

Posted on: December 1st, 2017 by Kevin Fleming

Anyone who plays quarterback or watches the game of football knows that a great quarterback has mastered the technique of throwing a football. For many quarterbacks or those that just enjoy throwing a football were taught early in life the form needed to successfully throw a football. In this episode of Steve Clarkson’s #QBQuickTips, Steve Clarkson is working with the University of Oregon quarterback, Travis Jonsen. Steve is helping to fine tune his form to be successful on the field.  Read on and then check out all of Steve’s QB drills and instructional videos for quarterbacks.

When watching a quarterback throw you always see them bring the ball back. This is what Steve calls “loading up.” A quarterback needs to load up for numerous reasons. One is the power of your throw. When a quarterback doesn’t successfully load up before throwing a great deal of power on the throw is sacrificed. Another reason to load up when throwing a football is it helps to improve accuracy. Finally, loading up allows you to maximize your accuracy when throwing a football. When a quarterback’s throws without properly loading up, their body isn’t lined with the direction of their throw. This leads to interceptions and incomplete plays since accuracy, power and balance all suffer. The pros that line themselves up properly, load up and stay in balance are the ones that make the play.

As we see Steve showing Travis, there is an optimal way of loading up with your quarterback mechanics. One problem is when loading up is bringing the ball further back than they should. This increases the vulnerability of a quarterback and adds unnecessary movement in the throwing motion. Another problem that Steve shows Travis is when loading up is a common one, where quarterbacks tend to bring their arm out too far from their body. Going back to the basic principles of throwing a football that you learned when you first started throwing a football, a quarterback’s body needs to be lined up with your intended target they will be throwing to. When a quarterback starts to bring their arm out during the throw their shoulder and hip are not on the football. When your shoulder and hip aren’t fully on the football then you start to throw with your arm alone.

Throwing a football is an effort of synchronizing the whole body in unison. If a quarterback throws with their arm alone, they will struggle to make the play. Throwing with the power of the arm solely is not beneficial for any quarterback to do. It reduces the power of the throw and the accuracy of the throw. Throwing a football like this also leads to greater risk of injury to your shoulder or elbow. Everyone who has played a game of catch when first learning to throw a football has done this. At the end of the game of catch you’ll remember how your shoulder got tired and it was difficult to keep going throwing as well as you did earlier in the game.

The fine adjustments Steve is showing Travis Jonsen is are useful lessons that any quarterback can use. The position of being a quarterback calls for constant improvement and adjustments in order to succeed. If you want to improve your game Steve has numerous #QBQuickTips for your disposal. If you are interested in learning more about Steve Clarkson and what he has to do go

How to Throw a Football 101: Holding the Ball

Posted on: October 11th, 2016 by Kevin Fleming

Young QB’s starting to train and develop always need to refine their throwing mechanics.  However, getting started throwing the football the right way will help shorten the road towards a well rounded skill set and ensures that our students get the most from our quarterback camps and from our qb training.

We asked Steve Clarkson to give us some tips on the first part of our “How To Throw A Football” series.  In this installment we begin with the first things first and discuss how to grip a football to throw an accurate and tight spiral.

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1. Grip the ball correctly. This means placing your pointer finger past the white stripe on a straight line from your arm and keeping your middle and ring finger over the threads, ideally at the first joint of the finger. The pinkie finger should just touch the threads of the ball. Keep in mind that different hands sizes will impact the placement of your fingers on the ball as seen in the examples below.

how to throw a football   how to hold a football

2. Start the arm motion keeping a straight line from your elbow to the end of our pointer finger. In order to create a balanced motion and to best use the power of your entire body, keep your non throwing arm out in front of you. This will help with both accuracy and power and is a fundamental of throwing mechanics.

gripping the football

3. Starting with a strong foundation in your legs, drive the ball through with a high release and quickly turn your thumb towards the opposite pocket. Make sure your elbow stays in front of your shoulder to create a powerful transition and to lower the risk of shoulder injury.

releasing the football

4. Follow through with your arm across your body. There are many quarterback drills that can help develop this arm motion. One that can be used during your warmup routine is throwing from your knees. This will help warm up the shoulder and the kinetic motion of the arm will naturally come across the body.

football throw follow through

Coach’s Transcript:

One of the biggest questions that I get is coach how I grip a football. Well, that will vary from kid to kid, but typically the smaller your hand the higher up on the ball that you will grip.  Ideally what I tell my students is the seams on a football, much like a baseball if you’re going to throw curve, how you grip on the seams of the football matters.

I like to basically take my index finger, my wrist and forearm. I want to make sure that they are on a straight line.  You’re going to roll down from the pinkie to index finger on a straight line, then turn the thumb over to the opposite pocket and you see my thumb is on the inside so I’m able to turn the ball over. This will send the ball out of your hand with a spiral keeping it on a strong and accurate trajectory towards your target.

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