Knowing how to throw a football with a tight spiral is an essential part of playing the quarterback position in football. Because quarterback is arguably the most important position on a football team, that makes knowing how to throw a football with a tight spiral one of the integral actions of the game of football. When watching football on TV, it may look very simple to throw a football with a tight spiral, however, the mechanics that go into the actual throw are much more intricate than they appear on the surface. There are a few proven steps that, if practiced, can help one learn how to throw a football with a tight spiral.
- The Grip. The first step in throwing a tight sprial is making sure your grip on the ball is correct. The index finger should be almost touching the end point of the ball where the seams all join together; this helps give the throw more balance and direction. Meanwhile, the thumb and middle finger should be almost even with each other about an inch away from the last lace on the ball. Finally, your ring and pinky fingers should grip the last lace or two on the football. A player should practice becoming comfortable gripping the ball in their hand before attempting to throw the tight spiral.
- The Stance. When you are comfortable with the grip of the football, the next to step to throwing a spiral is the stance. You should stand with your hips forward and your front shoulder (non throwing-arm) and upper torso should be slightly open. Standing like this not only allows you to see the field better, but also to add torque and velocity to the throw. You should also have one foot (opposite of your throwing arm) forward with your other foot stepping back. Your feet should be shoulder width apart.
- The Step. As you prepare to throw the football, you should shift your weight onto your back foot in order to build momentum for the step into your throw. Then, your front foot (opposite side of your throwing arm) should step forward and plant firmly into the ground. The front foot should be pointed in the direction that you want to throw the football. Making sure that your foot is planted will help ensure the strength of the throw as well as the accuracy and tightness of the spiral.
- The Throw. The throwing motion is the crucial point for throwing a tight spiral. When you throw the ball, your arm should be positioned at about a 90 degree angle from your torso. You should then bring your forearm back over your shoulder until your elbow forms about a 45 degree angle. As you bring your entire arm forward to throw, begin stepping forward as described in step three. As you plant your front foot and extend your throwing arm, flick your wrist so that your thumb rotates toward the opposite side of your body. As you do so, the ball should begin to release from your hand, with the forefinger remaining on the tip of the ball until the last moment of release. A player should practice this motion repeatedly before attempting to throw a tight spiral.
As you can see, the mechanics of knowing how to throw a football with a tight spiral are very complicated and intertwined. The whole body has to work together and be in synch in order to achieve the most accurate throw. You should practice each step repeatedly in order to get your rhythm and timing down. By doing so, you will ensure that your throwing motion is smooth and synchronized. Once you have reached this step, you will be well on your way to throwing a tight spiral every time you pick up a football.