|Gripping the Ball
The passing grip that is used by each quarterback will vary
slightly from player to player, usually relating to the size of
the quarterback's hands. The larger the hand of the player, the
farther back from midpoint that he can grip the ball. Most
beginning quarterbacks should start with a grip that is near the
center of the ball.
When learning to grip the ball correctly, the quarterback should
start with the index finger near the tip of the ball, across the
seam, and slightly off the laces. If the quarterback has
extremely big hands, the index finger can be closer to the tip
of the ball than it is to the laces.
The middle and third fingers should extend across the laces so
that the fingertips rest on the surface of the ball and not on
the laces; the tip of the little finger will usually rest on the
laces, with the hand pressure exerted just behind the center
point of the ball. It is very important that the quarterback
feels that he has the ball completely under control in his hand.
The non-passing hand should rest lightly on the underside of the
ball, insuring that the player has the ball firmly in his grasp.
When learning the proper grip, it is best for a young
quarterback to start with a coach, kneeling, handing the ball up
to him. As the quarterback feels the ball make contact with his
hands, he should automatically learn to adjust so that his
passing hand is in the proper position on the ball. A center can
be added to the practice, taking the place of the coach,
whenever the coach feels that the quarterback is ready.
From his kneeling position the coach should concentrate on the
hands of the quarterback, making certain that the grip is
correct and that the quarterback has complete control of the
ball, cradling it securely in both hands as he moves.
So the quarterback learns to adjust the ball as he moves into
position to pass, the quarterback should accept the ball from
the coach and then sprint back five steps from the line of
scrimmage. Remember, we are teaching the proper grip to the
quarterback, so do not simultaneously work on setting up or
passing the ball.
Play Football The NFL Way is the ultimate football manual for
coaches and beginning players who want to learn the basics of
football correctly. Author Tom Bass is a former NFL coach with
more than 20 years of experience with the Cincinnati Bengals,
San Diego Chargers, and Tampa Bay Buccaners.
For a personalized autographed copy of Play Football the NFL
Way, plus information on the new Coach Bass Sport Maps -
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