Every youth football player, no matter what their regular position is, should learn to throw a spiral with accuracy. It’s a crucial component of the game and one never knows when an opportunity to make a spectacular passing play may come along.
For the youth football quarterback, these tips need to be practiced over and over again to gain passing proficiency. Besides checking out the below tips, you can also learn the fundamentals from free football video tutorials on sites like Weplay.com , where top pros like Peyton Manning show the proper way to throw a spiral.
The Grip for Throwing a Perfect Spiral
It can be difficult for young football players to get a good grip on the football as their hands may not be large enough. That doesn’t preclude them from learning the proper technique with some slight modifications.
• The football should be gripped lightly with the fingertips and not rest in the palm of the hand. The light grip allows for increased ball control. This can be a problem for younger players with small hands where there is no choice but to use the palm.
• It’s important to place your index finger on the seam to put a "spin" or spiral on the football upon release. Don’t force the spin; let it roll naturally off the fingers. Trying to over spin the ball is a common mistake.
• As you step back in the pocket, hold the football next to your ear as you look for your target. The ball will be cradled in the "U" between thumb and index finger.
The Release Technique for Spiral Passes
Practice throwing spiral passes with this release technique at 50% of your throwing capacity until you perfect it. You can then start increasing your velocity as you begin to master the skill.
• Keeping your eye on your receiver, take your arm backward and then "spring" it forward in a circular motion releasing the football at the top of the arc.
• A good release will spin the football off the index finger as you let it go. The other fingers are used only for supporting the ball and not for putting a spiral on it.
• As you release the football, be sure to continue with the follow through for spin and accuracy.
Passing Accuracy in Football
Now that you’ve mastered the spiral pass you have to work on hitting your target. Many football recruiters list passing accuracy as the primary passing skill when selecting potential quarterbacks. A perfect spiral is of no use if it’s bouncing along the field, or worse, in the arms of an opposing player. Again, throw the football at about 50% velocity when performing accuracy drills. They’ll be plenty of time to work on your power once you have mastered the basics.
• Get yourself set in your stance with your non-throwing hip pointed towards your receiver. Being "set" is crucial for accuracy and power.
• When you are ready to pass, cock your shoulder and step towards your target when you release the football.
• Follow through on the pass with the palm of your throwing hand facing the ground. Here is an example video demonstration of Peyton Manning follow through on the pass.
Throwing an accurate spiral pass in football is not a difficult process. Repetition of basic throwing mechanics is the key along with adequate rest. Youth football players should practice these passing tips every other day to master them.