How to Pass in Football

If you want to be an All-Star halfback, study and practice the passing fundamentals. This is a must, of course, for any boy who has his eyes on the quarterback position.

Gripping the Ball

1. The position of your hand on the ball depends entirely on the size of your hand, and particularly on the length of your fingers. With any grip, you should place the fingers somewhere on the laces of the ball. Usually, it is better to place the hand close to the rear point of the ball, rather than on the middle section. The thumb is placed toward the rear point. How much of your palm contacts the ball depends on your hand and finger size.

2. Grip the ball with a firm pressure from your fingers and thumb, but do not make this a “squeezing” pressure. It is best to have a normal spread of your fingers. You should not feel any strain in your hand muscles. This gives your grip just the right amount of firmness.

3. When a right-handed passer grips the ball, he uses his left hand to help with the proper placing of the ball in the right hand. The left hand acts as a guide. The left hand leaves the ball as you go into your throwing position.

Body Stance and Position of Arms

1. The normal body position when you are preparing to make a right-handed throw of the ball is similar to that of a boxer. Your left foot is in advance of your right foot. Your feet should be between twelve and eighteen inches apart, depending on your size. There is a slight bend in your knees:

You must have a good, comfortable feeling of solid balance. Good body balance when you are throwing the ball is probably the most important point in developing accurate passing. Of course, this is not always possible, since you are often called upon to throw from awkward or moving positions.

2. Keep the weight of your body slightly on your right leg prior to throwing the ball. Do not put all your weight on that leg, but just enough so that you can take a short forward step with the left foot in the direction in which you are throwing the ball.

3. As you assume the throwing stance, both hands should still be holding the ball. At this time, it should be in front of your chest and just under your chin. Your left elbow is slightly in toward your body. Your right elbow is pointed somewhat out from your body. This is an approximate position and will vary with a boy’s size and ability.

4. You are not quite ready to fire! First, you must cock your firing mechanism. Drop your left hand from the ball. Have a firm grip with your right hand. Bring the ball back into a position to the rear of and slightly higher than your right ear and somewhat behind your head. For long passes, you may take the ball higher and farther back. Your arm is now cocked and ready to fire. We say that you are “throwing off your right ear.”

5. While setting yourself in your throwing position and cocking your arm, keep your eyes on the various receivers who are moving into their assigned areas in the defensive secondary. If your vision is blocked, move quickly to either side, or forward or backward, as necessary, so that you can pick out your target and aim at him.

6. In the proper throwing position, you should be able to cover a passing area of 180 degrees. You are set to throw directly forward. If it is necessary for you to throw off to an angle either to your right or left, pivot on the ball of your right foot in that direction. Then, step with your left foot and point directly at your target.

Practice these techniques and you will be well on your way to good football!

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