Quarterbacks are team leaders who always skillfully move the team up the field, confidently controls the exchange from center, cleanly offers the ball to the running backs, demonstrates consistent throwing mechanics, sets up to throw with their feet directly under their hips, throws to a spot on the field and not to a receiver, and readily distinguishes between man-to-man and zone defenses.
The goal in the quarterback "stance" is comfort:
- Head: the head is straight up.
- Eyes: focused straight ahead.
- Shoulders: slightly in front of the hips.
- Arms: extended forward under the center's backside.
- Hand: placed on top of each other with the palms in, throwing hand on top, fingers spread with the middle finger placed on the center's pant seam. Pressing the hands into the center's backside is the signal the quarterback is comfortable and ready for the exchange.
- Back: arched.
- Waist: slightly bent.
- Knees: comfortably flexed to the point that the ball can easily be exchanged with the center. In practice without a center, use a 45 degree bend.
- Feet: shoulder width apart, toes pointing straight ahead. Football coaches teach their quarterbacks to take a short six-inch step with the hand-off side foot. This keeps the quarterback from pulling away from the center before the snap has actually been completed.
Drills for a quarterback include drills designed to improve hand to eye coordination and ball handling. Everything from dropping the football then catching it in midair to hitting a fixed object from predetermined distances are effective. Drills to strengthen the fingers, hands, and wrists are as important as arm strength.