It's important to establish a minimum of three points of contact or a maximum of four points of contact when carrying a football.
1st Point: The front tip of the ball must be completely covered by closed fingers or the palm of the hand. The physical build of the individual player will influence how the ball is secured.
2nd Point: The outside panel of the ball must press against the forearm; the fingers of the ball carrying arm should be pointed at the body and the forearm should never touch the body.
Note: When the front tip of the ball is covered correctly, it will be impossible to secure the ball without the proper use of points two & three.
3rd Point: The inside panel of the ball must press against the ribs and rest slightly forward on the abdomen. The elbow should be as close to the body as possible in order to prevent an exposed backside area for punch outs.
Note: When you pull the elbow closer to the body the front tip of the ball will point up field.
4th Point: The off- hand placed on top of the ball will complete the fourth point of contact. The fourth point of contact should always be utilized when the ball carrier encounters or anticipates contact preventing him from becoming the aggressor when executing a stiff arm or flipper lift with the off arm.
Keys to ball security
- We always want to feel we have ball security; therefore, we will always squeeze the ball firm to complete our three points of contact. In cold weather especially we must feel ball pressure against our body from the initial securing of the ball from the Quarterback to presenting the official the ball at the end of the play. In addition handing the ball to the official after every carry helps build a relationship with him and will exude class.
- When we secure the ball through each exchange, QB mesh or catch, we will always seed the ball with four points of contact before we advance up field. Once we enter the open field we should establish great running form with three points of contact.
- Anytime we lower our hips to change direction we must simultaneously squeeze the ball to ensure security. We must utilize four points of contact if we change direction in a contact zone. Verbal and mental reminder: "Drop and squeeze."
- We will always carry the ball on a side in order to help facilitate the best possible natural running form. We will continue to stress proper running form with the off arm. The ball will not be shaken when we run and it must not leave our side.
- Ball security is personal and always takes priority:
- After we catch a pass we must seed the ball with four points of contact before we shift and attack north, for we never know when a defender will engage us on certain back routes like check downs, flats or flairs.
- When we attack defenders with the plan to spin off we must simultaneously squeeze the ball and establish four points of contact just before we engage the defender.
- Every ball carrier must be comfortable securing the ball in both arms! We must ensure the ball is on the near bench side when we run near the sideline.
- Most importantly, physical and verbal reinforcement of ball security must be constantly emphasized! Anytime a ball carrier possesses a football, ball security is the priority!