Basic Quarterback Training

Repetition is the key to becoming a good quarterback. Below are some of the most important techniques a high school quarterback needs to master to become successful. Many can be practiced during the off-season.


The feet must be comfortably spread, as wide as the shoulders. We stress that the feet be toe to toe and not staggered. The knees should be bent comfortably and not strained. Hips should be dropped to a comfortable position (in relation to the center) and remain as tall as your center permits. The arms and shoulders are bent slightly at the head and eyes looking ahead or from side to side.

Note: Tell your quarterback to be relaxed and to reflect a confident attitude. Don't hurry the play. Ask him to think about this position and to actually see himself in it. We tell our quarterbacks that they become what they think about. The mental attitude of your quarterback is very important.

Hand Position

The upper hand should have the palm parallel to the ground. The arm of the upper hand must be slightly- bent; index finger fully extended; spread fingers so they are strong and not tense. Press up firmly on the center's buttocks. You receive the ball with this hand. The index finger's second knuckle should be placed on the back of the centers derriere. Doing this will enable the quarterback to receive the football properly. This position of the index finger will not strain the quarterback's shoulders.

You want your quarterback to be comfortable. The arms are slightly bent at the elbows. This is important so that when the ball is snapped, the arms extend and follow the center as he charges forward. The execution of the center-quarterback exchange is vital. Never take this exchange for granted.

Carrying the Football

The next thing that is important for a good quarterback to master is carrying the football. He must bring the ball to his belt buckle (stomach area) after the snap. He must keep his elbows close to his sides and mentally start to get ready to hand off, toss the ball, or bring it to a throwing position. Good quarterbacks always operate from this position.

Handing the Ball Off

Handing the ball off requires discipline and concentration regardless of the type of hand- off you are executing at the time (i-formation; the veer; dive; sweep; toss). We tell our quarterbacks to "let your eyes control your feet." In other words, your eyes will control the length of your steps.

It is the quarterback's responsibility to give the ball to the ball carrier. He is a "dealer" and must have both hands on the ball in order to hand off correctly. On veer plays or dives the exchange comes with the same foot as the give hand (going to the right, it will be left foot, left hand; to the left, it will be right foot, right hand). This allows for greater reach and balance. You want this technique to be a natural movement. Simply look and concentrate on your target and place the ball into the running back's pocket. Avoid slamming.

The Passing Technique

Passing techniques are next. Grasping and holding the ball is very important before actual throwing takes place. We want our quarterback to cradle the ball at arm level - over the right breast area. After the snap, you bring the ball to your belt buckle and work it to this right breast area as you position yourself to throw (drop back or sprint action).

As you bring the football to this position, adjust the laces to your throwing hand. You must hold the ball with your fingertips and allow an air pocket between the ball and the palm your hind. The fingertip control of the football is essential for good passers. The elbows should be in at the sides allowing the ball to be away from your chest (several inches, at least). Relax! You are now in the proper position to release the football.

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