There are 5 steps to properly throwing a football farther and more accurately. These steps involve a proper grip, stance, throwing action, proper footwork and proper follow through. A football is elliptical, rather than round and must be thrown so its long axis slices through the air. A football will also go farther when it spirals in the air.
Griping a football correctly will allow the individual to add spin and throw more accurately. A football should be griped in the dominant hand, right or left, of the player. Fingers should cross over the laces on the back half of the football in any grip that is comfortable. The palms of the hand should not touch the football, only the fingers. This may require the use of a smaller football for children who are learning to throw. Players can use the other hand to help steady the ball as they are preparing to throw it.
A proper stance allows the player to throw the ball more accurately. Feet should be placed just slightly more than shoulder width apart with the knees slightly bent. The bodies’ weight should roll onto the balls of the feet. Hold the ball at the armpit of the throwing arm, left or right, and keep it steady with the opposite hand. Point the opposite shoulder toward the player that will receive the ball.
Proper throwing actually involves proper footwork and upper body positioning. The player should step towards the target with their lead foot with the toe pointed slightly in the opposite direction of the throwing arm. This means point the toe left if right handed or point the toe right if throwing with the left hand. Keep most of the body’s weight on the back leg. Once this position is achieved point the lead elbow at the target and pull the ball just a bit in the opposite direction. Rotate the upper body toward the player who will catch the ball. This rotation should pull the lead shoulder away from the target and pull the throwing shoulder toward the target. Extend the elbow on the throwing arm during this rotation of the upper body. Let go of the ball when the arm is fully extended. Snap the wrist down so that the fingertips are the last part of the hand touching the ball as it is released. This stance will help ensure the ball is thrown accurately to the other player.
The throw is not finished until the follow through is completed. The throwing arm should naturally continue its forward action and the hand should end around the pocket area of the opposite hip. The shoulders will also continue to rotate. Allow them to rotate until the throwing shoulder is pointing at the player who should catch the ball. The back leg should swing forward towards the target as well. Remember to keep eyes on the target until they actually catch the ball.