How to Improve Throwing

Quarterback Throwing Mechanics: The Perils of “Short Arming” and The Importance of Follow-Through

The quarterback position in football is widely considered the most critical and demanding on the field. Two crucial aspects of a quarterback’s success hinge on their throwing mechanics: the phenomenon of “short arming” and the significance of a proper follow-through. To elevate their game and deliver precision passes, quarterbacks must be aware of and address both these factors.

Understanding “Short Arming”

“Short arming” occurs when a quarterback does not fully extend their arm during the throwing motion, leading to a loss of power and accuracy. This is similar to trying to punch a target without fully extending the arm; the impact lacks force. In the football realm, this can mean passes that fall short, go off target, or are easily intercepted.

Causes of Short Arming:

  • Mental Pressure: Quarterbacks might rush their throws due to perceived pressure, even if it’s not immediately present.
  • Physical Fatigue: Over a game, physical exhaustion can cause a change in throwing motion.
  • Lack of Confidence: Recent mistakes can make a QB overly cautious.
  • Mechanical Issues: Sometimes, it’s a habitual mechanical issue that needs correction.
  • Injuries: Pain can lead a quarterback to adjust their motion.

The Significance of Follow-Through

A proper follow-through is vital for power and accuracy. Without it, the ball can lose its spiral, not travel its intended distance, or nosedive prematurely.

Reasons for a Lack of Follow-Through:

  • Anticipating a Hit: A quarterback might end their motion prematurely if they anticipate a hit.
  • Muscle Memory Flaws: Without proper training, bad habits can form.
  • Rushed Throws: There’s a fine line between a quick release and an incomplete follow-through.

Addressing These Issues in Practice:

  1. Drill the Basics: Regularly practice basic throwing mechanics, ensuring full arm extension (Hands in the cookie jar) and complete follow-through. This should become muscle memory.
  2. Pressure Simulations: Mimicking high-pressure situations in practice can accustom quarterbacks to delivering under stress.
  3. Video Analysis: Video playback can help QBs visually understand and rectify their mechanics.
  4. Strength and Conditioning: Building endurance and strength in the shoulder and arm can help mitigate fatigue-related issues.
  5. Mental Conditioning: Techniques like mindfulness can help manage in-game pressures.
  6. Consistent Feedback: Immediate feedback during practice can help rectify issues in real-time.
  7. Emphasize Full Extension and Follow-Through Drills: Slow-motion throws can help focus purely on form.
  8. Training Aids: Devices and resistance bands can emphasize a full throwing motion.
  9. Balance and Footwork: Proper balance and footwork can ensure a QB’s lower body supports their upper body’s motion.
  10. Warm-up Properly: A thorough warm-up can ensure the arm is loose and reduces the chance of short throws due to tightness.

To wrap up, the intricacies of quarterback mechanics, from the perils of “short arming” to the significance of a consistent follow-through, play pivotal roles in a quarterback’s performance. With awareness, dedication, and consistent practice, these aspects can be honed, leading to peak on-field performance.

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