How to properly throw a football

How to Properly Throw a Football

By Fara Rosenzweig

There are some skills that you just want to have. Throwing a football is one of them, whether you're playing with friends in your front yard or passing to a teammate in your after-work league. Luckily, there are a few simple steps to throwing a football properly—grip, prep, throw and follow through. Learn how to complete each step before your next game.


Your grip may not seem important, but it actually affects how the ball comes out of your hand, making it a critical aspect of the throw. Keep your grip toward the center of the ball, with your index finger near the tip, across the laces. Place your middle three fingers over the laces as well, with your pinky just barely touching the laces.

Note: Always keep your non-passing hand on the football before throwing to protect it from other players and keep it from dropping as you move around.


The prep is all about your feet. When you're ready to throw, step forward with the leg opposite your throwing arm. Aim your toes where you want the ball to go and step down in that direction. At this point, your entire body should be pointing in the direction the ball will go.


With your opposite foot forward, hips and body squared toward your target, remove your non-throwing hand, and lean your football hand back—your elbow should be 5 to 6 inches in front of your shoulder. Begin the forward passing movement with your body, and as the football leaves your hand, be sure the index finger is the last to touch the ball.


As you release the ball, roll your wrist so the palm of your hand is facing the ground, slightly to the right—this gives the ball that enviable spin. You know you've completed the throw when the thumb of your throwing hand is pointing toward your left hip.

Once you have the basic steps down, keep practicing. The more you do, the better you'll get.