How to Throw a Football

Throwing a football correctly, with spiral, is not so easy.

football in the grass
(Image credit: Stefan Klein/iStock)

Throwing a football is easy. Throwing a football correctly, with spiral, is not.

To begin, hold the ball in your dominant hand — your middle, ring, and pinkie fingers should be on the laces, while your pointer and thumb should be gripping the point of the ball.

Stand with your feet and body perpendicular to your target. Fixate your eyes on where you want the ball to go, and bring and keep your elbow at shoulder height while you launch the football toward your target.

Your follow-through should leave your throwing hand touching your opposite hip. When you throw the ball, turn your hips and shoulders toward your target — this is where the power comes from. If you don't put your whole body into the throw, it will likely come up short of your target. As you turn your body, shift your weight from your back foot to the front.

To add spiral — and seriously, it's the coolest part of throwing a football — make sure your fingertips are the last thing to release the ball. Snap your wrist upon release.

Bad throws result when your focus is on the throw itself. Instead, concentrate on your release and follow-through to ensure a tight spiral — and remember to turn your hips and shift your weight to get good distance.