Quarterbacks: Improve Your Passing Accuracy

June 17, 2013 | Brad Thompson

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Every year we hear about rookie quarterbacks with strong arms, only to see that their ability to throw the deep bomb is not enough against elite competition. More important to their success is the ability to correctly read a defense and make the right throw at the right time.

Quarterbacks Joe Montana and Tom Brady, widely considered two of the best of all time, are textbook examples of passers with questionable arm strength but incredible accuracy. With the evolution of today's game, quarterbacks can begin perfecting their accuracy at a very young age. (Read Arizona Cardinals Coach Bruce Arians: What It Takes to Be a Championship Quarterback.)

Target Practice

We'll start with everyone's favorite backyard quarterback drill—hanging a tire from a tree or a post. This is good for short and intermediate throws. Large grounded trash barrels can be used for deep passes. As a quarterback grows and develops, he can simulate a moving target by having a partner swing the tire.

Routes on Air

In this passing drill, quarterbacks and receivers execute pass plays without the offensive line or any defenders. Since there is no defense, receivers can run their routes at full speed without worrying about finding a window and quarterbacks can improve their timing with the wideouts. This is an ideal drill for developing team chemistry in younger players or strengthening it in older players.

7 on 7

Now let's try something more situational. Once players become accustomed to running routes on air, live 7-on-7 practice is great for learning how to thread the needle. The quarterback and five receivers, aided by a center, compete against seven defenders. Since there is no pass rush bearing down, quarterbacks have more time to focus on their throws.

Three Bar Drill

A final accuracy drill that many professional quarterbacks use is the Three Bar Drill. Like to have fun? You'll love this drill. Quarterbacks take turns targeting the left and right uprights and the crossbar of the goal post from a comfortable distance. The bars make for difficult targets. Rewards can be tied to performance in the drill.

 Coaches: need more quarterback training drills?

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