No matter how fast or talented you are on the football field, you can't afford to fumble the ball. That's why ball security drills are critical.
Multiple elements are involved in ball security. You need a strong and fatigue-resistant upper body to keep a firm grip on the ball when massive defensive opponents paw at you. The most important muscles are in your fingers, hands, forearms, lower biceps, chest, shoulders and core.
Of course, you also need good technique.
Over the years, there have been various techniques like rice pinches, plate pinches, football holds and advanced grip training. I believe training with a balloon takes ball security drills to the next level.
Why Train With a Balloon?
The beauty of the balloon is that you can squeeze it forcefully so your entire upper body is tense and your nervous system is firing on all cylinders. But if you're not careful the balloon will naturally squeeze its way out of your hands. So you need perfect technique. Do your favorite drills with a balloon, then try them with a football. You'll notice how your ball security improves.
Here are the key points you need to focus on when performing ball security drills with a balloon.
For other skill positions, you can use the balloon for specific drills as well; you just have to use different drills to make it work for you.
- Keep the balloon locked into your body while maintaining a high and tight position with the nose of the balloon pointed up and hugged tightly. This is important because the balloon will try to pop out due to the consistent perturbations of running and contact.
- As you were taught in Football 101, squeeze down with your thumb and index finger and up with the bottom three fingers.
- To secure the balloon effectively, use your palm, securing the surface of the balloon.
- Tuck the balloon against the inside of your biceps and keep good pressure against your chest. The balloon will not pop.
- Support the balloon like a baby. Keep your elbow at an acute angle so the ball is tight against your chest.