Arm strength for quarterbacks is generated from the lower body and the core. “That’s the most important aspect QBs need to understand,” says quarterbacks coach Anton Clarkson. “Young QBs think arm strength is all about quick arm action. Instead, it’s the ability to transfer your bodyweight from back to front in the same way you would swing a golf club or baseball bat.”
However, a big arm is useless unless you can locate and hit your receivers. For a strong armed QB like Josh Freeman of the Tampa Bay Bucs, precise footwork and flawless throwing mechanics are what allow him to consistently hit his targets.
Freeman, who trains with Clarkson in the off-season, threw for 25 touchdowns and just six interceptions in 2010.
Power up your arm and improve your accuracy with QB coach Anton Clarkson’s throwing fundamentals, outlined below:
- Maintain straight line from torso to top of head
- Turn thumb down upon release. “It’s as if you’re flicking something off your index finger,” says Clarkson. After release, continue driving your throwing hand toward your opposite leg. “Imagine that your thumb is holstering into your opposite side pocket.”
- Keep front shoulder down
- Rotate hips while dragging back foot around upon release. “Your back foot should be turned downfield toward your target,” Clarkson says.
- Transfer bodyweight from back foot to front. “When you get to the top of your drop, land on the ball of your back foot and push off your back foot to shift your weight to your front foot,” says Clarkson.
Keep two fingers of daylight between your palm and the football, enabling you to apply maximum torque and more spin on the ball. Don’t squeeze the football tight. Maintain a comfortable grip while keeping your pinky finger pressed firmly against the ball.