Thursday, September 17, 2009

Grip Detemines Release

There is more than one way to skin a cat. Sorry, can't use animal analogies anymore. There is more than one way to make a football spiral: overhead, sidearm, underarm or any other kind of arm.
But, I would not recommend putting your index finger on the tip of the ball because you will throw more side-armed than you should to make the ball spiral and get the front tip of the ball to fly properly.
Jeff George became the #1 overall pick in the NFL with his finger on the tip, but that side-armed release gave way to bad overall mechanics that get exposed a little bit more in the NFL than in college. Chris Rix started all four years at FSU and couldn't get consistency with it. I'm not sure where Colt Brennan's finger is on the ball, but his low release probably means he extends his index finger too far as well and we've seen his mechanics break down under pressure as well.
Jimmy Clausen is trying to get Notre Dame back into the national conversation with his low elbow and "sit-down" follow-through. We will have to wait and see how that finishes out, but using a traditional grip of opening up your hand wide and putting the ball into it and making your thumb be perpendicular to the seam on the ball will give you enough "air" so that the ball is held more in your fingertips than your palm.
This will give you the ability to direct the ball better as your hand goes flat out towards your target at release, not across your body as a side-armed delivery is guaranteed to produce.

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