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Throwing Mechanics - Devil's in the Details

I’d like to share some thoughts about the "madness" to the dedication of coaching the details of throwing mechanics. I have seen some young Quarterbacks, even through High School, that grow weary of the repetitive, exacting nature of learning proper throwing mechanics. I admit at times it can get tedious, even for a coach that loves to teach.

But, let’s examine the why. Why do we emphasize so many minute bio-mechanical details? Why do we share with our QBs how the muscles work when passing a football? To me there are three main developmental (not wins and losses) reasons:

  • We want accurate passes. Accuracy comes with proper repeatability. It’s the target we search for as coaches, that is, grooving proper muscle memory so it is second nature - thus process of thinking through passing mechanics is eliminated. That allows the QB to simply execute.

  • We want our QBs to be able to “self-correct”. We must avoid having a conversation about passing technique in the middle of a game. We must have a player that can understand how he is delivering the ball and make fine adjustments as needed. Our QB must know WHY he moves in a particular fashion. He should know WHAT components of his throwing motion needs tweaking; or if needed be able to take an observation from his coach, and identify the source of the bio-mechanics that needs adjustment.

  • We want to be able to recreate situations at practice to better drill problem areas. The QBs input is often very insightful; we wnat to make progress so he can analyze himself properly through film study and/or recollections of his game performance. I have found the QB's input along with my notes to be most useful.

When young QBs look pained on the field after multiple repetitions I try to explain to them the reasons behind the practice regiment. Some may take the corrections as criticism; its is our job, as coaches, to move them past that emotion. Build trust.

In my experience nothing beats the frustration or loss of focus better than when a coach shares the “whys” of each techniques. Equally important is the shared understanding of how a successful QB builds great passing mechanics. There can be frustrations when a particular passing mechanism isn’t hitting home with kid. I have found if they understand the “devil in the details” they tend to relax and perform.

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