- American Football
- List Of Football Tips
Football is an evolving sport. The way the sport is played now looks different from the way it did even five years ago. However, as the game has changed, the basics remain the same. Learn about a few football tips here!
Ball Carrier Tips
Carrying the football can be one of the most fun and rewarding aspects of the sport. However, it comes with a large responsibility. Here are a few tips for effectively carrying the football.
- Ball security: The number one tip while playing is to secure the football. A coach's favorite saying is ball security is job security. It is important for skill position players to hold onto the ball tightly. They can do so by applying the five points of pressure on the football. The five points of pressure are the fingertips, the forearms, elbows, biceps, and chest.
- Fingertips: The fingertips of the ball carrier should cover the nose of the football.
- Forearms: The forearms should also be applying pressure to the ball to keep it tight against the forearm of the ball carrier.
- Biceps: The biceps can also be an essential point of pressure for ball security. Similar to the forearms, the biceps can be used to hold the ball tight against the body.
- Elbows: The arm that is holding the ball should be tight against the side of the body so that the defense can not come from behind and knock the ball free.
- Chest: The ball should be pressed firmly against the chest of the ball carrier. Do not let the ball swing when running.
- Mindset: Do not fumble. Keep the ball high and tight between the chest and the chin.
There is a certain art to throwing a football and getting that beautiful spiral. Here are a few tips for spinning a spiral.
- Hand Placement: In order to throw a perfect spiral, gripping the football correctly is very important. The fingers must be positioned in relation to the laces of the football. The fingers should be on top of the football, with at least the ring and pinkie finger on top of the laces and the thumb underneath the ball for support. The index finger should also be placed near the nose or tip of the football.
- Grip: It is important to not grip the ball too tightly. The fingertips should be applying pressure to the ball. Arch the fingers and knuckles so they raise off the ball.
- Footwork: Similar to throwing a baseball, throwing a football starts from the ground up. Positioning the lower body correctly will allow for the upper body to perform properly. Feet should be shoulder width apart and the front foot should lead in the direction of where the throw is going.
- Release: The ball should be pushed out of the hand towards the target. As the ball is released, the fingers should be used to spin the ball, with the index finger being the last to push the ball out of the hand.
- Follow Through: The final part of the throwing process is to finish. Always finish with the throwing hand in the opposite hip. This helps generate velocity as well as help spiral the football. The back leg should be used to push off the ground to generate force as well.
Catching the football can be difficult if not done correctly. Follow these tips for catching the football.
- Hands: A common tendency when catching the football is to trap it against the chest or to let the ball get to the body first. Anyone trying to catch the ball should catch it out in front of their body with their hands. The hands should make a diamond shape, with the two index fingers at the top close together and the thumbs at the bottom close together.
- Catch Nose: The nose of the football should be caught in the diamond that the hands are making. Secure the ball in between where the index fingers and thumbs are touching.
- Look It In: A common mistake that is made in football is taking your eyes off the ball and not watching the ball all the way in when making a catch. Make sure to focus and watch the ball all the way in and finish making the catch before turning and running.
- Soft Hands: Let the ball come in contact with the hands. Secure the ball with the tips of the fingers and make sure not to grip the ball too tightly. Soft hands is a common football expression relating to someone who makes catching look effortless.
- Catch and Tuck: After catching the ball and looking it in, the receiver is now the ball carrier! Tuck that ball high and tight using the five points of pressure and score a touchdown!
Game Preparation Tips
The best football players, coaches and teams are always the most prepared. Success does not only happen on the field; it begins in the preparation for the game.
- Warmup: Before playing, players should always make sure they have warmed up and stretched. Stretching is a great way to improve range of motion, athletic ability and decrease the risk of injury.
- Train: Maining a certain level of physical fitness is important in football. Football is a physical sport that requires a lot of running and contact. Therefore, it is important to be strong and in good shape.
- Study: When playing on a football team, study the playbook. The comfort of knowing the plays allows players to focus more on what they have to do physically and less on what they have to do mentally.
- Watch Film: Watching film on your opponent is a great way to gain an advantage over them. Watching film can allow teams and players to pick up on their opponents' tendencies, strengths and weaknesses. Players can also watch film of themselves to learn how they can improve their own game.
Football is a physical game. That doesn't necessarily mean that it has to be a dangerous game.
- Helmet: The helmet is the greatest safety asset to a football player. Make sure your helmet is securely fastened on your head by having the proper amount of air put in and making sure the chinstrap on the helmet is buckled tightly.
- Mouthpiece: Always be sure to wear a mouthpiece when playing. The mouthpiece has a number of safety uses including preventing concussions. The mouthpiece can be molded by dipping it in hot water, fitting it to the mouth of the player, and then dipping it into cold water.
- Tackling: While the helmet is designed to protect the player, that is its only use. Do not use the helmet to initiate contact with another player. Not only is it a penalty, it also can cause serious injury. When tackling, a player should aim for the ball carrier's legs and keep their head on the ball side of the player. Additionally, ball carriers should not lower their head to initiate contact either. Football is safest when keeping the head out of contact.
- Shoulder Pads: The shoulder pads will be absorbing most of the contact during play, so it is important to make sure they fit correctly. The padding of the shoulder pads should not be pinching the collar and should sit comfortably on the shoulders of the player, with about one inch of padding extending from the shoulders. Shoulder pads should fully cover the sternum and upper shoulders of the player while still allowing shoulder mobility.
- Setting: American football should only be played with pads on. Do not play tackle football without pads. Stick to the two-hand-touch alternative if playing with a group of friends to avoid injury. Playing without pads can create bad fundamentals that will hurt performance.