Are you trying to learn how to throw a spiral pass? It's amazing to see, right?—that football flying through the air with perfect, tight spin. Maybe you can make it happen every now and then, but you have no idea how, and most of the time you're throwing lame ducks. Learning how to throw a spiral takes practice, but I'm going to give you the biggest "secret" to making it happen.
It's all in the wrist.
Let's take a step back. Before we get into the wrist and how your throw should look, we need to look at your grip. Depending on the size of your hands and what you are comfortable with, you may hold the football slightly differently than other people. However, if you want to get a consistent perfect, tight spiral, you need to grip the ball toward its back half, not in the middle.
The laces play a role as well. Yes, you can throw a spiral without touching the laces, but it's much tougher to do. Ideally, you want your ring finger and pinky finger to overlap the laces. But as I said before, if you have bigger hands, it may be different; you may be more comfortable with three fingers covering the laces. Also, make sure you wrap your thumb around and get a good tight grip on the ball—not a death grip, just a firm grip.
Now that you have your grip figured, let's move on to throwing the ball and working on that spiral. Remember, it's all in the wrist. Want proof? Watch the throwing motions of Philip Rivers and Cam Newton. Rivers has a more compact motion. Newton's motion is much larger. Yet they both throw beautiful tight spirals almost every time they pass the ball. Why? It's in their wrist motion.
The key to throwing the perfect spiral is to "flip" your wrist as you release the ball. At the end of your throw, your thumb should be pointing down toward the ground. This may take a little practice, but once you get the motion down, it will make sense. Just look at images of any NFL or college quarterback releasing the football. You will see that their thumb points down after the ball leaves their hand. That's the key to the spiral! Your grip plays an important role, but the secret is this: it's all in the wrist.
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