Even at the highest level of professional football, NFL coaches each year during mini camps and training camps, instruct players how to handle and hold a football properly. You would think after so many years of playing the same game each year, professional football players wouldn’t need to be taught one of the simplest principles of football. However, the problem is that if holding and securing a football was a concept so easy, then why are over a 100 footballs fumbled in games throughout each season?
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This article is dedicated to the simple concept of how to grasp, hold, and handle a football. The methods taught throughout this article are techniques taught by some of the greatest coaches in the NFL today. If applied, these principles will give the reader an opportunity to better themselves as football players and be more reliable during critical moments of games.
Many coaches and players teach the initial grasp of the football is the first indicator if the ball will be fumbled or not. Therefore, practicing and staying consistent with the way you initially grasp the ball will dramatically reduce the number of fumbles you may incur. In fact if you take a mental note every time you touch the ball and place your hands in the correct manner, it is proven the number of likely fumbles will be cut in half.
The proper way to grasp a football is done by placing the tip of the index finger directly over the tip of the ball, while the rest of the hand grasps as much of the surface area of the ball as possible. The remaining surface area of the ball is then supported directly on the inside of the wrist and forearm. Thus, the tips of the finger down to the mid section of the forearm sustain the football during the initial grasp.
“The Hold” of a football is sometimes an item of debate among coaches in today’s collegiate and professional coaches. Some coaches believe you should hold the football directly under your armpit, or place the ball between your forearm and your ribs. Although those are legitimate techniques, I like to refer to a football hold that is a proven method. There is only one player in the NFL that has the least amount of fumbles in the last 5 seasons, and it is not by chance.
Tiki Barber of the New York Giants has been the forerunner in implementing and teaching the proper method of ball holding. His technique is simple: with the ball firmly grasped with the fingers and forearm, place the football directly across your chest and hold on for dear life. (It should look like you are stabbing yourself in the middle of your chest.) Think of