This post is part 1 of a 2 part article on Quarterback Fundamentals.
The following information comes from experience and the many great coaches I have had the opportunity to work with over the years. Your quarterback will have a large influence on your degree of success. The quarterbacks responsibilities are many and when on the field he must be in total command. His actions, execution and leadership will have a large bearing on how effective you are at moving the football and scoring points. The football team should look to him in tough situations for leadership and he must be able to transmit to them the desire and confidence to do their best. He must be able to be a leader and a winner.
There is no way to measure how important it is to have the respect and confidence of his teammates. Without using all the skills he possesses will most likely be useless or diminished greatly.
The offensive team must respect the play he has called or check off he has made, and have confidence in the fact that he will execute that play with precision. If these feelings do not exist, they will not go to the line with a positive attitude. If a positive attitude is not present, a half-hearted effort will occur and the play will most likely be a failure. But as you know, the game of football is 85% mental. It is amazing what can be accomplished when confidence is present and the desire to give your all is employed.
Ways to gain confidence of your teammates:
Know exactly what play and formation to call before you enter the huddle. Be positive in your tone.
Speak up clearly and distinctly in the huddle.
Give a clear and confident sounding snap count.
Take charge in the huddle.
Concentrate on avoiding the silly errors (going the wrong way, missing the snap count).
MOST IMPORTANT – HAVE CONFIDENCE IN YOURSELF!
Ways To Gain Confidence:
Never criticize a fellow teammate on or off the field.
Take the responsibility for a poor play if you were in any way involved.
Congratulate your teammates on a good play (especially your linemen.)
Never make excuses.
Execute your assignment with precision on every play. Your teammates are always watching you.
All the points listed below are part of the mechanics of passing. It is important to develop the qualities of “poise”, “split vision”, and anticipation”. The quality you look for in a good quarterback is not getting rattled under pressure by rushing linemen or a blitzing linebacker, the quarterback must maintain his poise and stay in his “scheme” or “cup” protection, concentrating entirely on his receivers and the relative position of the defensive backs. A quarterback needs to develop his split-vision so that he can scan the pass pattern rather than focusing his attention just on one receiver, see the field. The following are points to think about:
Get back to your launch point that you are going to throw from as fast as possible, while still being under control.
Get set in an erect position with your feet fairly close together and with the ball held in both hands above your right ear if right handed.
Don’t waste time with ineffective fakes. If you are going to fake to a receiver, make it sharp crisp fake that actually simulates your throwing motion.
Maintain your balance. Step in the direction you are throwing to and slightly off to one side.
Cock your shoulder quickly just prior to throwing the ball. Avoid winding up.
Exaggerate throwing the elbow out front of the body so that the point of the ball will stay up.
Use considerable wrist snap by drawing the fingers and the hand sharply downward and inward as the ball is released.
Try to release the ball at a point at least a foot over your right ear, if right handed.
Follow through by bringing your passing hand down well below your waist and by dragging your rear foot forward to a point where it is squared off with your front foot.
The following section will allow your quarterback to understand coverages along with why defenses do what they do as the ball moves down the field. Coaches as you look at the following defensive schemes look at the weakness of each and understand the open areas.
The acronym DART is one that you might consider for the quarterback position:
D Desire: The QB must have the desire to do the right things, Always.
A Ability: The QB improves this daily (off-season and in-season) through hard work.
R Reliability: The QB must be mistake-proof in both mental and physical ability.
T Talent: Be a leader by exhibiting Desire, Ability, and Reliability.
S Success: Measured only in terms of TEAM results.
In summary, a Quarterback is a player who is a great student of the game and a strong competitor. He must work to his SKILLS daily and realize that games are won by PERFORMANCE, not potential. He must take PRIDE in his work and have a great desire to WIN.
Part 2 of this article will be posted on Thursday June 8, 2017
About the Author of this post:
Jerry Campbell has over 30 years of high school and college coaching experience. He has experience as a head coach, offensive coordinator, and various position coaches. He has written numerous football coaching articles in various publications, is the author of over 30 books on coaching football, and has produced 12 coaching video series. Additionally, he is a nationally sought after speaker on the coaching clinic circuit.