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Football Throw

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Erik Heiligenstadt

on 25 November 2013

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Transcript of Football Throw

Football Throw
Analysis of the Football Throw
Skill Description
Mechanical Analysis
Primary Purposes of Skill
Accuracy- if the throw is not accurate the quarterback will not hit his target, resulting in an incompletion or an interception
Speed- both in release and while the ball is in the air
Proper throwing form- throwing without the proper form will not only decrease accuracy and power, but also increase the risk for injury
Late Cocking - Upper Extremity
rhomboids and middle trapezius
abduction and external rotation
deltoids and supraspinatus
Teres minor and infraspinatus
Elbow-ulnohumeral and radioulnar
biceps brachii, brachioradialis, brachialis
pronator teres and pronator quadratus
flexor carpi radialis, ulnaris and palmaris longus
flexor digitorum profundus, superficialis and flexor pollicis longus,brevis
Prescription for Improvement of Performance
Common Mechanical Mistakes
Throwing with a windup
Throwing off balance
Dropping the throwing elbow
Over striding
Four phases to the throw:
Early cocking
Late cocking
Follow Through
Anatomical Analysis
Acceleration - Upper Extremity
serratus anterior
anterior deltoid, pectoralis major, coracobrachialis
internal rotation
subscapularis, pectoralis major, teres major, latissimus dorsi
non-throwing arm-
horizontal abduction: posterior deltoids and teres minor
extension:pectoralis major and latissimus dorsi
Elbow-ulnohumeral, radioulnar
triceps brachii, aconeus
pronation: pronator quadratus, teres.
flexion: flexors as stated before
flexion: flexors as stated before
Early Cocking - Upper Extremity
GH joint is heavily involved in this motion
abduction and internal rotation
Deltoids, subscapularis, pectoralis major, teres major
near full flexion and pronated
Biceps brachii and brachioradialis
Pronator teres and quadratus
partially flexed
flexor carpi radialis and ulnaris
flexor pollicis longus/brevis and flexor digitorum superficiailis/profundus

By: Erik Heiligenstadt, Ben Bell, Tanner Burch
Follow Through - Upper Extremity
Throwing with a wind up
Tends to occur in athletes who also play baseball
Typically have a longer throwing motion due to the different arm actions
Throwing off balance
Quarterbacks must have good footwork to get into the proper position to throw
Bad footwork could lead to throwing off balance, affecting the power and accuracy of the throw
Taylor Martinez
Dropping the throwing elbow
Does not allow the quarterback to stay on top of the football
Over striding
Does not allow the hips to open up properly
This will result in a loss of power from the legs and core
The hips being closed off places more stress on the throwing arm, placing the quarterback at a greater risk for injury
Over striding can affect the power and accuracy on a throw
This causes the quarterback to throw with more of a sidearm motion, which is much more inaccurate
Not only will this affect power and accuracy, it will also place the quarterback at a risk for injury
Movement Phases
4 movement phases, each defined by changes in throwing shoulder motion
Follow through
Early-cocking Phase
Starts at rear foot plant and ends with maximum shoulder abduction and internal rotation
Feet about shoulder width apart with shoulder and elbow flexed at 90°
Hips facing straight ahead, perpendicular to the target
Head is still, looking at the target
Late-cocking Phase
Starts with maximum shoulder abduction and internal rotation
Ends with maximum shoulder external rotation
Hips and torso begin to rotate towards the non-throwing arm to make room for the throwing arm
Head needs to stay still, focusing on the target
Acceleration Phase
Begins at maximum shoulder external rotation and ends with ball release
Step with the front foot, toes pointed towards target
Hips and shoulder squared to the target at ball release
Torso tilted slightly forward over a bent front knee
Head staying still

Follow Through Phase
Begins at ball release and ends at maximum horizontal adduction of throwing arm
Back leg comes off the ground and swings forward due to pushing off of the ground
Necessary part of the throwing motion- prevents injury
Forces Impeding and Creating Motion
Subjected to constant gravitational acceleration g=9.81 m/s2
Ball's horizontal velocity is constant, but vertical velocity changes every second by -9.81m/s2
Range of the throw depends on the angle of release and initial speed of the throw.
Air Resistance
Can have significant impact throw: Can change flight pattern with slightest increase of wind.
As ball travels through air, friction occurs between ball and air causing drag or wind resistance.
Underlying Mechanical Objectives
Center of Gravity (COG) in relation to Base of Support
Effective QB's must maintain balance especially in late cocking phase and acceleration phase, if not it will result inaccuracy.
The COG, normally around the hips or navel, should fall within base of support.
Base of Support is the points of contact between the body with the supporting surface and the area in between these points.
If QB leans forward too soon in the throwing motion, this will cause a forward shift in the base of support which will result in loss of balance and stability.
To keep COG, the QB should have feet shoulder width apart while preparing to throw in order to allow for greater balance and a more fluent throwing motion.

Lower Extremity
abuction and flexion
Gluteus medius and glutues minimus
rectus femoris, iliopsoas, and sartorius.
Knee-tibiofemoral, patellofemoral
slight flexion
Biceps femoris, semitendinosis, and semimembranosus
gastrocnemius, soleus, posterior tibialis
Skill Classification
Lower Extremity
extension (back leg)
gluteus maximus,
flexion and abduction (front leg)
biceps femoris, semitendinosus, semimembranosus and gluteus minimus,medius
Knee-tibiofemoral, patellofemoral
extension (back leg)
rectus femoris, vastus medialis/lateralis/intermedius
flexion (front leg)
Ankle-talocrual, subtatlar
gastrocnemius, soleus, posterior tibialis
peroneus longus, brevis and tertius
Nature of Motion
Sequential- skill as a whole and throwing arm itself
Must go through each phase in sequence in order to effectively and efficiently execute the movement
Throwing arm must move from shoulder to elbow to wrist to hand while throwing
Point of Release
The throwing elbow can affect point of release
The throwing elbow should be up to an angle of 90 degrees with the shoulder and flexed at a 90 degree angle.
Dropping the elbow down by the side will cause release point to drop causing dramatic effect to the ball's flight path.
In game situations no two throws will be the same due to different distances:
The higher the release point, longer range and more air time.
the lower the release point, shorter range and less air time.
Lower Extremity
extension: hamstrings and gluteus maximus (back leg)
neutral on the front leg, both flexors and extensors (front leg)
Knee-tibiofemoral, tibiofibular
flexion (back leg)
extension (front leg)
External rotation (front leg)
biceps femoris
gastrocnemius, soleus, posterior tibialis
Neutral (front leg)

Slow Motion Throwing Mechanics
Drew Brees
horizontal adduction and flexion
pectoralis major, anterior deltoid and coracobrachialis (both muscle actions)
opposite arm: horizontal abduction and extension
pectoralis major, latissimus dorsi, posterior deltoid
triceps brachii, aconeus
index finger flexion
flexor pollicis longus, brevis
Lower Extremiy
extension (both legs) and abduction (back leg)
gluteus maximus, hamstrings, and gluteus minimus, medius
no force generated on back leg
no force generated off back leg
Extension (front leg)
rectus femoris, vastus,medialis,lateralis, intermedius
neutral (front leg)
no force generated off the back leg
Colin Kaepernick
Works Cited
Al-Eisa, Dr. E. (n.d.). Balance, Equilibrium, & Stability. Balance, Equilibrium, & Stability. Retrieved November 5, 2013, from http://faculty.ksu.edu.sa/aleisa/Kinesiology%20RHS341/kinesiology%20lecture-9.pdf

Fleisig, C. S., Escamilla, R. F., Andrews, J. R., Matsuo, T., & Barrentine, S. W. (1996).
Kinematic and Kinetic Comparison Between Baseball Pitching and Football Passing. Journal Of Applied Biomechanics, 12(2), 207-224.

Floyd, R. T. (n.d.). Chapter 3 Basic Biomechanical Factors & Concepts. Manual of Structural Kinesiology. Retrieved November 5, 2013, from http://www.kean.edu/~jeadams/docs/Kinesiology/Kines_Power_Points/Kines_PPT_PDF_Chap3.pdf

Football Passing Aerodynamics. (n.d.). World of Sports Science. Retrieved November 5, 2013,
from http://www.faqs.org/sports-science/Fo-Ha/Football-Passing-Aerodynamics.html

Hamill, J., & Knutzen, K. (2009). 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10. Biomechanical basis of human movement (3rd ed., pp. 68, 105-130, 139-181, 187-248, 327-329, 372-373). Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Heyn, P. (n.d.). Quarterback Fundamentals: Common Passing Problems. RHS Football: Quarterback Trainer. Retrieved September 29, 2013, from www.revereschools.org/cms/lib02/OH01001097/Centricity/Domain/146/RHS_QB_Trainer.pdf

Introduction to Functional Anatomy and Mechanics of Movement. (n.d.). Introduction to Functional Anatomy and Mechanics of Movement. Retrieved September 29, 2013, from http://www.d.umn.edu/hyper/majors/athletic training/facutly staff/documents/ESAT3600

Jeran, J. J., & Chetlin, R. D. (2005). Training the shoulder in baseball pitchers; A sport-specific approach. National Strength and Conditioning Association, 27(4), 14-31. Retrieved from

Friction is a force that acts in a parallel manner to the two surfaces in contact during motion and opposes motion.
Variables that affect friction:
To overcome this, QB must apply a spiral to reduce surface area exposed.
The spiral determines the aerodynamics of ball and lowers wind resistance on ball causing greater speed and further distance.
When a spiral is moving up and down (known as wobble), it will create more surface area meaning more air drag will affect the ball's flight path.
Cleats are worn to increase friction
Cleats have spikes which enables the QB to drive more force into ground.
Horizontal force from cleats enable horizontal movement.
Fingers on the seams
4th and 5th fingers wrap tightly around ball's laces to create friction
The laces create more surface area which increases friction between the ball and the fingers.
It also allows more grip for a spiral
Trunk Actions
Lateral flexion
External (left side) and internal obliques (right side)
lumbar erector spinae, intertransversarii, quadratus lumborum, abdominals
rectus abdominals
Works Cited, cont.
Kelly, B. T., Backus, S. I., Warren, R. F., & Williams, R. J. (2002). Electromyographic analysis
and phase definition of the overhead football throw. American Journal of Sports
Medicine, 30(6), 837-844.

McDaniel, Larry W. Ed. D. (2007). Tips for increasing upper body throwing power. Sport
Coach. 47.

Rash, G. S., & Shapiro, R. (1995). A Three-Dimensional Dynamic Analysis of the Quarterback’s
Throwing Motion in American Football. Journal of Applied Biomechanics, 11(4), 443-459.

The Physics of Football. (n.d.). 3M Science of Everyday Life. Retrieved November 5, 2013, from

The Quarterback Mechanic: 4 Keys to Optimal Throwing Motion | Personalized Quarterback Training. (2013, February 6). Private or Personalized Quarterback Coaching
in Arizona. Retrieved September 29, 2013, from http://www.authorityfootball.com/x-and-o-labs-and-the-quarterback-mechanic/

Mechanical Principles of Throwing
Are necessary to create desired results of speed and accuracy of a throw.
1. Developing a Mature Throwing Pattern
It's difficult to have a mature throwing pattern at young age due to lack of fine motor control and muscle mass.
A mature throwing motion is one that completes all 4 phases in rapid succession which will allow for more accuracy and velocity on the ball.
2. Initial rotation of the body towards the throwing arm
Body has to rotate when perpendicular to target to get arm forward to release ball thus creating torque, large amounts of force and more velocity.
No rotation = less force and velocity
Based on Newton's Third Law, When the QB extends out stride, this causes back foot to push off the ground creating a large ground reaction force resulting more force and speed on the ball.
Giving motion to an external object
Hand and fingers give the motion to the football
Maximum Velocity of the Football
After proper position of arm in Early Cocking phase, the arm must reach triple extension through the acceleration phase and into the release of the ball.
As the arm goes from a bent position to an extended position at ball release, more force is able to be applied to the throw, which will result in greater speed of the ball.
If triple extension doesnt happen, it will result in a decrease in force and velocity which will cause an improper spiral.
Follow Through
The follow through helps slow down the arm in a controlled manner to prevent injury after the arm has reached high speeds from throwing the ball.
The posterior shoulder muscles and back muscles are largely responsible for the slowing the arm and if they are not working properly or are not strong enough, it could cause injury
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