We have multiple people every day ask us about how to improve their throwing mechanics, decrease pain in either their shoulder or elbow, or even move better in the pocket. Our first response is always, “well, have you looked at our Youtube channel?” We have uploaded hundreds of videos in this channel. This is literally the keys to the kingdom for a quarterback to increase their overall performance. With this said, we have picked out 5 videos today that are “must sees” by every quarterback and quarterback coach out there in order to reach max potential. Make sure you watch each one carefully and understand the key points that are trying to me made!
1. Rotate! Don’t Reach.
This is one of the biggest problems that we see with all quarterbacks out there. Their first movement when initiating the throwing motion tends to be forward which is actually the most natural thing to do unless taught otherwise. The first movement of the QB throwing motion is called the loading phase for a reason. Quarterbacks should be trying to put their bodies in the most mechanical efficient position possible during this phase so when they do want to be powerful during the acceleration phase, they have the ability to do so. If the weight is initiated forward, so is the center of mass within the body. Once the center of mass is more forward and the momentum is taking the QB forward, this then leads to over striding, over extension of spine, and balance problems during the follow through. We don’t want any of these. In the video below, you will hear us talk about how to initiate through rotation while maintaining the center of mass further back on the drive leg. There are some KEY POINTS that are covered in this one, so make sure you listen carefully!
2. The Release Point
If there is one common denominator between all quarterbacks across the board that have success, it is that they have a similar release point of the football. There’s guys that load the ball back very differently. We have talked about this time and time again. One thing that we have not talked about as much is that the release point won’t be efficient unless the transition from the loading phase to the acceleration phase is ideal. This means that the following things need to be able to happen:
- Full Hip internal Rotation on Drive Leg During Acceleration Phase
- Full Hip Extension On Drive Leg During Acceleration Phase
- Trunk Stable Position During Loading Phase and Through Acceleration Phase
- Proper Loading Position at the End of the Loading Phase
- Proper Sequencing and Motor Control of the Upper Body and Lower Body up to the release point
There are more factors than this, but there are a lot of the key ones. If a quarterback lacks in any of these area, then we know the release point of the football is going to be flawed. This is why we preach a screening process for quarterbacks because most have problem areas in at least 2 of these 5 areas. In the video above, we talk about the release point of the football and how a player can improve their ability to be better in this part of their throwing motion.
3. Playing in the Box
What does this mean you might ask? Well, if you were to draw a straight line from shoulder bone to hip bone on each side, hip bone to hip bone, and then shoulder bone to to shoulder bone, this would create almost a perfect square. This perfect square makes up the torso of the body which is ever so important for a quarterback. Ideally, when the QB is moving we wouldn’t want this box to change whatsoever. We would not want to see the shoulders dip or the hip level change at all. The only thing that would change for the quarterback would be the legs moving this torso in a fashion where the body’s center of mass can stay towards the back foot, while also maintaining this “box position.” One of the best in the game at performing this correctly is a game named Drew Brees. If you watch him, he’s able to maintain perfect harmony of his shoulders on top of his hips while keeping his weight towards the back foot. This is what allows him to get the ball out of his hands so fast. Check out this video above on more tips in creating this perfect balance point to deliver accurate throws in a timely manner.
4. Elbow Pain
There is at least one quarterback per day that reaches out to us about how to get rid of their elbow pain. What if I was to tell you that most of the time your elbow isn’t the problem in this equation? This is actually the case for most players. The quarterback throwing motion is a very complex motion with many pieces having to work in perfect harmony in order to be efficient. The elbow takes a lot of abuse when one or more than one of these moving pieces isn’t doing the job that it is supposed to do. The pain will actually present in the elbow as a symptom of a bigger problem somewhere else. By working on just the elbow, you are putting a band aid on an open wound. The elbow pain will always persist. Check this video out above to go over some key areas that could be causing your elbow pain!
5. QB Stability
One of the most overlooked aspects of the throwing motion is the ability to decelerate the body after the ball is released. This is extremely important for the ability to be explosive during the throwing motion because the brain will only allow for you to accelerate as much as it thinks you can decelerate, but it is also important to decrease injury risk in the shoulder and elbow. There are a lot of common quarterback teachings out there now such as dragging the foot after the ball is released and even decreasing trunk rotation after the ball is released, but these are false braking mechanisms that don’t solve the problem. They might help slow the player down, but they are only limiting the potential of the player. Above, we have provided an exercise that is great for quarterbacks to perform to work on the balance during their follow through. This is working on trunk stability in all planes, hip stability, eccentric shoulder strengthening, active hip internal rotation, and eccentric control of the trunk rotators. There is so much great bang for your buck with this one!
Now….Go Get Better
This always seems to be the biggest disconnect in my mind that quarterbacks have. Everyone says that they want to be great, but only half of 1 percent are actually putting in the time and effort to be great. The question that you have to ask yourself is “Am I watching all these videos and gaining all this knowledge because I’m addicted to my phone or tablet, or am I going to USE this information to get better?” I would say that 99.5% of kids and even adults these days fall into the first category. Absorb and then ACT! The time is now players! I hope this videos help and go watch many more at our Youtube channel called “The QB Docs.” You can reach me through email at [email protected] or by call/text at 812-343-4226.
-Drew Kiel PT, DPT, CSCS