How to Throw a Football with a Perfect, Powerful Spiral – A Visual Guide

"Whoa! Who brought the cannon?" - Your Uncle Chuck at this year's Thanksgiving pickup game.
How to throw a football with a spiral infographic

How To Throw a Football With a Perfect, Powerful Spiral (Step-by-Step)

If you're looking to improve your football throwing skills, there's no better teacher than a 4-time Superbowl champion. Joe Montana has shared some tips on how to throw a football with a perfect, powerful spiral. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to do it.

1. Hold The Ball Close To Your Chest

The first step is to hold the ball close to your chest with both hands. This will help you get a good grip on the ball and control it as you throw it.

2. Slightly Bend Your Knees

Next, slightly bend your knees, with 70% of your weight on your back foot. This is like loading a spring, and it will give you the power and leverage you need to throw the ball.

3. Stand With Feet Shoulder Width Apart

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and make sure you're balanced and stable. This will help you stay grounded as you throw the ball.

4. Grip 2 to 3 Laces On The Back Half Of The Ball

Find a grip that feels comfortable, and grip the ball with 2 to 3 laces on the back half of the ball. This will give you a better grip and help you control the ball as you throw it.

5. Draw It High

Pull the ball back so that the bottom is about in line with your ear. This will help you get more power and distance on your throw.

6. Air Pocket Between Palm

Grip the ball with your fingertips, allowing an air pocket between your palm and the ball. This will help you get a better grip and control the ball as you throw it.

7. Powerfully Pull Your Left Arm Down And Away To Start Hip Rotation

This is where your power, distance, and speed come from. Pull your left arm down and away from your body to start your hip rotation.

8. Open Your Shoulders To Face The Target

As you rotate your hips, open your shoulders to face the target. This will help you get a better aim and throw the ball more accurately.

9. Pivot Your Front Foot Forward

Pivot your front foot forward as you continue your hip rotation. This will help you transfer your weight and get more power on your throw.

10. Allow Your Hip Rotation To Draw Your Throwing Arm Forward

As your hip rotation continues, allow your throwing arm to be drawn forward. This will help you get more speed and distance on your throw.

11. Release The Ball

Start your spiral by rotating your hand until your thumb is pointing down. This will help you get a better spiral and accuracy on your throw.

12. Transfer All Your Weight To Your Foot

Transfer all your weight to your front foot as you release the ball. This will help you get more power and distance on your throw.

13. Continue Your Release

As you transfer your weight to your front foot, continue your release. Your throwing hand should end around the opposite pocket.

14. Bask In Your Impressive Athleticism

Congratulations, you've just thrown a perfect, powerful spiral! Now, go bask in your impressive athleticism and get ready for the next throw.

In conclusion, throwing a football with a perfect, powerful spiral takes practice and dedication. But with these step-by-step tips from Joe Montana, you can improve your throwing skills and become a better football player. Keep practicing and have fun!

Andrew Snavely

Andrew founded Primer in 2008 and brings 15+ years of men's style expertise. Known for his practical, relatable approach to style and self-development, he has been a recognized speaker at conferences and has styled work for top brands. Off-duty, he loves photography & editing, and enjoys road trips with his dog, Leela. Raised in rural Pennsylvania, educated in DC, and living in LA for nearly 20 years, Andrew's diverse experiences shape the relatable and real-world advice that has helped millions through Primer. On Instagram: @andrewsnavely and @primermagazine.