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

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

Don't settle for just “not embarrassing yourself” and torpedo that pigskin to Uncle Chuck with these tips from 4-time Superbowl champion Joe Montana.

1. Hold The Ball Close To Your Chest

2. Slightly bend your knees – Montana suggest a slight bend, not too deep, with 70% of your weight on your back foot. This is loading the spring.

3. Stand With Feet Shoulder Width Apart

4. Grip 2 to 3 laces on the back half of the ball – Find a grip that feels comfortable, this will ultimately be what works best for you.

5. Draw it high – Pull the ball back so the bottom is about in line with your ear.

6. Air Pocket Between Palm – Grip the ball with your fingertips, allowing a air pocket between your palm and the ball.

7. Powerfully Pull Your Left Arm Down and Away To Start Hip Rotation – This releases the spring, and is where your power, distance, and speed comes from.

8. Open Your Shoulders To Face The Target

9. Pivot Your Front Foot Forward

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

11. Release The Ball – Start your spiral by rotating your hand until your thumb is pointing down.

12. Transfer All Your Weight To Your Foot

13. Continue Your Release – Your throwing hand should end around the opposite pocket.

14. Bask In Your Impressive Athleticism – before you get sacked..

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Andrew is the founder and editor of Primer. He's a graduate of American University and currently lives in Los Angeles. Read more about Primer on our About page. On Instagram: @andrewsnavely and @primermagazine.


  • […] Chuck with these tips from 4-time Superbowl champion Joe Montana compile into infographic form by Once you’re done dominating the pick-up football game at your tailgate head on over to the […]

  • Reply November 20, 2012


    Weird… sent out their newsletter on the same subject just an hour before primer.

    • Reply November 20, 2012


      Haha! That’s crazy, Thanksgiving is a big time for football.

  • […] Primer /* yahooBuzzArticleHeadline="How to Throw a Football Spiral Like the […]

  • Reply November 27, 2012

    Tobias Amberger

    On they had a video on how to throw a perfect spiral. Don’t remember who said it, but if you additionally grab the ball with your index finger in between seam before the laces you got one more pressure point to rotate the ball.

    I tried it .. needs some practice, but I got a much better spiral with that. Thought I’d share that.

    • Reply November 27, 2012


      Nice! Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply September 11, 2015

    Murad Hassan


  • Reply September 11, 2015

    Murad Hassan

    suprised bradshaw made it!

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