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How To Carry a Football

Carrying a Football Without Fumbling

Learning how to carry a football during a football game is an underrated skill, because players who don’t carry the football properly are going to fumble more. If you fumble the ball, you’ll be the goat, if your team loses. Your coach isn’t going to trust you as much, so you’ll either be pulled off the field or you won’t be called upon to carry (or catch) the ball as often as you would.

Fumbling drives coaches crazy, so carrying a football the right way is one way to keep your coach happy.

1. Carry the Ball Close to Your Body

First of all, don’t carry the ball away from your body. Fit it snug against your side. When your arms are flapping out there, the defensive players have a much better chance of reaching out and poking the ball away from you.

Also, if one defender locks on you to bring you down, another tackler can come in and rip the ball away from you, if you don’t have the ball snug against your body. Good tacklers are taught to do that when they are “the second man on” a ball carrier. That’s why some defenses get turnovers and some defenses don’t.

Carrying the ball away from the body is sometimes called carrying the ball “life a loaf of bread”. Don’t do it, either out of carelessness or a need to showboat. Carrying the ball with your arm extended gives you no leverage for hanging onto the ball in traffic.

2. Hold the Ball With One or Two Fingers Over the Tip

When carrying the ball, remember to place one or two fingers over the tip of the football. This locks the football into the space between your hand and your elbow, so it’s fit into two creases. When a defender comes to rip the ball from you, you’ll be holding the football tight, so you’re much more likely to withstand this attempt to rip. Once again, you’ll have the leverage to keep ahold of the ball.

So remember, grip the football with fingers over the tip, the other end of the football in the crease of your arm and the arm held close to your body.

3. Cover Up in Traffic

When you see a big hit coming, clutch the ball tighter to the body and “cover up” by bringing your other hand to cover the ball. You’re bracing for an impact, being prepared to add double-protection for the ball. This might not look as cool when you’re running the ball, but it makes sure nothing happens.

4. Switch the Ball to the Outside

When you’re running towards one side of the field or the other, switch the ball to the outside arm. That is, the arm that is either closest to the nearest sideline or the arm on the offense’s side of the line of scrimmage. Switching the ball to your off arm means it is further away from the defense. They have to go through your body to rip the ball away. Your body is acting as a shield against having the ball stripped.

Remember, though, don’t be switching the ball “in traffic”, or when tacklers are around. That’s just asking for the ball to be stripped, because you’ll have to extend your arms to make the switch and the ball will be in a precarious position. If you have defenders all around you, it’s better to keep the ball held snugly next to your body, than to try to make a risky switch of positions.

Follow the four steps above and you should hold onto the ball far better than if you continue carrying the football in a haphazard fashion. Practice carrying the ball close to your body. Carry the ball a while with your fingers over the tip. Practice covering up when a hit is about to be applied. Practice switching the ball from one arm to the next.

Once you practice these adjustments before the game, they become second nature during the football game. Remember, the less you fumble the ball, the more chances you get to play the star by carrying the football in games.



This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 27th, 2009 at 3:13 pmand is filed under Football, Youth Football. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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