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in: Featured, Manly Know-How, Skills, Visual Guides

• Last updated: June 1, 2021

How to Throw a Perfect Football Spiral: An Illustrated Guide

Illustrative guide of how to throw a football spiral.

Thanksgiving is this week. For many men in America, Thanksgiving Day not only means eating turkey and stuffing, it also means playing a pick-up game of football in the morning with friends and family. To help you quarterback your team to a Turkey Bowl victory, we put together this illustrated guide on how to throw a perfect football spiral. Enjoy.

  1. The Grip. There isn’t a standard grip, so find the one that’s comfortable for you. Super Bowl champions Peyton and Eli manning prefer a grip with two fingers — the ring and pinky — across the second and fifth laces. Make sure there is a bit of space between the ball and your hand.
  2. Hold the ball with both hands at chest level, feet shoulder-width apart. Body is perpendicular to your target.
  3. Step towards your target with your lead leg. Bring your throwing arm straight back. Elbow should be above shoulder. Rotate hand slightly so the point of the ball points towards your head.
  4. Quickly rotate forward around your waist and throw the ball overhanded.
  5. The release. At the point of release, throwing hand and arm should be fully extended toward the target. To achieve the perfect spiral, focus on the fingers. Let your fingertips linger on the ball as long as possible so the ball just rolls out of your hand. Your hand should pronate down and your index finger is the last part of your body that should touch the ball.
  6. When the ball has left your hand, your thumb should be facing down and your palm facing out. Back leg should come forward as you finish the throw.
  7. Throw your fists up in the air and celebrate your perfect spiral. 

Like this illustrated guide? Then you’re going to love our book The Illustrated Art of Manliness! Pick up a copy on Amazon.

Illustrated by Ted Slampyak.

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