When playing center in football, snapping the ball effectively is your primary responsibility. However, for players just starting out, snapping in the shotgun formation can be one of the most difficult techniques to master. Getting the football to the quarterback is essential for any successful play. Here are some tips on how, with practice, any kid can learn to shotgun snap.
It is extremely important to have a comfortable stance. Your feet should be parallel, facing forward, with equal pressure on both the toes and heel. The feet should be square with your shoulders, if not a little closer together. Then you want to bend your knees, keeping your back straight, and rest your stomach on your thighs and knees. The goal is to free up your arm movement, while using your legs to hold up all your weight.
Gripping the Ball
Now you will need to place your hands on the ball properly. Your hands should be extended forward, with the tip of the ball directly under your chin. Place your dominant hand on the laces of the ball, so that the laces run perpendicular to your fingers. Use the laces for grip; they should be in the knuckles of your fingers. You want to have your index finger on one side of the laces, and your little finger on the other side of the laces, with your middle finger two or three laces from your index finger. Then let your thumb form a natural V on the ball, similar to how you hold the ball to throw it. Now with your other hand, place your middle finger down the seam of the ball. Then try and line up your thumb and little finger around the circumference of the ball for stability. At the start of snapping, press your palm into the ball to give it more power and stability.
Turn the laces of the ball, in your dominant or power hand, toward the ground. Then tip the nose slightly up. Your non-dominant or guide arm must be straight through the elbow. Your power arm will be extended away from your body with a slight bend at the elbow. Then, when starting the snap, push the ball into the power hand with the palm of the guide hand. Now snap your hands directly backwards toward the quarterback. All of the motion should be in your arms, wrists and hands. Do not separate your arms at the end of the snap, simply release the football when your arms are as far back as they can go. Then bring your arms straight back forward and get into a blocking position. This will take a few tries to get the hang of, but once you catch on, it will get a lot easier. Remember, practice makes perfect.
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