How to catch a football

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Hands with football
Oh, Boy! Victory is nigh!
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Here are some fool-proof ways to catch a football

There is a right way and a wrong way to catch a football. The sport may look rough and tumble (indeed it is) but football is also a game of expertise with techniques that can only be mastered through time and experience. Throughout the history of the sport, one of the most important skills to be learned has always been how to catch a football. It is just as much of a learned skill as knowing how to pitch or score a home run in baseball.

Why is knowing how to catch a football important to the game? If it is done correctly, the ball can be easily tucked away for running (the player, not the ball). A fumble could result if using an improper technique. In addition, catching the ball the wrong way means a lot of passes will be dropped that should have been caught.

Remember that practice and them some more practice is the key to learning how to catch a football. To inspire you along the way, wear an NFL jersey to get you in the mood. (Dress like a pro, act like a pro; you get the picture.)

What are some guidelines for mastering the art of how to catch a football?

The following is a list of tried and true methods of how to catch a football. Consider them the next time you want to try this on your own.

1- Never lose sight of the ball

Catching a football correctly requires great focus and concentration. Every time you take your eyes off the ball you increase your chances of dropping it. One of the basic rules of football is to keep your eyes on the ball all the way through its path into your hands. The problem is that many times players believe they are watching the ball when in reality, they aren't.

2- Always use both hands to catch the football

Whenever possible, use both hands to catch the ball. Sometimes the only way to make a catch is by diving or using one hand. Most of the time, however, it is possible to get both hands on the football. Have confidence in your ability and remember that you cannot run with the ball if you do not first catch it.

3- Positive mental images

Make a mental picture in which you see yourself catching that football. Do not permit any negative thoughts to intercept that image. When that football touches your hand or any part of your arms, try to tuck it in immediately under your arm on the opposite side of any defenders; then run like hell, throw it back, or pass the ball on, whatever move is required for the progress of your team. The process of how to catch a football begins with a belief in the ability to do so, regardless of the circumstance.

4- Watch the rotation of the football

The ability to catch a football is directly proportional to its rotation velocity. If the pass is what is known as a “wounded duck” (ugly and all over the place) a good grip will require an adjustment of hand positioning. Do not ever catch the ball with your body as this not only increases the chance of a fumble, it can also hurt…a lot!

5- Positioning your fingers

If the football is approaching you above waist height, make a triangle with both hands, palms facing away from your body. By placing the tips of your thumbs so that they are facing each other and all other fingers pointing up, the tip of the ball is hopefully heading for the open space in between your hands. Reach your hands out towards the ball and catch it with your fingers away from your body. Do not use your palms, as a football that is thrown hard will often bounce right off of your palms. As the ball makes contact with your body, squeeze it and in one swift motion, tuck it under your arm.

So what are you waiting for?

Get out there and catch that football!

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