Alex Smith grew up playing backyard football, always taking the helm at quarterback. It wasn't until 9th grade when he started playing organized ball at Helix High School in San Diego, and that's when his football career truly took off. After a standout collegiate career at Utah, Smith was chosen as the first overall pick in the 2005 Draft. Check out his tips for playing the QB position…**
First off, to be a good quarterback you've got to have an ability to throw the ball or a good arm as scouts would say. Just as important as that is good-decision making because the ball is in your hands in every play and you have to be smart with where you go with it. You also better be tough. I remember one time we were playing New Mexico and it was a 3rd and 2 and this linebacker, Nick Speagle, absolutely drilled me. I think I woke up about two quarters later, so it's important to be tough because you are going to get slammed playing QB!
The Grip (Holding the Ball)
I put my ring finger on the laces, my index finger on the seam of the football. There is space between my hand, my palm and the ball. You don't want to grip too hard. You just want a firm grip. If the ball comes out clear, spinning well, the straighter the ball is going to go. If the ball is not spinning as well, the ball is not going to go as straight or as accurate.
Your non-throwing arm should be holdingthe meat of the ball, and your throwing arm should be towards the top of the ball. The ball in its carriage should be off your right shoulder in the chest area (if you are right handed), pull back in a jay motion so that the point of the ball is actually pointing in the opposite direction of where you intend to throw. As the ball comes off your fingertips, the last finger to touch should be your index finger as you snap your wrist quickly towards the ground. As you release the ball, step with your lead foot, or your non-throwing leg and point your toe at the target. As the ball comes off your fingertips, follow thru with your thumb to your opposite side of your outside hip of the non-throwing leg.
• Everything starts with your grip. You need to grip on the laces.
• Next, the footwork has to be right. You need good balance, with your feet underneath you.
• You need a good throwing motion. This leads to a good release.
• A good release gets the ball into a spiral. Sometimes you throw harder than others, and there's a different release for each one.
More Advice on Playing the QB Position
• Throw it to the open guys, but make sure they are wearing the same colored jersey.
• You need to be even keeled, not up and down.
• Don't try to do too much, stay within yourself. Don't force things.
• If you scramble, make sure you have BOTH hands on the ball, keep your eyes down field, don't focus on the rush. Two hands on the ball in the pocket makes for good ball security when people are trying to strip at it.
• Don't zone in on a wide receiver. Don't lock in on one guy.