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Although many different ingredients are necessary in the make-up of a quarterback, it is usually the degree of ability as a passer that separates the "average" quarterback from the really "great" one. This may be puzzling to some people since there are many athletes who can throw a football a long way with a nice spiral. There is a tremendous difference, however, between a "thrower" and a "passer". If a athlete really has the desire to become a "passer", it has been proven beyond all doubt that he can strengthen his passing arm and improve both his distance and his accuracy, providing he is willing to make the effort that is necessary for this improvement.
Rather than ever throwing the ball wildly and hoping that it may come down in the arms of one of his teammates, a quarterback should remember that four things take priority whenever he goes back to pass.
1. Complete The Pass - Obviously, the quarterback should stay in the pocket and deliver the ball to an open receiver if at all possible, design drills that will help the quarterback feel the pocket when stepping up and throwing.
2. Run - If the quarterbacks receivers are covered the quarterback should take off on his own and try to fight his way back to the L.O.S. Design drills that teaches the quarterback to scramble to his left and to his right.
3. Waste The Ball - If all of the quarterbacks receivers are covered and it is impossible for him to run, try to safely waste the ball rather than taking a big loss. If the quarterback throws over the head of a receiver running down the sideline, or at the feet of a nearby receiver, there is little danger of a pass being intercepted or the officials penalizing him for deliberately throwing the ball away.
4. Take a Loss - This is the final option and should only be used as a last resort when you don't have time to locate a receiver, to run, or even waste throwing the ball wildly and taking the chance of an interception.
Before all of the things mentioned in the preceding paragraphs can be remembered, a quarterback must have considerable experience under game or scrimmage conditions. Your quarterback must become accustomed to looking down field at three to four receivers, while defenders are fighting to get a piece of him. Although these things can usually be accomplished during the season, there a great many drills an individual can do to improve his passing ability while working by himself, or with just one other person to catch the ball. If you go through the passing drills listed in this manual a few times each week a quarterback definitely will strengthen his throwing arm and improve his passing abilities.