North America is agog with enthusiasm about football. The New England Patriots, Dallas Cowboys, and Kansas City Chiefs are some of the favorites on betting sites.
Dreaming of playing in grand football competitions like the NFL? Then you need to have outstanding ball-handling skills, especially if you are a quarterback with decisive contributions to your team’s offensive gameplay.
Let us examine some critical techniques that can improve your ball-handling skills.
Techniques you need to hold the ball properly
Begin by grabbing the ball with your dominant hand. Then, with your hand facing up, put one of the ball’s tips into your palm. As you do so, make sure the length of the ball matches the length of your forearm.
Next, place your index finger on the outward-facing tip of the ball, resting it against the inside of your forearm. Ensure that while the ball is seated there, you can also comfortably wrap your fingers around the converging area of the ball.
After you’ve had the ball firmly in your grasp, the next step is to keep it from slipping away. Curl your wrist against the ball to sustain the ball’s weight and allow your arm’s length to take on the ball’s curvature.
Arc your elbow upward, pushing the ball to your chest while still maintaining a firm grasp on the ball. Keep it as near to your body as possible in this posture. Consequently, the opponents’ chances of getting a steal are reduced.
It is vital to protect the ball when held up by an opponent. To do this, wrap up the ball; use your free arm to cover the ball, still keeping it close to your chest.
When there is an outlet, sprint on, using your formerly free hand to gain momentum while keeping the ball in its former position.
How to evade attacks while holding the ball
In competitive football, you will not be allowed to run freely with the ball. You can expect tackles. But how do you evade them and retain them?
Do not run in a straight line
It is easier to stop you (while holding the ball) if you just sprint in a straight line, especially if your opponents are still in front of you.
Running in a zig-zag pattern is a better alternative. You become less vulnerable and unpredictable to your opponents. As a result, you can both safeguard the ball and easily maneuver your way past them as you dash to touchdown.
Feints are a much-needed skill
In football, the ability to feint while racing at your opponent, still with the ball in hand, is a crucial skill that, if well mastered, can give you the upper hand.
Feinting throws your opponent off guard and provides you that extra second to gain ground. This ability entails feigning a change of direction while opting for a different direction.
To pull this off, you’ll need to be aware of your opponent’s position while also preparing your body for a sudden change in speed and direction.
Be very observant
Do not make wishful assumptions while holding the ball and running. Instead, awareness should dictate your decisions.
It will help you know available space, when to make a pass, when to sprint faster, and other critical aspects of gameplay.
Once you receive the ball, quickly look over your shoulders and scan the area in front of you in quick succession.
Let your head movement game be superb as you spy out the positioning of your opponents and their possible line of action.
Skills to practice to be a better ball handler
Now, let us talk about some skills you need to master ball handling.
Practice switching the ball to the other hand
While your dominant hand is the best for holding the ball, there may be times when you need to swap the ball to the other hand to keep it safe from the opposition.
Once you’ve made the transition, keep your opponent at arm’s length with your dominant hand and body. When you gain control of the situation, switch the ball to your dominant hand for ease of movement.
Practice wrestling drills
In most cases, your opponent will close in on you, and the two of you will battle for the ball in your hand. You will be able to wriggle your way out of their clutches if you have mastered these wrestling skills.
You’ll need a lot of body mobility and agility to complete this. Hold the ball firmly to your chest and arc your upper body downwards after they’ve caught up to you.
In that posture, make fast motions, twisting and turning to break free. If necessary, pass to a teammate to divert attention away from you and make room for you to get the ball back.
Practice strength display
In football, strength is fundamental. This is because the game is a highly physical exercise.
Practice obstacle courses and other strength-building routines during training sessions. In addition, going to the gym can help you get the necessary strength.
In American football, effectively holding the ball is an art. Nevertheless, what are the right ways to do this? How do you evade attacks while holding the ball?
Thankfully, this article exposes this knowledge to make you a better ball handler.