Quote from Coach Aguilar

Throwing Motion

  • Throwing is such a unique thing … there is so much to teach. Just vision the throwing motion… and all that’s involved in it.
  • I am a technician, I teach them how to hold the ball properly, how to relax, how to take the proper steps and all the little things. A quarterback can control the ball much better than he ever has because of the techniques I teach.
  • Learning the proper throwing fundamentals early is a huge key. Fundamentals are so very critical.
  • When quarterbacks throw more … they get in more rhythm. You see better and you react better. It is just much easier to be smooth and detailed when they do it a lot.
  • Quarterbacks can refine that talent if they learn the techniques that they can rely on … and if they repeat them over and over, you get greatness. Most quarterbacks don’t realize what it means to be committed to working on their technique. It means an incredible amount of repetition. The arm is pretty resilient if the proper mechanics are used … and, you let the body do the throwing for you.
  • You must be able to throw out cuts. You must be able to change your touch. You must get yourself to a level where you can manipulate the football the way you need to ... based on the situation.
  • I think a lot of it is simply whether you have a passion for getting better. Whether you enjoy throwing. Because you need to throw a lot, and when you do a lot of throwing … you become conditioned to take it physically. You don’t get tired easily because you build muscular endurance to overcome muscular fatigue in the 4th quarter. You get sore because your throwing mechanics are not right and your body is not conditioned to handle the workload.
  • By shortening your front step … you will accelerate the turn of your hips and shoulders. Drive the front elbow down and through while pushing off with the back leg … the back foot pivoting toward the target. I’m talking about shoulder placement and foot placement.
  • Be careful not to over-stride. This lengthens your delivery and delays what I call the waterfall principle … which is the power created by the transfer of weight. In addition, it causes overthrows and carries you into the pass rushers.
  • You don’t want to land on a stiff front knee. This keeps your weight from shifting through your delivery. It will cause you to throw short, while also putting a strain on you arm.
  • The ball should be released just past your head … with your index finger the last thing off the ball. Releasing the ball just past your head has everything to do with accuracy. And what controls the ball going over the top is your opposite shoulder. If your non-throwing shoulder comes open, the ball goes out.
  • The ball should spin tight with the nose up. Throw passes that are tight spirals.
  • In a game, there is basically a wall in front of the passer. Sometimes you make the throw and your body can only go so far forward. You’ll need to drill it and get used to that … not getting the complete follow-through all the time because of the rush. If you’ve got too long a stride … a pressure defense will help cure you of it.
  • Throwing long is slightly different. Your shoulders won’t remain parallel to the ground. As you step forward slightly with your plant foot … you should be dipping your back shoulder and raising your front shoulder. You need to push hard off your back leg when delivering the ball. Don’t dip your back shoulder too much … or you’ll be throwing straight up without much distance because the ball won’t turn over.
  • You want your shoulders to be parallel to the ground … unless you’re throwing long. Dropping your back shoulder will cause you to throw high … while dipping your front shoulder will cause low throws.
  • You want your shoulders and hips to work together. Opening your hips too soon will cause overthrows. Opening your shoulders too soon will lessen your accuracy.
  • I am talking about developing a unique and refined feel with your hands. The main focus of a quarterback’s job is to throw the football. Improving your overall strength and running ability will help make you a more complete quarterback, but you cannot allow any other part of your training to take priority over throwing the ball. Becoming productive is the end-result of your fundamentals becoming second nature to you. When you take it to another level, you reach a point where you don’t think about anything. You just do it naturally.
  • Keep working on your fundamentals until all of sudden … you start to get the physical sense of right and wrong. This sense is extremely valuable because it serves as your monitor. He can feel it in his own body that it wasn’t as rhythmic or as easy as it should have been. When you work on techniques … it becomes a feel. It feels right or it feels wrong. You become good at something because you repeat what you do over and over. That’s how you get better, but it takes a tremendous practice time. If you want to get good at throwing … you have to throw a lot … you have to throw a lot … A LOT!!!
  • You must get to a level where you do everything the right way. I’m talking about your mechanics … the way you hold the ball, your foot movement. Especially your foot placement prior to throwing. No matter where the receivers are on the field … you should be able to maneuver your feet quick enough to get in a proper position to throw the ball correctly. It does not matter whether you are throwing short or throwing long … you must always do it right. You have invest countless hours and countless repetitions … working on doing it the right way. Practice doing it precise over and over and over.
  • Having the ability to throw with “touch” is a very, very valuable quality. “Touch” is the ability to put a ball exactly where you want … tossing it over a defender. It’s not always about throwing the ball as hard as you can on every play … you must develop a variety of throws.
  • With enough repetition, you can get to the point where you can make the ball do whatever you want on every throw.
  • Hit your receivers between the numbers or within 12 inches of either the left or right number on short passes … something my quarterbacks will hear a lot in practice. Get to the point where your throw the ball tells the receiver which way to turn and run.
  • Be tough on yourself and always remember that expectations are a birth of confidence and courage.
  • Do not lead the receiver when you’re both running in the same direction … throw it at him.
  • Do not run on your heels when throwing on the run … keep your head steady.
  • The closer to the middle you hold it, the more control you’ll have. The further back you go, the more power you can generate.
  • You don’t want to hold the ball too tightly, or else you won’t get that whip action out of you arm as you throw. It should be a constant, smooth grip, with a little tension, because you’ve got to be able to hang on to the ball. You can’t squeeze it too much, because that’s when you wind up getting too much flutter on the ball and losing control.
  • In regards to throwing against the wind … the key is to throw a firm ball with tight spins. The slightest wobble on the flight of the ball and the wind will take over and turn it into a flutter.
  • When throwing a wet ball, your instinct is to tighten your grip on it. You just need to grip just firm enough. Don’t try to do things at top speed. Apply the same principles that a good driver uses when driving on a wet road. It’s the sharp turns and the sudden stops that get you in trouble. There some definite advantages a wet field gives your receivers.
  • A tight grip will also put more strain on your arm. If you feel any pain in your forearm and shoulder as you throw … chances are you’re gripping the ball too tightly.
  • Don’t throw the ball up too high or put it where your receivers have to lay themselves out and be exposed to a crushing hit from a hard-charging defensive back.
  • Against man coverage, the DB’s are chasing receivers … they are not watching the quarterback so they really don’t know where the quarterback is looking. When a quarterback can be guilty of staring at a receiver too long is against zone coverage. But if, as the quarterback drops back, he looks to one side or the other, a defender’s natural reaction, based on how he has been taught, is to take a couple of steps into the direction that the quarterback is looking.
  • Every pass route has an ideal point of completion.
  • Ideally you want to hit the receiver in stride. Sometimes you might intentionally throw a ball to a receiver, rather than in front of him … if you want to keep from bringing him into another zone area. This way he can stop and sit down in the seam of a zone. Whether the ball is caught on the run or not, never be satisfied with your throwing if the receiver has to out-stretch his arms to make the catch.
  • Another way you can help out your receiver is to not look at him. You’ll have to look his way eventually, but the longer you can hold off from making that look, the better chance you have of getting the ball there without a big collision.
  • Help out your receiver by not staring at him. You’ll have to look his way eventually, but the longer you can hold off from making that look, the better chance you have of getting the ball there without a big collision.
  • I want the ball within 12 inches in front of the receiver’s jersey numbers in the directions the receiver is going, with few exceptions. On short patterns, you have to be able to hit your receiver on the left or right number … so you can tell him which way to turn to elude a defender.
  • Practice and playing together is the key for a quarterback and his receivers. After a while, you will be able to just feel things.
  • It takes a lot of work to practice throwing on the run … work on it!
  • Note that in setting up the screen pass, drop back a few steps and look frantically for a receiver. That will only help “sell” the play.
  • Each pass route has its purpose and technique. Each route offers something the other ones do not. Every one of the routes has its own ideal time for completion. The quarterback’s mechanics, timing, and anticipation differ with specific play called. The key to mastering each route is the quarterback’s knowledge of the field, recognizing the receiver’s moves, anticipating the throw and ball placement … this understanding will enhance his communication with his receivers.
Instruction from One Voice Information on the camp
"Coach Aguilar's sincere commitment to kids is truly remarkable. He has developed a system for training Quarterbacks that is the best I've seen. If I could send our Quarterbacks to only one camp, it would be this one."

Jim Rackley, Head Football Coach - Converse Judson High School