7 Essential Drills That Maximize Quarterback Accuracy

Navy quarterback Jarod Bryant (^2), from Hoover, Alabama, eludes Notre Dame defensive end Pat Kuntz
BotMultichillT/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

When talking about a quarterback’s accuracy, there are a lot of different aspects that go along with improving that skill. One of the main problems that will mess with the accuracy of a quarterback’s throw is how much pressure they are in. If the offensive line gives the quarterback a lot of room and time, then the quarterback will most likely throw an accurate pass.

With that being said, there are a lot of different drills that you can run if you are looking to improve your accuracy as a quarterback. You should be aware that working on all aspects of your game will ultimately allow you to be more accurate.

1. The Two Knees Drill: Warm-Up

The two knees drill is designed to warm up the quarterback’s arm, as well as teaching them concentration on where they are throwing it and their release. The drill involves two quarterbacks who kneel on both knees about 10 yards away from each other. The receiving quarterback will hold his hands up to give the throwing quarterback a target. The two quarterbacks throw the ball back and forth for a specified amount of time. Remember, the point is to focus on accuracy and concentration, not speed and how hard of a bullet you throw.

2. The One Knee Drill: Wrist Motion & Arm Strength

This quarterback throwing drill is set up similar to the two knees drill, with two quarterbacks facing off about ten yards from one another. The only difference with this drill is that the quarterbacks will only kneel on one knee, their throwing arm side. You should be focusing on using your arm and your arm only with your throw. Try to keep the rest of your body still throughout the throwing motion. This will help build strength in your arm.

3. The Circle Toss Drill: Agility

This drill is very simple to perform and only requires two people. It’s suggested that one person stand still, while the other person runs around them in a circle, keeping the radius a good distance away. The player who is running will be the person throwing, with the person standing in the middle catching the ball and throwing it back. After you throw it while running in a circle, stop and change directions. Then catch the ball and do it all again. Keep switching directions and positions with the other player.

4. Down The Line Drill: Conditioning & Throwing

Pair up with another quarterback and be prepared to run the length of the field for this drill. Basically, you are going to run at a constant speed down the length of the field with your partner keeping the same pace. While running nonstop, you will play catch with your partner. Since you and your partner are moving, you will need to adjust your target so that it is thrown in the correct spot. Also, make sure to release the ball quickly and try to get as many successful throws as possible before reaching the end of the field. It is suggested to be nearly 10 yards away from your partner while running.

5. Sprint Out Drill: Accuracy

With the sprint out drill, you will improve your throwing accuracy and mechanics while running the sprint out pass. To start the drill, have the quarterback line up in his pre-snap stance and then proceed with the snap count. Continue with simulating the snap as if it were real and then perform the sprint out pass to the right. Have a partner act as the target and throw it to him once you reach the launching point. Do this repeatedly, remembering to switch from sprinting out to the left and to the right.

6. Find Open Receiver Drill: Scanning & Adaptable Decision-Making

The purpose of the Find Open Receiver Drill is to teach the quarterback to look at the entire field before choosing where the pass is going. This will ultimately help the quarterback make a smarter decision, which will lead to a more accurate pass, which will lead to more completions. To set this drill up, have 10 to 15 players act as receivers and stand them at varied lengths from the goal line from sideline to sideline. The quarterback will then face the receivers, with the coach standing behind the quarterback. The coach will notify the quarterback to begin simulating the snap. Meanwhile, the coach is pointing at one of the receivers to act as the live target. That receiver will put up his hand. The purpose is for the quarterback to scan the entire field, find the raised hand and then throw it to him. Try to have your furthest receiver around 30 yards away from the goal line.

7. Throwing Progression Drill: Warm-Up

This drill is simple and makes for the perfect warm-up. It consists of two of the drills already mentioned, but with a twist. Two quarterbacks face each other from nearly 15 yards away. Both participants start seated on the ground and begin playing catch. After around 25 passes each, the two switch positions so they are kneeling on one knee. After that, they move to kneeling on two knees. You can incorporate as many different positions as you would like. Also, make sure to focus on your technique and mechanics and do them properly.

Other Drills That Will Maximize A Quarterback’s Accuracy

One drill that will consist of most of your team is the spot throw drill. It’s basically offense vs. defense, but the coach controls how each play is run. He calls out a defensive coverage, an offensive play, and designates a receiver as the target, without the quarterback knowing. The quarterback goes through the snap and reads the field. The designated receiver will put his hand up and wait for the quarterback to find him.

Another great drill is to have the coach call out a play and defensive coverage, but designate defensemen as rushers. This will help the quarterback under the pressure and will help him make a decision quicker by reading the field faster. 

Practice these accuracy drills and you will see your quarterback skills elevate to a new level.