Best Training Drills for Quarterbacks

Being a quarterback is perhaps the most difficult position in American football since you need to command your entire offense and make split-second decisions which can decide the outcome of the game.

As a result, practice is one of the most important things to do if you want to perfect your craft and become the best you can be.

If you are looking for some additional drills for practice, we have carefully selected some of the best drills known to help quarterbacks become better.

Each of the following drills are great for quarterbacks of all skill levels.

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Catch and Release

This drill is great while you are warming up your arm before practice, and is also great at helping you perfect your form, technique, and throwing power.

First, position your feet at shoulder length and face your target with your shoulder as you would normally.

Next, put the ball in your throwing arm at or above shoulder height in throwing position.

Before throwing the ball take one step towards your target. Then, turn your hips and throw the ball, being sure to release with your thumb down.

As you are releasing, your back foot should swing forward so that you finish horizontally facing your target with your weight on your front foot.

Remember that throwing power has a lot to do with velocity and not jump arm strength while doing this drill.

Hip Shakers

For this drill, start by horizontally facing your target with your feet at shoulder length.

Before you throw the ball, rotate your hips to have your shoulder face your target.

At this point, your feet should still be parallel while your shoulder is facing the target.

 You are not making any steps during this drill, and your feet should stay in place.

Then simply lock the ball into throwing position and swing your hips back to the horizontal position as you throw the ball to your target.

As always, make sure to follow through with your thumb down as you throw the ball.

This is a great way to get your hips warmed up while practicing good throwing technique.

Spine Twisters

For this final drill, you are going to start by vertically facing your target.

However, instead of having your dominant side facing your target, you are going to position yourself backwards so that your weaker shoulder is facing your target.

This will force you to really twist your hips as you are throwing.

Before you throw the ball, twist your hips as far back as possible so that you can throw the ball comfortably.

Remember, since you are weak shoulder is facing the target this will really force you to twist your spine back so that you can comfortably throw the ball.

Then, simply throw the ball while twisting your hips back into the position you started with. Do not move your feet while throwing the ball.

Check out some of the above drills on the following video:

Peyton Manning’s Figure 8 Drill

Now that you have your arm and hips warmed up, it is time to start working on your drops.

Part of being a quarterback is always being sure to keep your feet in a ready position so that you never throw off of your back leg.

This is why shuffling around in the pocket and keeping your feet active is crucial.

For this drill, you will need a couple cones. Position the cones in a line about 1 yard away from each other.

Stand to the left of the front cone and have a teammate snap the ball to you.

Once you catch the snap, take a 2 step drop and then start shuffling around the cones in a figure 8 motion.

Practice the figure 8’s as necessary before finally releasing the ball at a target. This is a great drill for practicing both your footwork and throwing motion.

See below video:

Tom Brady’s Box Drill

This drill is solely to practice your footwork in the pocket.

Start by gathering 7 cones and position them in a box with one cone on the left side at the end by itself. 

Do a 7 step drop to the back of the box, and then slide from cone to cone horizontally and then step up to the next one.

Do this as quickly as possible to practice your pocket footwork.

Remember to go as close to the cones as possible and then around them with one foot and you work your way up the box.

Once you are at the top of the pocket, spring forward 5 yards and then repeat.

This is a great drill for working on your footwork, and can also be adapted to include a target for practicing throwing technique.

Check out the below vide on how to do these drills:

RGIII’s Quick Release Drill

Having a quick release is one of the most important parts of being a successful quarterback.

When the pass rush is coming straight at your face, the last thing you want is to be swallowed up by a defensive lineman and lose yardage right as you see an open receiver.

If you can go from snap to release in less than three seconds, you will be as efficient as most professional quarterbacks.

However, keep in mind that this will take years of practice to do successfully and accurately.

For this drill you will face your target vertically, horizontally, and backward-horizontally.

Start by putting the ball in snap-receiving position at your chest, and then release the ball to your target as quickly as possible.

Remember that although you want to release the ball as quickly as possible, that form, follow through, and throwing motion are equally as important.

See below video:

Jim Harbaugh’s Quick Release Drill

This quick release drill will assuredly challenge your quarterback to throw quickly, at an extremely quick rate.

Start by gathering up 8-10 balls and have a receiver 10-20 yards away from the QB downfield.

Have a coach lob a ball to the QB. Then, the QB needs to quickly throw the ball to his target with perfect form.

Right as the ball is thrown, toss another ball to the QB, and repeat until you are out of balls.