How to Throw a Football in Bad Weather Conditions
Throwing a football in the heat of competition can be difficult. Even under the best of circumstances, opposing defensive linemen will attempt to pressure the quarterback and disrupt his passes. The situation becomes even more challenging when bad weather becomes an issue. Many NFL quarterbacks struggle during rain, sleet, and snow and it can sometimes mean their playoff demise in the cold weather months of January and February. However. the best have adapted from fearing the meteorologist to winning many NFL games and even a Super Bowl or two in the weather conditions.
How to throw a football in the wind?
Use short- and medium-range passes in windy conditions. Of all the weather problems that a quarterback will face, wind is the worst. When watching a football game on television, it may look like rainy or snowy conditions are awful, but quarterbacks agree that wind is the biggest problem. Many Chicago Bears QBs have had to learn the hard way in the Windy City due to the city’s high winds. But a quarterback who can throw the ball on a line will have a matchup advantage in those conditions. Do not throw high-arching passes in the wind because they won't go where you want them to. Arm strength is the biggest factor when playing in the wind. Just like a kicker kicking a field goal or kickoff into the wind, keep it low and hard through the gusts and high wind speeds.
How to throw a ball in the rain?
Throw the ball normally in rainy conditions. New York, Cleveland, and even most Seahawks games will see some precipitation due to their open air stadiums. Don’t fret, the officials will do everything in their power to keep the ball dry. They will keep it under a towel until it is placed at the line of scrimmage by the referee. The football will be able to take quite a bit of rain and moisture before it gets too heavy to throw touchdowns and dimes. Many quarterbacks will temper with their gameplan in the rain, but it should not be a hindrance unless it is accompanied by wind. The 2022 AFC Championship Game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Kansas City Chiefs was played in a light rain but Patrick Mahomes and Joe Burrow were unbothered due to the reasons above.
How to throw a ball in snow?
Throwing the ball in snowy conditions is also a challenge and NFL teams like the Buffalo Bills and Green Bay Packers can attest to that. Much of that challenge in snow weather games will come from the quarterback's receivers, who will have a difficult time running their pass routes in the snow. The quarterback will have to slow down his release and delivery to give his receivers a chance to adjust to the ball to prevent turnovers. Unlike games in good weather, it is almost impossible to throw the timing patterns that quarterbacks and receivers work on in practice every day. Instead, the quarterback has to make sure the receiver is upright and looking for the pass. Throwing a softer more catchable ball is advisable. Just ask the 1967 Green Bay Packers who beat the Dallas Cowboys in the 1967 NFC Championship known as the Ice Bowl.
How to throw a ball in heat?
Throwing a football in extreme heat can be a big issue. When temperatures exceed 80 degrees, the quarterback's perspiration will make the ball slick and difficult to hold on to. As a result, he should keep a towel attached to the front of his uniform pants in order to dry his hands. A slick ball is hard to control and difficult to throw for any kind of distance.
Don't try to beat Mother Nature. If the winds are howling, don't attempt to throw the deep pass. Use quick, short throws in order to move the ball down the field.
Referees will stop the game when they see lightning. Never play in conditions where electrical storms are prevalent.
- Don't try to beat Mother Nature. If the winds are howling, don't attempt to throw the deep pass. Use quick, short throws in order to move the ball down the field.
- Referees will stop the game when they see lightning. Never play in conditions where electrical storms are prevalent.
Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.