Extension is the Key
Since it is combine and pro-day season, of course I have been watching the quarterbacks perform all of the movements and throwing drills while trying to fight the constant urge to compare myself with them. In between the inner thoughts of “I could make that throw” and criticizing their footwork, there was one consistent with all of their throwing motions and is a consistent with all QBs at the NFL level, they all had great arm extension. Fully extending your arm during the release of your throw is the single most import component of an effective throwing motion. Having great arm extension can make-up or mask several mechanical flaws in one’s throwing motion. It can also give a QB the ability to deliver a catchable ball when he/she is in a situation where they could not set their feet, or are under duress. Fully extending your arm towards your target is the key for great accuracy and velocity.
Here is an example from Drew Brees, who I personally think has incredible form. In this video you can see him fully extend his arm during his release while pronating his shoulder.
This technique, among other things, allows Drew Brees to be know as one most accurate passers in NFL history.
Here is an example of how great extension can give a quarterback the ability to complete a pass even in undesirable circumstances.
Although I was under duress and was unable to properly set my feet, I was still able to throw a catchable (and pretty risky) ball because of excellent arm extension.
Here is a great drill that I have found to be very effective in increasing arm extension in several quarterbacks, myself included. This video was shot at a Sean Shelton Quarterback Academy Camp in Telfs, Austria.