America's pastime might be baseball, but no sport in the country captures the attention of the American public like football. Between the excitement of the game in general, the various levels of skills and athleticism required by its players, and the live simulation of "live chess" that the sport's schemes encompass, it's a game unlike truly any other on the planet.
There are different ways to practice the sport, for those of you who have been bitten by the "American football hobby" bug. But at the end of the day, if you want to hone your skills for your American football hobby, you want to focus on three key fundamentals: passing the ball, advancing the football, and tackling whoever has the football.
Maximizing Your American Football Hobby: Passing The Football
No position in American sports is as revered as the quarterback. This player must have advanced skills when it comes to "passing" the football (the football-specific term for throwing). Just as is the case with a baseball pitcher, a quarterback's passing motion starts from his (or her) feet, as they work up their velocity in delivering the ball through their body and into their arm.
Your feet should move to generate the momentum that feeds up into your hips. Your hips open up to engage your core and your shoulders, as the latter rotate as part of the delivery of throwing the ball. The passing motion is fairly intuitive for those who have some level of practice throwing a ball, so you really want to focus on getting the other mechanics right, in order to become a better passer.
Maximizing Your American Football Hobby: Catching and Running With The Football
Once the quarterback throws the ball in your direction, you want to ensure you properly catch the ball, and then secure it so that you can safely run with it.
For receivers, the fundamental concept is known as "the diamond." When you're getting ready to catch the ball, you want the thumbs and index fingers of both hands to touch each other, forming a "diamond" shape in between your tow hands. This will ensure you catch the ball with both hands, and give you the optimal chance to advance it forward.
From there, the you want to "tuck" the ball. That means that take the football, and cradle it down into a position against your torso, using your hand, arm, and elbow to securely press it against your body. Those are the three areas you must always apply some level of force upon, when you're running with the ball upfield.
Maximizing Your American Baseball Hobby: Tackling Whoever Has The Football
If you're playing defense, and trying to stop someone from passing or running with the football, then you're trying to "tackle" them - i.e., bring them to the ground. In doing so, the two most important things to remember are "heads up" and "wrap up."
"Heads up" refers to the idea that you always want to ensure you're keeping your head up, so that your eyes stay focused on whoever has the ball. That way, they can't elude you at the last second. If you move your head down at the last second, they might be able to pull a last second maneuver to get out of your way, thus leaving you looking silly in your effort.
Once you've kept your head up in the tackling process, you want to "wrap up." That simply means you want to get your hands and arms around the person with the ball, grab them as tight as possible (ideally clenching your hands so that they're "wrapped" together around the person), and then hold this position as you bring them to the ground. If you don't wrap up a person, they'll be able to "break" your tackle attempt, and continue advancing the football, which is exactly what you're trying to prevent.
Practicing Your Football Hobby
What makes football so interesting is the fact that there are so many different positions to play, meaning you can capitalize on having a skillset, or join a team which has players with complimentary skillsets.
If you want to truly maximize your American football hobby, the best thing for you is to practice all the above-mentioned skills in general, but really assess where your greatest strengths lie, and apply a more dedicated level of focus to that skillset.