An excerpt from “How They Do It”

How to Throw a Pass
by Troy Aikman

Anyone who watched this year’s Super Bowlsaw the same thing we did: Troy Aikman the quarterback of the Cowboys, throwing a succession of perfect passes. After a while we began to wonder exactly how he does it. How tightly does he grip the ball? Where do his fingers go? How does he position his feet? …

1. Hold your hand back on the ball so that only your pinky touches the laces. Squeeze the ball very tightly so there’s no space between it and your hand.

2. Balance your weight evenly on the balls of your feet. Stand with you legs shoulder-width apart.

3. As you’re about to pass, step toward the receiver with your front foot. Don’t stride too much, or the ball will sail. Don’t stride too little, or you’ll throw the ball into the ground.

4. When you release the ball, push in on it and turn your wrist like a baseball pitcher throwing a slider or a screwball. As your wrist turns down, the ball should spiral off cleanly in the opposite direction.