Elite 11 QB Camp: Trent Dilfer on stance, stride and rotational v. linear mechanics

Does a long stride help generate more throwing power?

One of the fun things about covering the Elite 11 Quarterback Camps is listening in on the coaching given to the players. Names like Trent Dilfer and George Whitfield are well respected in the game, and the instruction given is much more technical than seen in the typical camp setting.

Following the Dallas Elite 11 QB Camp, I want to focus in on something Dilfer highlighted in his instruction to a young quarterback: how stance affects stride, and the need to use rotational mechanics (as opposed to linear) in the throwing motion.

"If you're [gets in a wider stance], you step less, and now this ground force has to turn into rotational force," Dilfer explained. He went on to demonstrate how a narrow stance that causes a longer stride results in a dissented front hip, which is difficult to rotate, causing the body to come away from the throw and a very high release point, which is not ideal.

"I always say that if you're in a bucket, you should be able to make deep throws while standing in a bucket," Dilfer said, using an analogy to debunk the idea that greater throwing power is achieved by a longer stride.

I had never thought about rotational v. linear mechanics as applied to throwing a football. But Dilfer's coaching reminded me of a similar issue in baseball: the batting stance. There is a large debate (see: 77,000 search results) on the diamond, both in baseball and softball, about the merits of rotational v. linear hitting.

What are your thoughts on rotational and liner mechanics when throwing a football?

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