By Ian Shoemaker
Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach
St. Cloud State University (MN)
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Editor's Note: Ian Shoemaker officially joined the Husky football coaching staff on July 1, 2008. This past season, Shoemaker directed the St. Cloud offense to average 426 yards per game, including 264 passing yards per game. The Husky offense also scored 35.8 points per game this past season. Shoemaker had been the offensive coordinator, quarterbacks and strength and conditioning coordinator at Baldwin Wallace College (OH) previously.
I consider this a tremendous honor to be allowed to share some of our ideas on QB play. I also appreciate X&Os Labs for providing this platform for coaches to share some of our tricks of the trade. What I am going to present is just what we feel is important to our QB position at St Cloud State University. Nothing that I am going to present here is revolutionary and all of the mechanic ideas and drills are things that I have pillaged from other QB coaches that I have had the opportunity to visit with or study. As you watch the film (available in the Insiders) you will see our QBs are not perfect, far from it, however, we aspire to perfect these points of emphasis in every drill we do. I think that these check points and drills provide our QBs the best opportunity to produce and replicate a consistent release, which in turn gives us a chance to be an accurate passer. I just hope that there are a couple of ideas here that you might be able to use to improve your coaching of the QB position.
To see the drills that Coach Shoemaker uses to drill QB Carriage, click here to join the insiders.
Coaching points: Step just off your line and give your hips room to clear.
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Coaching point: "Up and back" not "down and around."
Coaching point: Get the nose of the ball pointing up and away from target.
To see the drills that Coach Shoemaker uses to drill the Short Circle and J Path, click here to join the insiders.
Coaching point: Drop the ball to Zero.
Questions or Comments? Post your questions or comments below and Coach Shoemaker will respond below.
My son took Darin Slack's camp. He is struggling mightily with movements from the set position in back all the way to the zero position. He cannot get the J down. Can anyone help with an anaolgy that will help him understand? I really can use suggeetione. Thank you.
What is meant by dropping the ball to zero?
"Zero" refers to that elbow/shoulder position where your body is working complete harmony to make a throw feel effortless. Your shoulder shouldn't feel strain. Nor should your elbow. Its best compared to the feel of a perfect golf swing.
Refer to Darin Slack's QB Developmental DVDs for further explanation of "Zero"
[...] Five Check Points for Improving Throwing Mechanics - An excellent piece by St. Cloud couch Ian Shoemaker on QB mechanics. I will continue to reference this piece as a study aid. [...]
My son attended a Darin Slack camp and we both felt it to be a positive experience. My son was asked to play QB on his 8th grade team last year. We cannot seem to find that "sweet spot" zero positon that is needed. At the end of the season we found that he cracked the bone in the humerous where the ligament is pullng away from the bone. He is now starting freshman football and has been asked to QB this team as well as move up and get work in at JV. His elbow is starting to hurt again and I suspect it is because we have not mastered the motion. Believing in the Slack method I sought out help with those who teach it. Unfortunately closest available coach is over two hours away.
If there is anything that can be done to help that would be great. My son has a great opportunity in front of him and I want to help.
The reason that your son can't get the zero position down is caused by one of two things. He either 1. Is not dropping the ball behind his shoulder and it's going behind his head and he dosent know it, or 2, he is dropping the ball to far away from his body. When this happens, qb's can hurt their arms. He probably dosent even know he's doing it if it's one of the things.
PS. He also might not be bringing his elbow near his ear which causes the elbow to be to low, kind of like phillip rivers or maty mauk for missou
My son that is 11 almost 12 is wondering what kind of throwing motion he should do. It's just the arm motion that he's wondering about and he gets really frustrated. He also has aspergers or autism. But he does'nt have it really bad. He's sad that he doesn't think he's good. Plus he's 5"4 and 138 pounds and trying to lose weight. He'll do anything to play in the NFL and play quarterback. And he would be so depressed. So we want to know what you think he can do to reach his goal in life. And you'll never ever know who works harder than him. He also has alow self esteem because kids at his school bully him and make fun of him. So all we want to know is that he can reach his goal.