QB Drills to Improve Accuracy and Arm Strength – Part I


Good quarterbacks are not always born. Many of them are self-made; they take what natural skills they possess and then develop them through a program of intensive and consistent work in and out of season. It is very important that the quarterbacks are taught the proper fundamentals needed to play at a high level. Fundamentals are the key to success. Many coaches and athletes place schemes before fundamentals. You will not be successful doing this. Each quarterback coach should have a list of drills that will be utilized when coaching his position. The following are drills that can improve a quarterback’s accuracy and arm strength (velocity) on his passes.

Accuracy Drills

Circle Drill


The quarterback will run in circles about 10 yards from the receiver, and concentrate on leading the receiver, throwing off balance, and turning the shoulders toward the target. This drill should be executed to both the left and right directions.

Spot Passing with Footwork Drills

3 Step Drop           Procedures:


1. Place 3 targets (receivers) at 3 spots on the field.      

2. QB must get the snap from center. If no center available, snap to each other.  

3. Take snap and 3 step drop. It is critical to release the ball on the 3rd step for rhythm. 

4. Start by throwing to the receiver on the left.       

5. After the throw, retrieve the ball from receiver while the next QB is at the line of scrimmage and beginning his sequence.       

6. Once up again, throw to the middle, then right, and so on.


1. Rhythm            

2. Aim point outside (outside #)         

3. Aim point inside (middle #)

5 Step Drop           Procedures:


1. Same target areas only move spots back to the depth of 10 yards 12 yards and 10 yards.  

2. Position of spots may be varied based on the style of offense.     

3. Same initially as the 3 step drill.         

4. When throwing to the inside receiver, QB steps up and throws. * Remember the  quarterback should move his back foot first as he steps up.


Variation 1:  Add 2 linebackers to the drill. Now the QB must keep his feet alive and be ready to read the linebackers movement. He should throw away from the flow of the linebackers or down the middle if they split.


Variation 2: Keep 2 linebackers in the drill. Still work with the same receiver alignment but now the linebackers will not give a read until after the QB has begun to slide and step up in the pocket.

About the Author:

Recently retired coach Charlie Stubbs coached for 27 years on the college level. Known as being an outstanding quarterbacks coach, Stubbs had coaching stints at his alma mater, BYU, as well as  at Alabama, Oregon State, Louisville, UNLV, Tulsa, Memphis, Nicholls State, Tennessee-Martin and Central Missouri. He can be reached through his e-mail: charliestubbs86@gmail.com.