Now understand we were high school juniors and seniors. Almost adults. Licensed to drive. There were around thirty-five of us mature young young men.
Coach said we needed to practice fumble recovery.
And threw the ball into the middle of the puddle. We all yelled "FUMBLE!!!" and raced after the ball. Can you imagine thirty-five of us splashing in that puddle trying to get control of the slippery ball? Fifty years later I still smile when I remember that practice.
Fumbles are a part of football. A bad part for your offense. A good part for your defense.
The process is complicated because the runner is running. So the quarterback has to hit a moving target.
It is further complicated by there being three hands involved. Two belong to the runner, the third to the quarterback. The quarterback has to hand the ball to the runner and pull her (or his) hand away, avoiding getting tangled with the runner's arm. The runner crosses her arms to create a nest for the ball. The higher arm is on the quarterback side - if quarterback is on your left, your left arm forms the top of the "nest."
|One player getting the hand off, two others in the background|
watching, preparing for their turn to try it.
And if the coach has done his job, this drill is taken seriously. Not just for the one receiving the hand off but for the others as well. Studying the teammate's technique. Preparing mentally for taking a turn.
|My turn. Love the facial expression. She knows this is important. She is concentrating. |
|Arms crosses creating a nest for the ball. Coach playing |
quarterback and sliding it into the nest.
|Focused on getting the ball, arms getting into the |
|This another try with the same running back.|
She has it in her hands.
|Practice practice practice.|
|Got it. Both hands protecting it. Come on tacklers, do your best. I'm taking this ball|
all the way to the end zone and you can't have it.