• Will Finch

The Importance of the Nervous System and Throwing the Football


When quarterbacks want to start throwing hard, they usually think directly of speeding the arm up. They also almost always think of the weight room as being the primary spot to generate more velocity on the ball. That may help in regards to some components of the throw, however, there is much more. Today, we are going to tackle one of the key contributors to getting that “juice” on the ball and ultimately throwing harder. That is, understanding the importance of the central and autonomic nervous system.


A big component of the throw comes from the contribution from both the autonomic and Central Nervous System (CNS). In short, the CNS consists of the brain, the spinal cord, and motor neurons sending responses to and from the brain to the muscles. The CNS, paired along with the "fight or flight" response from the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) can create incredible fire on the throw. This pair works great when it comes to sequencing throughout the throw. As soon as one segment of the throw moves fast, neurons fire and usually the movement directly behind it wants to be even faster. This example is assuming the kinematic sequence is patterned properly;

When foot strike (1) occurs quickly, the back hip (2) snaps through even faster. The throwing elbow (3) then elevates over the shoulder line and gets the ball to the target even faster. The best way to speed up part of a throw faster is to speed up the portion directly before that component.

Another example of this is implementing an accelerated drop. A fast drop can lead to fast mechanics. Now, this does not mean you always need to speed up the footwork in the drop, as sometimes it can affect the timing and rhythm of the throw. In terms of throwing the football, generating rotational velocity starts with speed. Speed starts by speeding up the nervous system.

References

https://resources.saylor.org/wwwresources/archived/site/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/TLBrink_PSYCH04.pdf


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