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Under Center Snapping

Joined: 3 months ago
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Hey coaches, was wondering if y'all had any tips for under center snaps. Deal with a lot of guys who have never played football before and/or are too shy at the beginning to take under center snaps. New QBs are usually afraid to put pressure and centers sometimes are a little awkward about hand placement. Usually they get over it after freshman summer practice ends but was wondering if any of yall had any anecdotes or tips on how to fast pace over this speedbump. As a former center myself I know under center in halfshells was always interesting but some guys have less maturity; years ago it wasn't an issue.

Our offense is mostly under center, running single wing/Wing-T and the HC will not be changing. Just wondering if this was ever an issue to y'all.

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Joined: 14 years ago
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This topic is probably better suited in wing-t or general offense because single wing is a direct snap offense and most of us don't teach the under center snap.  That being said, I have used under center offenses over the years and my approach would be to draw as little attention to the issue as possible and repping, repping and repping it over and over until it is not awkward for their little minds anymore.  If their hand placement is incorrect, teach them the correct location.  If you want to be a QB, you have to learn how to properly take a snap.  Explain that any QB who can't correctly take a snap will be moved to offensive guard or the bench.  I don't think it will be an issue if you don't allow it to be one.

Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 18484

I have never, ever thought about or concerned myself with any "awkwardness" of either explaining, teaching or watching QBs and Centers practice a UC snap.  I have coached 7-year-olds to high school seniors and have been UC for the majority of the teams I've coached with.  We instruct the technique and the QB and Center follows.  We talk about (and demonstrate) the QB lifting his upper hand so that the Center is able to feel the pressure on his body so that he knows where his target is.  If the QB or Center is too "shy," then you've got the wrong player at that position.  And if you're making the situation "awkward" by the words you use, or how you explain it then that a failure on your part. I don't try to be cute about it, or use "funny" words or try to couch the terminology in a certain way.  I ask my Center if he can feel my hand.  I show the QB that when I lift my hand, the Center's butt should lift or raise up each time, and that's how you know you've provided the proper amount of pressure so that the Center can feel the target.  Very simple and straightforward.  Our Center and QB get 150 consecutive snaps at practice every day, so they are long over any "uncomfortableness" about the snap.


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Bob Goodman
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 9899
Posted by: @jakejones

Our offense is mostly under center, running single wing/Wing-T and the HC will not be changing. Just wondering if this was ever an issue to y'all.

That first was an important detail.  You're not asking for tips about hand-to-hand snapping for a snapper who'll be mostly snapping thru the air.  Rather, it's going to be your way of doing it all season.  So I agree with 32wedge that the single wing section isn't the best place to ask.  On the other hand, traffic here is low enough now that I assume people are just looking at "Unread Posts" rather than going to particular sections.

Yes, I've worked with kids for whom the "ew" factor was an impediment there, but as DP says, it's just something they need to get over.  The only time I was discouraged from that was in some spring training where the club president called me over quietly and had me stop using C-QB combinations of the opposite sex -- they hadn't complained, but on the other hand when I thought about it, why give the parents something to complain about when it's so unlikely to be actual preparation for the fall season?

For those who use the top-and-bottom dihedral placement of the QB's hands, I just got a tip at Coach Huey's: Instead of backhand pressure by the arm of the top hand, use forehand pressure, transmitted thru the wrists from the bottom hand.  As Coach Doug on this board has pointed out, there are a great number of techniques, when you count all the details, for the C-QB exchange, and while QB's dominant hand on top is very common, it's actually my least favorite.  I coach it only because plers are already doing it, and I'm just assisting.  Even when the QB is sidesaddle, there are different types of hand placement and different snapper's motions.  For a straight-ahead facing QB, I like the way my 2011-3 HC, Kenny, had the QB's hands -- a version of the eagle-wings placement; the only variations of that you'll see are whether to overlap the QB's thumbs or just have them meet.  But there's a choice of snapper's motion of the ball to go with that, either no rotation or 180 degrees on the short axis (end for end).

The reasons I dislike the top-and-bottom placement of QB's hands are:

  1. It's uncomfortable for the QB to keep that much twist in both wrists.  Sure, football's full of uncomfortable positions, but if one of them's going to give a player the slightest reason to break form unconsciously, why not choose an alternative?
  2. It requires the snapper to rotate the ball 90 degrees during the snap via 1-hand wrist motion.  Lots of snapping techniques require ball rotation, but this one's a little harder to control than most.
  3. Delivering the ball with its points sideways requires the most crotch clearance.
  4. It doesn't fail safe, it fails unsafe for ball security.  The QB tends to separate wrists too early, inviting the ball to squirt thru.  You watch rep after rep, and once you take eyes off them, by about the 3rd rep they're doing this.

Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 5130

I've seen it become an issue, especially with 1st time centers and/or QBs. I just explain that it's necessary to get a good snap, then stick to the fundamentals.

3 P's

Press your hands into the Center's crotch

Push your hands forward as you say "HIT" (Hike, Hut, Go . . .whatever). This fixes the problem of the QB leaving early in anticipation of the snap.

Pull the ball into your own crotch before running your action.

Game plan? I got your game plan. We gonna run the bawl some. We gonna throw the bawl some. We gonna play some defense. We gonna run some special teams, but we better not run kick return but one time and we sure as heck better not punt.