Running Back Tips: Securing the Football

Keep the ball in your hands by learning the three points of contact for securing the football.

While there’s no shortage of responsibilities that running backs have to fulfill on the field, making sure the football is secure outweighs them all. Securing the ball as you rush your way downfield can help you defend against opposing players who are trying to strip it away in order to force a turnover.

To secure the ball and keep it away from oncoming defenders, you should always aim to keep it as close to your body as possible. Keeping the football close can help eliminate any room for an opponent’s hand to get in. Think of it as basically encapsulating the football and shielding it from outside influence.


You can also help increase your ball security by making sure your three points of contact are strong and tight. The three points of contact are your hand, elbow and bicep. Each location can aide in strengthening your ball security, provided that you hold the pigskin correctly.

When it comes to hand placement, make sure that your middle and pointer fingers split the tip of the football. Your fingertips should roll over onto the top half of the ball for a lockdown grip.

To work on your elbow contact point, bring the ball in as close to your core as possible, tight to the body.

Finally, your bicep should be partially flexed in order to keep the ball high and tight against your chest as you run. This is important because it gives defenders less of a chance to come from behind and punch the ball out to force a fumble.

Make sure to also practice running while holding the football, with emphasis on your three contact points. Being comfortable with your ball security is key, especially as a running back. With these Pro Tips, you can keep the pigskin in your grips more effectively from handoff to end zone.