There are lots of skills needed to play football from throwing and catching the ball to blocking and tackling the other players. There's even a national Punt, Pass, and Kick contest devoted just to the main skills you need. League teams are a great way to learn all the rules and strategies of football. Pop Warner is the most popular youth football league, but there are many others nationwide. Want the basics?
Throwing the ball. Grip the ball by placing each of your fingers between each lace of the ball. Bring your throwing arm back with your elbow bent. Extend your free arm (the one without the ball) in front of you and point to your target. Snap your throwing arm forward, releasing the ball, and follow through with your shoulders and hips. When you are finished, your throwing arm should be pointing toward your target with your palm facing the ground.
Catching the ball. Hold your arms out with your elbows slightly bent in front of your chest. Bring your hands together, touching the thumbs and index fingers to make a triangle with your fingers. Catch the nose of the ball in the triangle, and use your chest to help trap the ball. Bring your arms in around the ball and hold it tight against you.
Punting the ball. Place your feet shoulder-width apart with your kicking foot slightly in front. Slightly bend your knees and bend your body forward a little. Hold the ball out in front of you with the laces facing upward. Take two steps forward, beginning with your kicking foot and drop the ball toward your kicking foot. Kick the ball hard with the top of your foot and follow through with your leg as high as you can.
You'd think more football players would study physics, since how far you can throw a football is definitely a science. How far a football goes is a combination of the "velocity" [vuh-LAH-si-tee] or speed of the football after you throw it, the angle (or arc) the football is thrown at, and how the ball rotates in the air (that's why it's best to throw a spiral).