In football, the continuous lateral rotation of the football following its release from the hand of a passer.
Passers in football are trained to release the ball so that it adopts a "spiral motion", indicating that a well-thrown football forms a perfect spiral in the air as it makes its way to its target. The rotating motion of the football imparts centrifugal force, increasing accuracy and improving stability while the ball is in the air. Due to the oblong shape of the football, a spiraling rotation is optimal, as it reduces air drag, enabling it to travel farther.
The proper grip used to ensure a spiraling throw involves placing the thumb under the bare side of the ball, with fingers on the seam while the index finger and thumb form an "L" shape. The key to a smooth release is a grip that is neither too loose nor too tight. Eyes, plant foot, and shoulders should aim directly at the destination of the football. The proper release point, angle and follow through will produce the desired distance or speed of the throw.