Moving over to the punting side, the first thing I ask trainees when we begin punting training is "What grip do you use on the football?" The drop may be the major factor in a good punt vs a bad punt, but the key to a good drop is having a solid and consistent grip on the football.
Keys to a great grip:
How do I decide which grip is best for me?
There are multiple ways punters from high school to the pros grip the football, and they all can be effective. Anywhere from on top of the ball, underneath (the "trap door" drop) or on the side (the "handshake" drop). Just be sure that your grip is the following:
Which grip do you recommend?
I recommend the handshake drop (pictured above) to the specialists I train. It is a natural position for your wrist to get to, just like you are going to shake someones hand. The middle finger on the seam also provides a great landmark and can guide you quickly to the correct position. Next, it is very easy to obtain a firm grip on the football (eliminate extra space between ball and your hand), in comparison to the on top of the ball grip where it can easily slip out of your hand. Finally when you transition to the drop, you only have to worry about getting your pinky out of the way, vs the trap door drop (underneath) you have to get most of your hand out of the way of the ball coming down.
Try out different grips and find one that follows the major points I listed above, but most importantly is comfortable for you! These tips will help you have a more consistent drop, and become a more consistent punter if followed correctly! Any questions or comments feel free to reach out! Let see some pigs fly!