Baseball Coaching - How to Teach Throwing to Baseball Players
In the game of baseball correct throwing mechanics are of the utmost importance. If a player can’t throw
with accuracy he does his team little good out in the field. Players must constantly strive to perfect their throwing mechanics.
Few players take the time necessary to become really good throwers. Great pride should be taken when a player can consistently
throw to a target.
Key Points in Throwing
Many young players grip the ball with their fingers
too wide apart. This affects accuracy severely reduces velocity of the throw. The fingers should be about ¼ inch apart (about
the width of a yellow #2 pencil). The index and middle finger should lay across the wide seams of the ball. This grip is also
known as a 4-seam fastball. The pads of the index and middle finger sit on the seam of the ball. If you think of the ball
as a clock, the index and middle fingers should rest on either side of 12 o’clock and the thumb would rest straight
underneath the ball at 6 o’clock. There should be "daylight" between the ball and palm of the throwing hand. This is
the best grip for achieving straight backspin and avoiding any "tailing" of the ball.
refers to the path the throwing arm travels from hand separation to release-point and follow-through. Baseball throwers must
concentrate on breaking the hands and making a big sweeping motion with the arm in order to stay long with the arm going back
to a good power position. Power position refers to the position where the player has the throwing arm back, level with the
shoulder or higher, and bent at the elbow. The throwing-hand index and middle fingers should be point up forming a "V". The
back of the throwing hand should face the thrower while the palm of the throwing hand should face away from the thrower. Practicing
a good power position is essential in becoming a good thrower. The front shoulder should always point at the target and stay
closed. As the player turns to throw, the glove-side elbow should be as high or higher than the throwing-side shoulder. The
throwing fingers must stay pointing up through release to get good straight backspin. When throwing with a partner, young
players should imagine painting a vertical line with their throwing hand from the letters on their partner’s hat to
their partner’s belt buckle.
Throwing To The Circle
Baseball players should always practice throwing on
a downward plane to their target. When throwing with a partner, the player should focus on throwing down into "the circle".
The circle is an area from the partner’s hat, right shoulder, belt buckle, and left shoulder. A player who can throw
down into the circle consistently is a good thrower.
Note: A player receiving a ball should always have both hands
in front of the chest with fingers pointing out and up. This makes a great target in the center of the circle.
Throwers should imagine a line running from their pivot foot straight through their target. As they throw,
they should separate their arms on the imaginary line being careful not to let the throwing arm pass behind the line. The
stride should also be on the line. Any variation from the line will decrease accuracy. As the player releases the ball he
should concentrate on keeping his body on the line. Many players spin off the line when they throw instead of following-through
toward their target.
Note: The chin MUST point toward the target. Where the chin faces the eyes will face and the body
Squaring the Pivot Foot
The pivot foot (throwing hand-side) needs to be "square" to the target.
If the player starts by facing the target when throwing the pivot foot should be opened 90 degrees toward the target to allow
for the closing of the front side (hips and shoulders). Failure to do this can result in poor accuracy and velocity. Many
young players do not turn their pivot foot a full 90 degrees to their target. Squaring the pivot foot should be emphasized
to all players to ensure correct throwing mechanics.
It has been said many time that baseball is a game of catch, and
the team that plays catch the best will usually win. As a coach, teach your players the proper fundamentals of throwing and
you will win more games and develop your players.
About the Author: For more baseball coaching tips about baseball throwing, baseball throwing tips, and baseball throwing drills visit the Dick Birmingham Sports Championship Baseball Drill Book at http://www.BaseballDrillBook.com.
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