When kids are taught how to throw a baseball, the instructions given to them are basic and whittled down to a couple of steps to keep it simple. The emphasis is on perfecting your throwing technique without the aim of distance or speed. The first step is to create a solid foundation for throwing with accuracy that decreases the chances of injury.
Throwing comes naturally to everyone, and who knows about throwing stuff more than little kids, so you may assume that there’s not much to it. In fact, for someone who hasn’t played baseball, it may seem strange that you need to learn how to throw a baseball properly.
However, there is a right and wrong way to throw a baseball. A young player who throws the baseball in the wrong manner may find it difficult to be accurate with their throws and may even injure themselves when throwing.
Fielding and throwing play a huge role in baseball as you need to know how to throw the ball with accuracy from any part of the field. That’s the reason so many baseball coaches spend time teaching youth baseball players about the mechanics of throwing a baseball properly.
This is also done so that they pick up on the correct throwing technique in their formative years and once they have mastered the basics of throwing a baseball, which involve placement of the glove on follow-through, placement of elbow when throwing, and the grip, they can add more speed and accuracy to their throws and make it look effortless. So, let’s learn about the mechanics of throwing a baseball properly:
The Right Way to Grip
There are numerous ways to grip a baseball, and each player develops a certain grip they feel comfortable with when throwing the ball. The grip is how you hold the baseball in your hand, and the grip you use makes a huge difference to your throwing technique. The four-seam grip is the best way to throw a ball, and it’s a grip where you tuck your thumb under the ball and grip it with two fingers across the seam.
When you place your two fingers on the seam, it is called the two-seam grip, which is recommended for pitching.
The best way to practice and master the four-seam grip is to play catch with someone with the emphasis on pulling the ball out of the glove with the fingers across the seams. That will take a lot of practice and time to perfect, but once you get it right, you’ll notice your throws have more accuracy and velocity with this grip.
All About Hand and Wrist Placement
Hand placement is also essential when it comes to throwing techniques, and when you pull the ball from the glove and bring it back to throw, your thumb should be facing towards the ground. When your hand is on the top of your throwing action, you should be able to see the back of the hand.
Proper hand placement is vital to the accuracy of your throws as they allow you to have complete control of the ball. Most young baseball players don’t throw appropriately because they don’t use their wrist when throwing the ball.
You should cock back your wrist when throwing as it gives you more flexibility and more excellent throwing distance range.
It’s a skill that all young players must be taught as it develops an essential part of their game, which is throwing from the outfield.
Using the Thigh as a Guide
We already discussed above that the thumb of the throwing hand must be facing down when the player pulls the ball out of the glove as it allows you to throw quickly and accurately. The best way to ensure that you get rid of the ball fast is to use your thigh as a guide to perfect your throwing technique.
When you pull the ball from the glove, you should turn your thumb towards your thigh and ensure that it stays in the right position. Most players develop a habit to rub their thumb across their upper thigh when throwing the ball, and it could be a hard habit to lose as a player. However, when you use your thigh as a guide for throwing the ball, you’ll perfect your throws more easily.
Perfecting the Path of the Arm
A significant part of the mechanics of throwing a baseball is based on maintaining a proper path the arm follows when throwing. In golf, the swing arc determines the accuracy and speed of each shot, and in baseball, the adequate swing circle determines efficiency and power.
So, if you’re making the right moves with your arm, you don’t need to force your throws to gain maximum velocity.
Most young baseball players don’t know this, but you must have good glove placement habits to become an accurate and powerful thrower. You don’t want to get into the habit of throwing your glove hand behind your back when you’re pitching as you will knock yourself off balance, and your throw will lack any power or accuracy.
Therefore, young players should be taught about the proper way to place their gloves when they are throwing so they don’t make this mistake. This can be done by showing them how to bring their glove under their arm like a wing, so they have proper balance, and the momentum to deliver a powerful and accurate throw from a distance.
Completing the Circle
When young players are learning to throw a baseball accurately, they must be taught to follow through with the throw and complete the action after the ball has left their arm. Their throwing motion needs to complete the circle, which will give you extra velocity behind the throw.
Apart from completing the motion, young players should also be taught how to move their hips with their arms and throw their body weight into the throw. This needs to be done in one motion and will take time to learn, but with practice, young players can perfect the mechanics of throwing a baseball.