Thursday Throwing Tips – Put Weight on Both Throwing and Pitching Practice
Don’t forget the basics of throwing a baseball
It is not difficult for experienced baseball coaches to spot the team’s pitchers just by watching the basics of throwing that players display when warming up to throw before baseball games or before baseball practices. The problem is that coaches take these basics of throwing for granted during warm up time.
From what I have observed over the years of coaching baseball, throwing mechanics are the most under taught skill of baseball, whereas pitching is the most over taught skill. I see it all the time, coaches let kids warm up throwing incorrectly for 15 minutes straight and then take them to the pitching mound and teach pitching for a half hour straight. I constantly remind coaches that pitching is just throwing with a windup– about the only difference is the length of stride and various grips on the ball.
By just watching kids warm up, an experienced coach usually can pick out the pitchers by simply observing their throwing mechanics. At the least, they will be able to predict which players will be able to throw strikes by seeing their mechanics. Youth coaches need to spend more time on the basics of throwing; upon doing that, they will notice their pitchers throw strikes much more consistently even without pitching practice.
Of course, having said that I often recommend pitching lessons for young players, even if they are not pitchers, because their throwing mechanics will usually be addressed for the better because pitching lessons work on all the keys of good throwing – balance, direction, control and velocity.