Thursday Throwing Tips – Teaching Kids Spin Control
Spin Control is necessary for throwing speed and accuracy. Without spin control, throwing errors result.
Youth coaches should have their glove at practices and alternate playing catch with all team members. Coaches should be observing the spin on the balls thrown from players. The incorrect spin indicates a bad grip on the ball or bad throwing mechanics. Hopefully, it is the former one, because a grip can generally be corrected easier than bad throwing fundamentals, as long as a player’s hand is big enough.
Coaches and parents should not be in a rush to teach kids a two-fingered grip until kids can demonstrate they can get the correct backspin on the ball. This correct backspin is crucial for throwing accuracy and speed and those are much easier with a three-fingered grip with small hands.
Spin Control is all about backspin
When observing the thrown ball, if there is little spin or side spin, coaches should check the players grip. When kids do not have their fingers straight on the ball and across a seam, coaches should show kids the correct grip and have them practice it. Kids, whose fingers are too small or have the wrong grip, should go back to three fingers for a while. With three fingers on the ball, the middle finger remains in the middle of the ball producing good backspin. Over time, with practice and bigger hands, players will be ready for the two-finger approach. The self-toss flip drill is great for developing this backspin.