Thursday Throwing Tips
Necessity of Baseball Rundown Throwing Practice
Few baseball plays are more frustrating for baseball coaches than watching their team blow a rundown play. Errant throws occur often on run down plays for a number of reasons:
- It is a difficult play to mimic in practice, as in a game – different pressure levels and game speeds involved
- Running throws are difficult with an obstacle (runner) in the throwing path and with running at top speed
- The receiving player has to catch a ball they are not absolutely sure of when it is coming along with having to think about running at the base runner after catching, or applying the tag
- Receiving players anticipate an easy-to-catch throw because the player throwing it is at close range but, as implied, these are often innacurate throws that need adjusting to
Baseball Rundown Throwing Drill
After players have loosened their arms, coaches divide the team into groups of four players. Two players begin at one end (base) and the other two at the other end (base), with one ball. The first player begins by running full speed towards the other base with the ball held up in throwing position. As they approach the opposite end player, they deliver the ball when that player yells, “now,” at which time that player catches it and begins his sprint in the opposite direction in the same manner. Players get in line at the base they threw the ball to after the sprint and throw in this baseball rundown drill.
In this manner, players practice making running throws from the hand and ball up position. Of course, the drill alos serves as a good conditioning drill. Coaches can turn it into a competitive game among the groups of players, too. In a short amount of time with this drill, players have many full speed running throws and catches.
Of course, coaches can line up as many players as wanted for this warm up drill and see how long players can keep the action going without a misplay. Players, who are standing around, should be off to the side some, so overthrown balls do not hit them.
Of course, practicing regular run down plays is necessary, but with the above baseball rundown drill players get many needed practice throws in a short amount of time.