Baseball throwing drills that develop the correct arm action
Baseball throwing drills may be the only chance kids have of changing their natural throwing patterns.
There is nothing more important for youth ballplayers than being able to throw a baseball with speed and accuracy, especially with major league field dimensions approaching at the high school level. In all my years of coaching baseball, rarely have I seen players capable of changing their throwing motion after a few years of incorrect throwing mechanics. It is necessary to develop correct throwing habits at a young age to develop arm strength and to avoid arm injury. The following baseball throwing drills will develop good mechanics, which leads to speed, accuracy, and freedom from injury.
Baseball Throwing Drills for Correct Throwing Mechanics
1. Grip – Developing the correct grip is the initial key to great mechanics. The ability to keep the middle finger and thumb in the center of the ball, as the fingertips go across the 4 seams of the ball is important for backspin, speed, and accuracy. A three finger grip is recommended for youngsters until they can do the above with their release. Usually around 9 or ten years old, depending on the size of the player’s hand, is when they can handle the two finger on-top grip.
as possible. Controlling the release of the flipped ball, so they do not have to chase the ball after flipping it, is the goal. With practice, players should try to flip it higher and higher in the same manner. Of course, this drill also works on a player’s knee while flipping the ball to a partner, a wall, or a backstop at a short distance. Both drills will develop a fingertip feel for the ball, which is necessary for accuracy. In addition, the faster the rotation on the ball with the correct backspin, the better and it will help speed. Attention to detail, so thrower’ elbow is shoulder height is essential.
3. Set-up and direction drill– Using three cardboard cutouts develops the correct and crucial footwork for throwing speed and accuracy. Throwers begin with their feet square upon catching the ball, step into the second box with a complete rotation of the throwing-arm side foot, and then step into the third box, which is directly at the target. Without a direct step, the thrower’s hips will not function correctly causing a lack of accuracy and power. The length of the step will be determined by the distance of the throw and will develop naturally, with the key being the direction. Players should land with the ball of the foot striking the ground first to prevent an early opening of the hips.
Similarly, drawing a direct line from the lead foot towards the target or setting down a couple of objects for the player to step in between is a good practice drill to reinforce the correct step. An indirect step is the most common area of break down in a player’s throwing fundamentals, especially on longer throws. **** Players should practice pointing their front elbow at the target and not their glove, as that will help keep them closed, too. Have players follow the direction of their elbow as they step.
Other Key Baseball Throwing Drills
4. Arm Swing drill –
the proper motion of fingers staying on top of the ball on takeaway.
Jack Perconte has dedicated his post-major league baseball career to helping youth. He has taught baseball and softball for the past 27 years. His playing, coaching and parenting stories create better experiences for athletes and parents. Jack has written over a thousand articles on coaching baseball and youth sports. Jack is the author of “The Making of a Hitter” now $5 and “Raising an Athlete.” His third book “Creating a Season to Remember” is now available. Jack is a featured writer for Baseball the Magazine. You can also find Jack Perconte on YouTube with over 120 fun and innovative baseball instructional videos.