Fundamentals of Throwing
is the single most important defensive skill. Throwing errors turn a
routine out into one or two base errors. If a fielder doesn't field
a ball cleanly the runner gets one base but, if the infielder overthrows
any base the runner gets at least two bases. Failer to hit the cutoff
man usually results in the loss of the force play on the next hit. If
your players understand the mechanics of throwing and drills are practiced
daily to implement these mechanics their success at throwing will greatly
The foundation of a good throw is the grip. Grip the ball with the
index and middle fingers across the seams where the seams are the widest.
This grip allows for a four-seam rotation giving optimum friction, carry
and a true hop. The thumb should be under the ball, not resting on the
side. The thumb acts as a launching pad for the throw. The ring finger
rests against the side of the ball. Finger tips and thumb should be
in contact with seams. Spreading the index and middle fingers slightly,
will provide a stable axis, helping to eliminate tailing of the ball
on long throws.
The directional side is the glove side of the body, which includes
the shoulder, elbow, hand, knee, hip and foot. Directional side has
two main considerations - the shoulder and the stride.
throwing position the front shoulder is closed and pointed at the target.
You know that the shoulder is in correct position when the glove is
elevated and extended it points directly toward the target. The player
should be conscious of the front shoulder and feel that he is throwing
give us lateral control of the throw. Draw a line from the pivot foot
to the target, the striding foot should land slightly to the left of
this line for right handed throwers and slightly to the right of this
line for left handed throwers. The most common mistake is stepping across
the imaginary line to the target when making a throw.
Players must understand that the ball is released off the tips of
the index and middle fingers, thus imparting backspin rotation upon
the ball. To prevent a slider or screwball effect the ball must be released
with equal pressure on the index and middle fingers. To acheive maximum
rotation on the ball, the wrist must be supple and drive downward as
the ball is release. If the release point is to early the throw is high,
if the release point is to late the throw is low.
Correct arm action utilizes the full arm.
Shoulder, elbow and hand inscribe a circle. Elbow should be shoulder
high in most cases. To assure proper arm action the hand should be on
top of the ball the fingers should be on top of the ball and the thumb
underneath, at time of release.
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