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How do I best teach simple/correct throwing mechanics?

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  • How do I best teach simple/correct throwing mechanics?


    I'm looking for some help on the best ways to help my sons develop their throwing motions. My older son is 10-1/2, is about 5'3" and around 105lbs. My younger son is 7-1/2, around 4'5" and 85lbs or so.

    I only played baseball as a kid with friends in the neighborhood, etc and had a natural throwing motion, was never taught anything, so I am having some trouble coming up with an effective way to teach them how to throw correctly.

    I've done a lot of research, and focus on standing sideways to the target, stepping towards the target, etc. The toughest part is that, like many, they sometimes tend to push or shotput the ball. It has vastly improved over the summer, and they both played rec ball and improved, so I am happy that we're moving in the right direction.

    The rec experience has made them them both want to pitch. My 7yr old won't pitch until mustang league as a 9 yr old of course. My 10 yr old though is excited about a chance to pitch next year. Before I spend a lot of time on pitching, I really want to get them just throwing more and developing a good form to allow a hopefully better chance at pitching success.

    We play catch a lot, and they will practice some pitching from time to time, for the fun of it.

    Sorry this is so long, but just looking for recommendations on what to look for, what I can do to help better prepare them. From lurking on the forums some, I've learned a lot and we play a lot of catch, but thought there might be some other nuggets of advice out there.


  • #2
    start backwards

    1.hold forearm and just snap wrist
    2.hold elbow and just straighten arm/snap wrist
    3.move arm back to fully externally rotated position and then throw by pulling upper arm forward and then internally rotate and extend arm (still chest facing target)
    4.start from high cock position and get to fully ER position dynamically
    5.incorporate a body turn
    6. incorporate footwork/legs
    I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.


    • #3
      My son finally broke his habit of short-arming or shot-putting the baseball via the drills dominik listed above and a pitching drill called the towel drill, which generates a lot of controversy as to whether or not it is a useful pitching drill, but I prefer that this thread not go down that rabbit hole.

      Anyway, the towel drill allows the player to see and hear the towel whip as a result of the arm's circle-whip motion, from the hands together postion, the throwing arm goes out, down, and around, then the high-cocked position, and finally the arm comes forward and the player snaps their wrist. Seeing and hearing the towel whip gave my son the feedback he needed to let him know he was doing the throwing portion right.

      One thing I didn't see in dominik's list was the glove-side part of throwing. When I'm at rec games, even if a kid has got a good circle-whip arm throwing motion, a lot of them just drop their gloves down to their side when they throw. The appropriate glove-side action was explained to me as "block the punch" and "swivle". From the hands-together position, the arms break, the glove-side arm comes up in a 'L' below eye-level while the body is perpendicular to the target as if the player were trying to block a punch being thrown at them. Then once the throwing-side arm has circle-whipped and reached the high-cocked position domink mentioned, the glove-side arm then swivles, not pulls, so that the player has the glove fingers pointing skyward and inside of their glove facing their chest. This action begins the torso turn to square up to the target. A violent pull into the player's side as some teach this glove-side action tends to throw off a player's accuracy.

      Hope that helps. Good luck!


      • #4
        You're not going to learn how to teach pitching asking on a discussion board. Find the right instructional videos, study them, then teach.


        • #5
          Thanks for the tips, Dominik and Pcarnette, I appreciate it.

          Originally posted by tg643 View Post
          You're not going to learn how to teach pitching asking on a discussion board. Find the right instructional videos, study them, then teach.
          I am not asking how to teach to pitch, nor did I indicate that I am relying on this forum to show me. I was asking for tips on ways to help teach proper throwing mechanics. I believe I stated that my kids are interested in pitching, but I want to work with them more on throwing more, to develop a better motion before we spend a lot of time on pitching.

          I asked in this forum, because I believe there may be other parents/coaches who have tried to do something similar, and perhaps could offer up a few tips to help. I've seen different drills, but that doesn't mean they are the best, or correct. With the amount of people on this board, and this forum being about coaching and fundamentals, I thought it was a proper place and a proper question to ask.

          I did research and purchase some DVDs. I figured it would be best to increase my understanding before potentially investing more money, or getting private lessons at the Chicago Bulls/Sox training academy which is a block away. However, at this time, I want to spend some time on throwing, getting a better motion, and then when that is going well, then we may look there, but they are not ready in my view.



          • #6
            One way is to have them step behind, i.e., for a right handed thrower he would step with his right foot behind his left foot when he throws. It's not that easy for kids that age so you might have to instruct quite a bit.

            By stepping behind, you ensure the sideways aspect you mentioned which is a big deal. Any variation on getting the shoulders, hips, and, to a degree, the back foot turned sideways leads to strain on the arm, not to mention, it is inefficient. Also, the step behind provides momentum and direction-you are killing several stones with one bird.

            The drills that Dominik mentioned, I guess they are okay, but I question the transfer from the drills to actual improvement in throwing, as I have seen kids go through the regimen and then when it is time to throw they are all back to doing the same nonsense.
            Major Figure/Internet Influencer


            • #7
              OMG, I'd be currious to see videos of this.
              Just a baseball layman trying to make sense of it all...


              • #8
                I taught the right foot to left foot left foot to target. Very slow at 1st but faster and faster until it was natural. Maybe 3 or 4 practices. The kids don't get their throwing patch until they have that motion down and burned into their muscle memory


                • #9
                  Originally posted by trademark View Post
                  OMG, I'd be currious to see videos of this.
                  You can watch pitchers in the bigs do it as they start to get loose in the bullpen. Here is a video-Im sure there is something better out there

                  Learn how and why a pitcher's footwork is key to successful practice and a dominating game.
                  Major Figure/Internet Influencer


                  • #10
                    In reviewing some videos, I came across the step behind method just as I saw your post. In reading your post and seeing it, I can see the value.

                    Thanks for the additional posts.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by omg View Post
                      One way is to have them step behind, i.e., for a right handed thrower he would step with his right foot behind his left foot when he throws. It's not that easy for kids that age so you might have to instruct quite a bit.
                      Funny that you mention this, as this 'drill' came to mind when I first started reading this thread. UMinor's first pitching coach (then a college star pitcher) had each kid do that at the beginning of practice.

                      One source of the "shotputting" problem is often because kids don't bring their thrown hand down and around, but instead pull it straight back like drawing a bow, so not suprisingly their counter-action is to push. One summer coach (a former MLB player) we worked with had kids - upon breaking the hands - bring the throwing hand down and around like it was a hand on a clockface.

                      While there are certain limits to getting helpful 'coaching' from this forum/site, it would probably help for you to post a video of the subject(s) throwing, both in their pitching motion and in playing catch.

                      Also, throwing is a much more intuitive and instinctive action than is hitting a baseball effectively. Sometimes the best coaching is just playing medium and long toss and challenging a kid to throw the ball longer distances while maintaining a low trajectory. You'd be surprised what kids can work out on their own when they have that incentive. In a similar vein, you might want to look at this video summarizing the Jaeger Sports program, which incorporates a more advanced long toss program; the video gives you an idea of where it can lead.

                      I like the YouTube video from the Long Beach State coach that you link to. It's similar to what I've taught, with a more coherent explanation and a few additional helpful wrinkles... which I happily will steal from him. One point he did not make but which is evident from watching the pitchers is that the player should keep his shoulders level throughout the throwing process. Catching Coach Dave emphasized this point in his catching video as well. Too many kids drop their back shoulder in an attempt to get more oomph by rolling their upper body forward, and it rarely works out well.

                      Two days ago UMinor had to fill in as an emergency catcher (in a doubleheader - yowzah!) for the first time in a month, and his throwing motion was all screwed up, largely because he was rocking back and dropping the back shoulder, and, just as Coach Dave emphasized, his throws were all high and to the first base side. After a bit of gentle (yeah.... right) reminding by me to keep his shoulders level, he finally started throwing seeds to second by the start of the second game. (In the first game, the opponents did run a little wild on him.)
                      Last edited by Ursa Major; 07-25-2012, 01:59 AM.
                      sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.


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