The Ole Ball Game

How do you break a bad throwing habit.

by Bertram Murray
(Nassau, Bahamas)

Arm extended,  knuckles to the sky, elbow up

Arm extended, knuckles to the sky, elbow up

Bertrum asked:
Kid places throwing hand near the ear rather than extending the hand back?

Rick answered: Bertrum, thank you for your question.

This is a common problem for younger players. The solution is step by step repetitions of the correct fundmentals. It takes time and patience; but is absolutely achievable.

In the Diamondback's Training Centers we use a rhyme which does a great job of providing the player a thought process to get them in the proper arm slot.

Starting with their glove side square to the target, and the ball in their glove at the chest, then it is:

Thumb to the thigh

Knuckles to the sky

Elbow up high

Let it fly

Breaking it down into parts helps reinforce the process, so they understand the concept of getting all the way through the arc.

It becomes smooth, with their elbow up they put less strain on their shoulder and their elbow, they have increased accuracy and velocity. The end result is less arm problems, more success within the game, thus a more enjoyable experience.

I have two pages on the site which deal with throwing mechanics. They are:

Rookie Throwing

Throwing Advanced

Along with getting them into a proper arm slot, getting their body squared up to their target and stepping on line, directly at their target, are of the utmost importance. Failing to step directly to where they are throwing causes their elbow to drop and the baseball to come out of the side of their hand.

The result is pressure on their elbow, a sideways rotation on the ball which causes it, over a distance, to slice away from the target.

If they are throwing across the infield to first base, that slice takes the ball down the first baseline, into the runner.

Throwing from the outfield the ball takes a similar, but much more defined arc away from the base or cutoff man being thrown to.

The ability to throw properly and accurately is forever tied to a players success within the game.

With 10 possible lineup positions on a team, only one of those positions is not tied directly to an ability to throw and catch a baseball. That is the designated hitter.

While arm strengths vary player to player, proper mechanics will ensure that each player is getting the most from their abilities.

The first step is getting them to realize each step in the process, taking the time to stop and check. Soon they see a difference in how far and accurate their throws become. They will also feel less pressure on their elbow.

The two page links above have pictures to help illustrate each step.

Please let me know how it is going for you. Good luck with the process. You will see a difference.

Yours in baseball,


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May 16, 2017
Breaking A Bad habit
by: Rick,

Lynne: Need some additional info

1. How old is your son?

2. How long ago was it that he fractured his elbow?
When you said twice, has this happened 2 separate times, or fractures in two places at the same time?

3. Does he say he is pain free?

4. How did he break his elbow? Baseball related, or something else?

5. After the elbow healed, did he receive physical therapy?

6. Has he changed the way he swings a bat, since he came back after the fractures, or does that seem as it was before?

Look forward to hearing back from you.

Yours in baseball,


May 15, 2017
by: Lynne

My son fractured his elbow twice and since his return he has trouble throwing back to the pitcher. He is a catcher. We have tried training from knees and nothing seems to work. He lobs everything.

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