~ Rookie Throwing: Working To Develop Confidence And Eliminate Fear! ~
Rookie throwing, one of baseballs' essential skills, needed by all players. If a player has trouble throwing a ball well, and accurately, it is hard to find a defensive position for them to play.
The throwing process works best if simplified to a few minimal steps to start with, thus keeping their frustration level low, their success level high.
Rookie Throwing Goals
- Create a smooth, overhand arm motion.
- Step and throw, on line.
- Increase arm strength and accuracy.
Steps For Rookie Throwing
- Square to target
- Important to get them lined up square to their target, so that it keeps their front shoulder closed.
- Seperate hands, thumb to thigh.
- By taking their thumb to their thigh, it enables them to come up into an overhand motion.
- Knuckles to the sky, elbow up high
- As the player looks back, they should see the back of their hand, not the baseball. It is this position that allows them to keep their elbow up high, which takes the pressure off of their elbow when throwing.
- Step on line
- If a player does not step on line, that is directly at their target, it causes their front side shoulder to pull off, which in turn drops their throwing elbow. The baseball is then rotated so that it comes out of the side of their hand. Over a distance the ball will then slice and drop, resulting in a loss of accuracy and velocity.
- Let it fly
- Take a bow
- Sometimes overlooked in the process, taking a bow or follow through, helps with accuracy, imparts increased velocity and helps to decelerate the throwing arm, preventing injuries.
Rookie Throwing Progression In Pictures
Rookie Throwing ~ Tips From the Dugout
- If receiving the ball is a problem, you may want to consider running it as it's own seperate skill, at another time.
- Break the throwing motion down into parts, having the players stop on each step so that you can check their alignment.
- With receiving eliminated, line players up on the foul line, facing the backstop, or other fence, holding the ball in their in their glove.
- Have them jump around to a squared up position to the screen. Stop. Thumb to thigh. Stop. Knuckles to the sky. Stop. (This is a good opportunity for them to look back and see if they are looking at the back of their hand, which is correct, or the baseball which means they have the ball rotated and their elbow will be below their shoulder.)
Make corrections as needed, then have them "let it fly" into the screen. Stop. Check to see if they took that bow, which essentially helps bring their back foot up parallel with the front, as well as serves to decelerate the arm.
Now they can run and get their ball, run back to the line, getting back into the original position facing the screen.
- This can be a slow process, depending on where they are to begin with and their age. Now is the time to form good habits for them. The mind will learn what you teach it and practice, whether it is right or wrong.
- As they gain consistency with their motion, take out the stops and go to square up, throw.
- By the time you reach this point, enough progress has probably been made on receiving, that they can begin playing catch with a partner.
- Finally, turn them loose to play catch on their own. They won't have it down where they can consistently repeat it; but it helps them to feel the progress and it provides you with additional teaching moments as you watch them warm up.
Learning to throw properly is tremendously important to a players success within the game.
Every position on a team, with the exception of the designated hitter, requires that a player be able to throw and catch a baseball successfully.
A concept that is sometimes hard for them to grasp is that you play catch with your feet. A player moves to the ball, working to get around the baseball, rather than reaching out and catching with one hand.
It often helps to remind younger players to track the ball into their glove. As with hitting, it helps to pick up the ball at it's release point.
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