For an accurate throw, a proper grip is a must. Once the grip has been done properly, there are a few mechanisms that should be practiced properly for an efficient throw.
- Keep the ball in the middle of your body around the height of your chest
- The feet and shoulder should be in a straight line with the target
- When throwing the ball, the elbow should be kept at about 90 degrees
- Working in throwing the ball using the wrist and fingers. This gives velocity to the throw. Sometimes, it’s also advised to use a wrist strap while pitching.
Baseball pitching is all about timing. If the pitcher’s timing is off, they lose their control. This puts the coach into a difficult position of having to change the pitch.
It should be suggested that the pitcher slows down a bit to make sure that they do not break their hands before the descent. Sometimes during the game, the pitchers rush their delivery, creating an off timing. Some pitchers go too slow and they should be advised to be a little more aggressive in their pitching.
FIVE MISTAKES IN THROWING BALLS AND THEIR SOLUTIONS
GETTING OUT OF THE GLOVE LATE
The error in getting out of the glove late can have a severely detrimental effect in the entire cycle of the throw. When the hand Break is delayed, the thrower is forced to catch up the sequential of throwing motion.
Just as the pitcher is beginning to come out of his original balance position and his front knee begins to lower down, his hand should begin separating from the glove. This way, he will not at all be rushed and forced to get the arm into the proper position while delivering the ball.
FAULT IN THE ARM PATH
The pitchers take a faulty arm path. After the ball exits the glove, it is seen that the ball is coming down and behind the pitcher. As a result, the pitcher now has to hurry up to bring his arm in the correct position for proper delivery. If he is not able to rush and timing error occurs, another mistake can occur next.
While bringing the ball out of the glove, the arm should always follow a “C” path or a “down, back and up” path. This is because such a path brings the arm in the correct position to give an effective delivery.
Many times it happens that a pitcher makes a throw and his hand is still pointing at the shirt stop while his chest is facing the catcher. This is essentially called a lagging-a common mistake which causes shoulders to be elbow injuries in young players.
As the thrower is turning his chest towards the target, his arm should be in sync with the movement of his torso. An error in the sync of the arm and torso movement causes lagging.
FLYING OPEN OF THE GLOVE SIDED ARM
One of the common mistake done by a pitcher is that his front side arm goes away from the body creating a spinning effect. This causes the pitcher to drift off to the side instead of towards the catcher.
The error has two serious consequence-
- The pitcher has a problem in locating his pitch because timing a spinning motion is quite difficult.
- The pitcher loses his balance and is not ready for the fielding or to protect himself if the ball is hit towards him.
While delivering a ball to the catcher, all the momentum of the thrower should be driven forwards towards the catcher.
BREAKING THE LEAD LEG
When the pitcher snaps his knee straight violently and rapidly while shifting weight- it is called as breaking the lead leg. This mistake stops the forward momentum and energy and forces the arm to make up for the difference to gain the desired velocity. This error in pitching is also one of the causes of shoulder and elbow injuries.
While delivering a ball, the momentum of the pitcher shifts his weight from his back leg to the lead leg. While this shift in weight occurs, the lead legs knee has to be bent athletically instead of snapping it violently and rapidly.
Fixing Bad Throws of Young Players
The small size of hands in young players lead to incorrect grip.
Young players should be taught how to grip the ball by the use of three fingers, until the time they can grip the ball by using just two fingers and are able to keep two fingers and thumb near the middle of the ball.
The whole throwing motion is put into jeopardy if the player fails to turn the backside throwing foot to 90-degree angle.
A strip of paper or cardboard can be played at an angle of 90 degrees so that the players can practice easily by lining their foot correctly by the help of the cardboard.
Weak lead elbow
The young players mostly fail to lift their lead elbow up to their shoulder height.
The players should be asked to point their lead elbow directly towards the target.
Inappropriate arm swing
The most common issue is an incorrect arm swing while also being the hardest of all the mistakes to fix. It occurs when the player’s thumb begins to go over the ball in the arm backswing.
Players should take their time to have a complete look at the ball facing away from them, at least until the time they get used to keeping their thumb under the ball.
Stride direction offline
Most of the young players open up and step away from their target, which is incorrect.
The young player can be kept directional by drawing a line or keeping two objects to stand in between directly at the target.
To fix these throwing mistakes of young baseball players, parents and coaches need to keep an eye on the players.
It is very important to provide guidance from time to time, otherwise, they’ll not be able to correct bad throwing mechanics.