One of the most important – and necessary – skills you need to teach your players at the youngest level is throwing. You can hit a thousand grounders at your infielders to develop their defensive skills, but if they can’t make the throw to first with much speed or accuracy, you’re not going to get as many outs as you want.
As coaches, we tend to work a lot on their throwing motions, which usually is needed when kids begin playing. And sometimes it’s necessary even after they’ve been playing for a few years, because they either haven’t been taught or have developed poor techniques, which by the time they arrive on your team have become habit. To the player, the throwing motion, no matter how awkward or ineffective, has grown to feel natural.
In these cases, you need to break it down and start over. I’ve found that the poor techniques often involve the way they grip the ball. The problem most likely developed at an early age when the player’s hand was too small to form the correct grip.
Here’s a short video from weplay.com that demonstrates the proper grip and how to teach a player to use it. Check it out and use this approach to explain the technique that will have your fielders making sharp, accurate throws. Your pitchers will thank you
One of the most frequent challenges softball coaches face is teaching the players how to throw properly. We’ve touched on the subject in earlier posts, but I found a few drills that might be helpful to you in teaching players how to throw a softball.
When girls first start playing softball, they’re usually blank slates as far as batting. But some already have developed bad habits with throwing, making no end of awkward motions and contortions. And even as they progress to older levels, some players haven’t gotten enough personal attention from coaches to learn how to throw correctly.
These drills from a post on Squidoo.com could be the ticket to throwing success, even for players who can’t seem to break their bad habits. The four recommended drills are “throwing relays,” “throwing back grounders,” “throwing on target” and “throwing under pressure.”
The names are pretty self-explanatory. Check out the drills for specific explanations of how they work. All are easy for coaches to teach and players to execute, and they all provide a clear context for correcting poor throwing mechanics and refining motions that still need some work.
When you get all your players up to speed on the proper way to throw a softball, you’ll be a step ahead of the competition. Your team will keep runners from taking an extra base, and they will throw out more runners to prevent hits. Even if your team doesn’t score a lot of runs, they’ll be able to keep games close enough to win in the end.