Getting it Right at an Early Age
One of the most important things a coach of young players can do is to teach proper arm action. Poor arm action will result in a kid leaving the game prematurely. You can’t play if you can’t throw.
It is true that certain position players, catcher and middle infield, have a shorter quicker arm action but we recommend a long smooth throwing motion, such as a pitcher or outfielder.
The following are faults to look for and correct:
- Player rolls his hand under the ball. This puts the hand out of position as he cocks in preparation to throw.
- Separates his hands too low. (Below the belt) This can cause a stiff arm action.
- Elbow too low. The arm should be at shoulder height.
- Poor feet alignment. The front foot opens up resulting in the shoulder opening and causing the arm to drag.
- Hand too close to the head.
What to look for in a sound throwing motion:
- The feet. The anklebone of his throwing-side foot should be pointed at the target (closed). The lead foot should land slightly closed and pointing at the target.
- Elbow. The elbow should be at shoulder height the instant before he brings his arm forward.
- Extension. The ball is released out in front of the head and not beside the head. The fingers remain on top of the ball and do not flop off to the side. The arm snaps to full extension.
- As the hand leaves the glove, keep the thumb underneath the baseball and the fingers on top. This is a vital point.
As you watch good players throw you will see a fluid motion, alignment of the body to the target, and the fingers on top of the baseball with the thumb underneath. We cannot stress strongly enough how important a good throwing motion is to the development of a player’s future.