Baseball is an exciting sport that requires a high skill level. When learning to play, the first most important step is learning to throw the ball. Throwing a baseball may seem so easy; it’s just throwing a ball, right? Wrong. Throwing a baseball requires a lot of mechanics, accuracy, strength and skill. In this article, we’ll be going through a bunch of steps that will help perfect your throw.
Perfect your Stance
The first, most important thing to work on when learning to throw is your stance. Your throwing stance explains how your body should be positioned before the throw, gripping the ball the right way and proper joint movement to make the perfect throw.
Before throwing a baseball, your body should be in a position ready for the throw. This means our feet should be shoulder-width apart, knees bent slightly, hips and shoulders should be lined up properly, and your body should remain relaxed.
The next thing to learn is how to hold or grip the ball. To properly grip the ball, your index and middle finger should be placed over one of the seam rows. Your thumb should be right underneath the ball, securing the grip with your ring and pinky curling behind the ball to support it. For a straight throw, you could place your index and middle fingers across all the seams; holding it this way improves the speed of the ball. Ensure that the ball is kept on your fingertips, not in your palm, for a faster release. The ball should also be held in your glove and positioned close to your chest for a quick throw.
Another important thing to learn to make a good throw is how to move your wrist, elbow and shoulder joints correctly. These joints are the primary joints used when throwing a ball, and all three joints have to move simultaneously. To loosen up any stiff joint and perfect your joint movement, you should keep doing windmill exercises. A good throw also depends on the position of your wrist before throwing; your wrist should be bent with your palm facing forward right before you throw.
Throwing the Ball
This is the part you are here for. The next thing to do after maintaining your stance and grip is to throw the ball.
- Ensure the ball is aimed at a target before throwing the ball. You can make use of your glove to point directly at the target. If you are to pitch to a partner, aim at the chest for an accurate throw.
- Turn your torso away from your target with the ball in your throwing hand.
- With the ball in your hand, pull your shoulder and elbow backward until the ball raised to line up with the target.
- As you are about to release the ball, take a step forward with the leg opposite your throwing hand. If you throw with your right hand, take a step forward or towards the target with your left foot and rotate your hip when you throw towards the target.
- Focus on the target as you throw and maintain eye contact. You have to pay attention to your target because your throw always follows your eyes. If you lose focus, you’ll miss your target.
- Your throwing hand should be directed downwards after you release the ball and should land on the hip opposite your throwing hand. This is called a follow through, and it increases the accuracy and power of the throw.
Do Shoulder Exercises
Shoulder exercises help loosen up your joint and reduce the chances of injury by maintaining healthy shoulders. You should note that these exercises don’t improve your mechanics; they only loosen your shoulders and reduce injuries to muscles like your rotator cuff muscles. Here is an exercise to help maintain healthy shoulders
This is one of the easiest exercises to strengthen your shoulders and requires no equipment. All you need do is
- Stand with your back against a wall; the wall should have no mirrors or pictures. Keep your feet about six feet apart away from the wall.
- Raise your arms above your head with your elbows slightly bent.
- Lower your body to about 90 degrees and keep your arms raised to form an arc, almost like you’re making snow angels.
- Maintain this position while ensuring the dorsum of your hand, head, butt, shoulder blades, and elbows are against the wall.
- Repeat this exercise about two to three times a week.
Throwing a baseball may seem easy at first, but as you learn, you’ll realise it needs specific mechanics involving full-body movements and loads of practice. You have to practice your grip, your follow-through and flicking your wrist to properly master your throw.
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