Baseball is an incredibly enjoyable sport, and one that requires a great deal of skill and strength. Since throwing is a key component in baseball, it is important that you perfect this aspect of your game. In this blog, we will discuss the steps that will help you increase your speed and accuracy, and iron out any flaws in your throwing mechanics.
How to Throw a Baseball?
1) Perfect the Stance:
Before attempting the throw, your body needs to be in the ideal throwing position. Make sure that your feet are at shoulder-width, and then slightly bend your knees. The body needs to be loose and relaxed, and the shoulders and hips should be aligned.
2) Target the right Ankle Points:
For lefty throwers, the left ankle should be pointing towards the target. For right-handed throwers, the right ankle will serve the same purpose.
By pointing the ankle towards the throwing target, you make sure that your hips are properly lined up.
3) Get the Grip Right:
The third step is holding the ball in the right way. Even though this part may seem pretty straightforward, using the right grip is a crucial part of the bigger picture.
Make sure that the middle and index fingers are going across the seam of the ball, and your thumb is creating a third grip-point right underneath the two fingers. The pinky and ring fingers, meanwhile, should be slightly curled behind the baseball, helping to support it.
4) Take Aim:
Unless you know where the throw is headed, it is hard to be accurate, which is why you need to always aim at the bull’s eye before taking the throw. If you are practicing with a partner, your target point should be the partner’s torso.
You can also use your glove arm to point at your target; doing so will help your body align accordingly.
5) Keep Eye Contact with the Target:
Your eyes will guide the direction of your throw. So, if you are not focused on your target or are looking elsewhere, there is a fair chance that you go wayward with the throw.
6) Using the Glove Arm and Throwing Arm:
Once your rear foot starts sliding and moving towards your target, the hand will automatically separate. Once this separation occurs, your throwing arm should motion slightly downward, while your glove hand should rotate in semi-circles before helping your upper body to rotate.
Remember to send the throwing and glove arms in opposite directions. It is also crucial that the hands remain together until your back leg begins to slide forward. If you separate the hands too early, you might affect your rhythm and, by extension, your throwing accuracy and speed.
7) Move the Joints Correctly:
Moving the joints – including the shoulder, elbow, and wrist – in the right manner is essential to making a good throw. All three of these parts should be moving together. Your elbow should be staying at the 90-degree mark, and you should feel like you are pulling the baseball downwards.
The key is to reach down and get the maximum-possible extension as you make the throw towards the target. Think of how a whip works – the further down it is, the quicker the snap.
If even a single part is stiff and does not move correctly, you should focus on actively moving that part every day.
8) Start by Rotating the Hips:
By rotating the hips, you increase the power and thrust in the throwing shoulder. This powerful rotation of your hip will cause your arm to go into what is referred to as the ‘external rotation’.
The external rotation is what provides a large portion of the total throwing power to your shoulder. Hence, if you want to optimize your throwing speed, this step is one that you should never forget.
9) Move the Chest Forward:
Effective throwing requires your entire body to move in sync, including your chest. As your upper body rotates, your chest will stick out slightly towards the target, and your body will lean slightly forward.
This movement will help you add a bit more pace and bite to your throw.
10) When Removing the Ball from the Glove, Try to Keep it Facing the Ground for As Long As Possible:
The glove hand should be following the movements of the throwing arm. It should seem like the heel of the throwing hand is guiding the glove arm towards the target. This should be the ideal throwing position.
Unfortunately, the first instinct for a lot of people is to take the glove out and have the ball facing toward the target (instead of getting it to face the ground). Since the glove hand will follow the throwing hand, these players find themselves in a weak throw position.
11) Do Not Forget to Use the Fingers and Wrist:
The major muscle groups set things up for your smaller muscles to take center stage and produce the perfect throw.
Work on your fingers and wrist and you will notice a visible increase in the speed and venom of your throws.
12) Get the Follow-Through Right:
Upon releasing the baseball, the throwing arm must continue going downwards until it touches the opposite hip.
A good follow through will add both power and accuracy to your throw. Make sure to keep following through and not halt the throwing arm until it can decelerate no further.
13) Pay Attention to the Post-Throw Stance:
Once your throw is complete, the feet need to be slightly more staggered and distant than they were before the throw. The hips should be turned and facing the target.
The throwing arm, meanwhile, should be in a diagonal position, with your throwing hand touching the opposite hip.
Our Final Thoughts:
The apparently simple activity of throwing a baseball involves a lot of complexities regarding grip, aim, and body mechanics. However, there is no complexity that cannot be mastered with consistency and everyday practice.
To learn more about baseball and how to improve your game, please feel free to check out some of the other blogs on our website.