How to Throw a Baseball Like You Mean It
There are thousands of different ways to throw. But to do it like a pro, our Virginia sports physical therapist adds, it requires proper technique and practice.
Here are some tips to help you throw a baseball like you mean it:
GET A GRIP!
Grip the ball correctly: The way you grip the ball can impact the accuracy and speed of your throw. A traditional 4-seam grip will give you the most repeatable results with the hardest and straightest ball you can hurl. To take this grip, hold the ball with your index and middle fingers lying ACROSS the seams, and your thumb underneath the ball on the near side seam for a four-seam grip.
Get into a good throwing position: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Feet and elbows should be in line with your target with your front elbow slightly “closed” off and your throwing arm up in a good 90/90 throwing position.
THROW WITH EVERYTHING
Use your lower body to generate power: Your arm is just one part of the throwing motion. Use your legs, hips, and core to generate power and speed. Shift your weight forward onto your front foot, drive your glove hand to your chest to begin the rotation, and carry that momentum through your hips and torso toward your target as you release the ball.
Follow through long and controlled: After releasing the ball, follow through with your throwing arm, extending it fully in the direction of your target. This will help you maintain accuracy and power while ensuring that you don’t overwork your deceleration muscles.
HAVE A CATCH or PLAY CATCH? Whichever you say, go DO IT
Practice regularly: Baseball is easy. You hit the ball, you throw the ball, you catch the ball… Famous words from a famous baseball movie, but more true words haven’t been spoken. The more you practice throwing a baseball, the better you will become.
Start with short distances and gradually work your way up to longer throws. Practice throwing from different angles and positions, such as overhand, sidearm, and underhand.
YOU DON’T THROW TO STRETCH. YOU STRETCH TO THROW
Remember to warm up properly before throwing, and to stretch your arm and shoulder muscles to prevent injury. A good dynamic warmup routine is vitally important for all baseball and softball athletes. Without it, you should be on the lookout for easy-to-prevent injuries to pop up during the ramp-up toward the season.
With practice and dedication, you can improve your throwing technique and become a more confident and effective baseball player.