Everybody knows that a great baseball player is someone who throws like a boss. Professional baseball coaches want and need someone in their team who has unbeatable arm strength and accuracy.
However, these attributes are achieved by more than warming up and playing catch. This article will explore what more you could be doing to elevate your throwing game.
And how you can increase your strength and accuracy with the best baseball throwing drills. Keep reading to find out!
The Skills You Should Be Working On
Whether it’s in the drills you do or the training program you follow. There are two important things your team should be working on to reduce your throwing errors: Accuracy and Accountability. Here’s why:
Accuracy is a product of consistency. So, as a player, you should be responsible for committing a specific time and place for practicing and doing throwing drills. As a coach, you should be able to put in place baseball drills as much as fielding and hitting to produce all-around players.
Players should also be accountable when they throw, whether during practice or in-game. Being accountable means trying your best to deliver game-like throws each time. It will help you to understand the reasons behind every bad throw to try and avoid them later.
Setting up the clock during practice drills for infielders also develops a sense of urgency in them.
If you are a coach, you should make sure that every situation you put them increases the focus of your players on their throws.
Essential Elements Of Good Baseball Throwing Drills
These are three essential elements and strategies that you should focus on to master the fundamentals of throwing a baseball:
While great arm strength is a product of genetics, and some players are born with this God-given trait, there are several techniques to develop it.
Good throwing technique drills will help you maximize your potential. And allow you to throw a ball as hard as your body will allow.
By working on your arm strength, you also reduce wear and tear and your risk of getting injured. This also allows you to understand the mechanics of your arms better.
A game of baseball becomes faster the higher you play. So, you should be able to field and throw the ball. However, make sure to be quick and wait for the right timing. Never hurry.
The basic baseball throwing drill is the beginning of all fielding drills. This pits the pitcher, catcher, outfielder, and infielder in a position. It allows them to get rid of the ball immediately without panicking or rushing.
I have already mentioned the throwing accuracy drill before. Still, I cannot stress this enough: power and speed are useless if you do not throw.
Another goal of baseball throwing drills is to develop their ability to estimate where the ball is going and throw it right at their target. It is especially for beginners and kids. Throwing accurately is a fundamental skill that can play a huge role in the team’s defense.
Once you combine these three elements, you are already a pretty good player who can be an asset to your team as much as the best baseball bats could. You’ll learn how to throw with power, speed, and accuracy in the next parts through different baseball throwing drills.
Baseball Throwing Drills
Now that you know the basic stuff, we can proceed to the different baseball throwing drills. Before anything else, be sure to first do a warm-up.
A little jogging or running and a few minutes of stretching can go a long way. After raising your heart rate a little, an excellent, chill game of catch with your teammates is an excellent way to warm up. Also, you can use these baseball drills for batting practice.
After warming up, you are ready to start with the drills. Below are some of the best drills out there, along with some information and instructions on how to do them:
1. Ready-Break-Throw Knee Throwing Drill
Coaches and baseball experts have found out that by putting a youth baseball player on his knees. Also, he can get a better feel of his front as the ball leaves the glove. It can be the best throwing drill for beginners and kids.
In this drill, you can help yourself, or your youth players and base runners boost their throwing mechanics. You can take it for baseball practice. It also improves throwing accuracy and helps develop proper follow-through.
- Drop to the ground on one knee.
- Focus on the person opposite you with a catcher’s mitt to receive the ball. Your lead foot, hip, and shoulder should point to your target.
- Get on a ready throwing position with your knee and lower body squared off.
- Make sure your hand position is correct, with the shoulders closed and the knuckles facing upward.
- At your coach’s command, throw the fly ball to come directly over the top of your head. Make sure to finish each throw fully.
- For the return throw, step with your glove-side foot to meet the ball as you return to the “ready” position.
A good alternative or twist to this drill is to have the opposite teammate hold their glove in different positions. So you can concentrate on your accuracy. To know how to carry out this fielding drill, please watch this video:
2. Cutoff Throw Race
The aim of these pitching drills is to improve your footwork, develop quick hands, and improve accuracy. This is ideal for infielders but can benefit outfielders as well. This is how it goes:
- Gather about ten or more baseball players and divide them into two teams.
- Have the members of the two teams line up parallel to each other, starting from the foul line into the outfield.
- With the players standing at least 40 feet apart, depending on their skill level or age. (40 feet for 11 and below, 60 feet for ages 12 to 14, and 80 feet apart for older players).
- Starting from the foul line, the first player throws the ball as quickly as possible to the next person on his team. This continues until the last member receives the softball with the best throwing drills.
- However, once the end player reaches the end, he has to throw the ball back the other way, so the foul line also serves as the finish line. Look into the arm action.
- After each round, you can have the players stand a little farther from each other and do this multiple times.
You can also turn it into a competition to get your athletes or teammates more focused for better results. Players also tend to try harder and work better if there is a punishment. Thus, you can try punishing the losing team with laps, push-ups, or sprints.
3. Zig Zag Throwing Drill
This baseball practice drill is similar and starts the same way as the previous one. However, instead of throwing the ball in front of them, the players are to throw diagonally in a zigzag pattern.
It will also help develop accuracy and quick hands, and quick feet. Thus, it can be a great drill for a second base.
- Have two teams of an equal number of members line up in straight lines in front of each other.
- Assign a number for each player alternating between 1 and 2. For example, the first player on the first line is 1, the second is 2, the third is 1, and so on.
- For the other line, start off with the number 2 so that the player on one team has a different number than the opposite player on the other group.
- Then, have the players assigned with the number 1 accurate throw a ground ball to the next person assigned the same number, forming a zigzag pattern.
- As a safety precaution, have the players stand at least ten feet from the other line.
- Encourage the players to communicate with each other and inform the next receiver of the ball.
- Allow your players to do the drill several times until they pick up speed. Once you think they are fast enough, you can start a race.
4. The High Five Drill
The high-five drills are excellent for younger, less experienced pitchers. Because they can have trouble throwing through the baseball. You can choose this for little league baseball trophies. Regularly doing this baseball drill has been found to develop proper muscle memory. And let the young players master the mechanics and techniques to avoid arm pain or damage on their own.
- Stand with an “L” angle in your arm and shoulders parallel to the target.
- Raise your elbow to shoulder height at least.
- Maintain a bend on your knee and ensure your weight is on your back foot.
- Your coach will hold and put a slight resistance on the throwing arm and throwing hand.
- Throw the ball straight through the resistance and finish the overhand throw drill over your front leg.
- Avoid coming around as you throw.
By doing baseball throwing drills, you are giving yourself a solid foundation in the fundamentals of throwing motion with power, speed, and accuracy.
Suppose you perform these drills during practice, before a game, or even in tandem with your workouts. In that case, you will be several steps ahead of your competition already. So these baseball practice drills can help you to prepare for competitions.