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Thread: Throwing mechanics

  1. #1
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    Throwing mechanics

    This is directed primarily at Chris O'Leary, but anyone is free to respond.

    I've read briefly some of Chris' info on pitching mechanics, but I just wanted to know how much these mechanics pertain to positional players. As a softball coach, I get a lot of young girls who throw the ball like it is a dart, so we have to spend a lot of time teaching them to throw properly.

    But what are proper throwing mechanics for a positional player, and how do they differ among the positions--outfield, infield, catcher?

    What got me thing about this was Chris' explanation of hand position for the pitcher--that for a righty it should face 3rd base and not 2nd base as is commonly taught. In the past, when I teach outfielders to throw, I taught them to get more extension on the arm and to face the palm away from them (toward the fence). So I decided to go out and try it myself to see if that was what actually happened. Without videotaping it, I was observed having my hand in a position like the pitcher--facing to the side, not away from me.

    Maybe I can eventually get some video......

    Thoughts?
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  2. #2
    How young are the players?

  3. #3
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    High school, tho we primarily use the remdial throwing instruction for our junior high kids when we first see them the summer before their freshman year.
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  4. #4
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    These quotes were from a previous long toss thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by Deezeldogg
    The position of the arm and hand is alot different when making a throw during long toss. The position needs to be a lot longer--which means you should get more extension on the arm. When warming up, you should be able to see the back of your hand (palm and ball away from you) at about the same height as your head, and arm almost fully extended, just a slight bend in the arm. This is a similar position that many pitcher's use.
    Well, I know now that this is not the same hand postion of a pitcher. Here was Chris' response to another person's post:


    I think arm action varies from player to player (just as it varies from pitcher to pitcher).

    I think David Eckstein's motion could be described as long-arming. His arm is fully extended and the ball is pretty much as far away from his body as possible for most of the throw. Another long-armer is Ramon Ortiz.

    This photo of Matsui shows him throwing with a pretty standard motion. His elbow is bent 90 degrees, which is about half way between long-arming (e.g. 45 degree bend of elbow) and short-arming (e.g. 135 degree bend of elbow).
    That photo of Matsui has been deleted....still have that Chris? Any other photos of infielders/outfielders in throwing position?
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  5. #5
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    Finally, here are video clips of MLBers throwing:

    http://imageevent.com/siggy/throwing/pro
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  6. #6
    Infielder = quicker and smaller arm circle (not a true circle, but the arms action of the throwing hand going down and up).

    Outfielder= longer slower circle (generally)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deezeldogg View Post
    I've read briefly some of Chris' info on pitching mechanics, but I just wanted to know how much these mechanics pertain to positional players. As a softball coach, I get a lot of young girls who throw the ball like it is a dart, so we have to spend a lot of time teaching them to throw properly.

    But what are proper throwing mechanics for a positional player, and how do they differ among the positions--outfield, infield, catcher?
    I think that OFers throw the most like Ps, which is why so often Ps are converted OFers. 3B also falls in that category due to the need for high velocity due to the longer throws. OFers especially are able to do this because they have the time to throw with proper mechanics. Most throws are done off of a crow hop, which gives your arm time to get up.

    This is less the case for SS, 2B, and C because you have to release the ball quicker (however, David Eckstein is an exception). This doesn't cause them many arm problems due to the lower velocities and reps.

    Having said all of that, I try to teach all of my guys to throw with proper mechanics. Sometimes they have to shorten up to get the ball off quickly, but I still work with them on things like showing the ball to 3B and getting thumbs up sooner.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xavier&Trin... View Post
    Infielder = quicker and smaller arm circle (not a true circle, but the arms action of the throwing hand going down and up).

    Outfielder= longer slower circle (generally)
    Infielders throw using a variety of methods depending upon the situation and where the ball is fielded. They include:
    1. Regular set and throw.
    2. Side arm
    3. Underhand flip
    4. Cross body flip
    5. Cross body throw
    6.Etc.
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  9. #9
    thanks for the website, now i see why i cant throw out runners ^_^

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