Baseball Throwing Part Five – Hand Position
There is a saying in baseball that baseball is a game of inches. I like to think of baseball as a game of counts. Read on.
Hand position and body position are almost as important as the throwing itself.
Some kids get in the habit of spinning the ball due to laziness, where they catch it one-handed. While the time it takes to move the throwing hand to the glove hand to get the ball out and to transfer it to the throwing hand, is only about half a count, it is half a count that you are never going to get back. It is gone forever. While that time is elapsing the runner is running.
We are creatures of habit so you need to encourage all of your players to try to catch the ball with two hands. You want that throwing hand close so that you can get the ball in the throwing hand as quickly as possible to get it on its way.
Also, I think a lot of times players do not prepare their bodies properly to make a good strong throw.
Let me give you an example. If I am a third baseman with a runner on second base and there is a base hit to left field, there is a chance that I can cut the ball off and throw them guy out at the plate. A lot of times, players will take the ball straight up like this and then they will have to set up to throw. This costs them anywhere from a half a count to a full count. And, it gets them in trouble.
I think it is very important for them to position their bodies ahead of time in order to throw from a position of strength.
There are techniques that we all are familiar with in order to do that and there are a lot of drills that we can use to encourage people to get into the proper body position.
If that outfielder does a good job of squaring up, closing his shoulder, doing all those things and throws it on a straight line through my circle, all I have to do is position myself with the majority of my weight on that pivot foot. I can take the throw and a lot of times without even skipping I can go ahead and throw to the plate.
We want to discourage them from catching it this way and then get them into the proper position. If the throw is dying, they should go toward the throw with their left foot and the step with the right and take all the weight on that foot. They already are in the position of strength.
Another thing, encourage them to always work hard to get their body to work for them as opposed to against them. Throwing from a position of strength is obviously going to help them if they have a chance of throwing the guy out.