The Best Baseball Throwing Drills For You And Your Teammates
Everybody knows that a great baseball player is someone who throws like a boss. No doubt that 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 just warming up and playing catch. In this article, we’ll explore what more you could be doing to elevate your throwing game and 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 that you and 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 consistently and regularly. As a coach, you should be able to implement throwing drills as much as fielding and hitting to produce all-around players.
Players should also be accountable when they throw whether it be during practice or in-game. Being accountable means trying your best to deliver game-like throws each time and to understand the reasons behind every bad throw to try and avoid them later.
Setting up the clock during practice drills for infielders also develop 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 largely a product of genetics, and some players are born with this God-given trait, there are several techniques to develop it. Proper 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 as well as your risk of getting injured. This also allows you to understand the mechanics of your arms better.
A game of baseball becomes subsequently faster the higher you play. So, you should be able to field and throw the ball quickly. However, make sure to be quick but also wait for the right timing. Never hurry.
The basic throwing drill is the beginning of all fielding drills. This pits the pitcher, catcher, outfielder, and infielder in a position that allows them to get rid of the ball immediately without panicking or rushing.
I know, we already mentioned accuracy before, but I cannot stress this enough: power and speed are useless if you do not throw accurately.
Another goal of baseball throwing drills, especially for beginners and kids is to develop their ability to estimate where the ball is going and to throw it right at their target. Throwing accurately is a fundamental skill that can play a huge role in the team’s defense.
Once you can combine these three elements together, you are already a pretty good player who can easily be an asset to your team as much as the best baseball bats could. In the next parts, you’ll learn how to throw with power, speed, and accuracy 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.
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:
Ready-Break-Throw Knee Throwing Drill
Coaches and baseball experts have found out that by putting a player on his knees, he can get a better feel of his front as the ball leaves the glove. In this drill, you can help yourself, or your players boost their throwing mechanics. It also improves accuracy and helps develop proper follow-through.
- Drop to the ground on one knee.
- Focus on the person opposite of 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.
- On your coach’s command, throw the ball so that it comes 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 go back to the “ready” position.
A good alternative or twist to this drill is to have the opposite teammate hold his or her glove in different positions so you can concentrate on your accuracy.
To know how to properly carry out this drill, please watch this video:
Cutoff Throw Race
The objective of this drill is to improve your footwork, develop quick hands, and also improve accuracy. This is ideal for infielders but can benefit outfielders as well. This is how it goes:
- Gather about ten or more 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 ball.
- However, once the end player reaches the end, he then has to throw the ball back to the other way, so the foul line also serves as the finish line.
- 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 involved. You can try punishing the losing team with laps, push-ups, or sprints.
Zig Zag Throwing Drill
This 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 as well as quick hands and feet.
- Have two teams of 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, and the third is 1 and so on. For the other line, start off with number 2 so that the player on one team has a different number as the opposite player on the other group.
- Then, have the players assigned with the number 1 throw a 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 to 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.
The High Five Drill
The high five drill is excellent for younger, less experienced pitchers who have trouble throwing through the baseball. Regularly doing this drill has been found to develop proper muscle memory and let the player master the mechanics and techniques to avoid arm pain or damage on their own.
- Stand with an “L” angle in your arm and your shoulders parallel to the target.
- Raise your elbow to shoulder height at least.
- Maintain a bend on your knee and make sure your weight is on your back foot.
- Your coach will hold and put a slight resistance on the throwing arm.
- Throw the ball straight through the resistance and finish the throw 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 with power, speed, and accuracy. If you perform these drills consistently and regularly during practice, before a game, or even in tandem with your workouts, you will be several steps ahead of your competition already.
Did you like these baseball throwing drills? Do you think you and your teammates could benefit from them? Leave your answers in the comment section below! You can also send in your questions, recommendations, and other concerns.