Arm strength is not all about your arm.
It comes from your ability to use your entire body to generate the force you need to make a strong throw. I see many young players who struggle to use their body in their throw which in turn requires them to put an inordinate amount of strain on their arm.
Everyone talks about the number of pitches a pitcher throws in a game but how about the catcher who throws a couple hundred overhand throws, of varying length and intensity every game. Overuse is a real problem for all players. It is a crisis for many catchers!
There are many drills that a catcher can do to improve her core strength. Here are two of my favorite choices!
Goblet Squat – a great drill for developing leg strength and core stabilization.
* Feet about shoulder width apart.
* Hold a kettlebell on each of the horns or a dumbbell in a vertical position with the hands under the top plate.
* Hold weight at chest height with the elbows out.
* Perform your squat with your weight on your heels and your lower back straight. DO NOT lean forward at the hips.
* Lower your body until your things are parallel to the ground.
* In the bottom position, your elbows should be inside your thighs, pointing slightly downward.
* Pushing against your heels, return to the standing position.
* That is one rep.
Sets/Reps: 4 sets of 5 to 8 explosive reps. Proper form is the highest priority. Increase weight only when you’re able to without sacrificing form.
Suggested weights by age:
* 8-10 years: 10-12 pounds.
* 11-14 years: 15-25 pounds.
* 15-18 years: 25-40 pounds.
Rotational Med Ball Throw – a great drill for developing core strength.
* Start with your feet about shoulder width apart.
* Hold a medicine ball at about belly button height.
* Rotate your trunk as far away from your target as possible.
* Immediately rotate your trunk in the opposite direction throw the ball.
* Focus of full body rotation on each repetition. Beginning with the lower body first and uncoiling upward.
Sets/Reps: 3 sets of 6 to 10 explosive reps.
Suggested weights by age:
* 8-10 years: 5 pounds
* 11-14 years: 10 pounds.
* 15-18 years: 15-20 pounds.
All weights are just recommendations. Never sacrifice form! Increase or decrease weights as needed.
About the Author: Claudia Cooper,played at North Carolina State from 2006–10. She had the second highest OBP for the Wolfpack during her Junior season and rounded out that year with a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage. After graduation, she spent the 2010–11 season as a student assistant at her alma mater. Since leaving NC State, Coop has been a staff instructor at Elite Training Academy, coaching individuals, small groups and teams. Book her here.
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