Throwing is one of the most fundamental skills in our game. It is also the most forgotten skill. There is, in my opinion, a very easy explanation for this lack of work on the skill of throwing. Too many kids and coaches think of throwing as a warm up activity rather than a skill.
Let me know if this sounds or looks familiar: Practice starts and after a little stretching, the kids partner up and begin to “warm up” their arms. There is usually no set plan of attack, but rather a haphazard mixture of kids doing vastly different things.
There is an old saying that I really like about “you don’t know what you don’t know”. Well, now you know that if this is what you and your team usually do, that’s a recipe for problems.
We need an overall attitude adjustment for players and coaches. We need to treat throwing and catching like the important skill that it really is. Start treating these crucial skills with the same respect that we treat hitting, pitching and slapping, and you’ll see a drastic improvement in the way your players play the game.
Coaches, you must develop a team throwing program that accomplishes a couple crucial goals:
Arm maintenance: Injury prevention is always a high priority. Most players hurt their arms every time they go to practice.
Arm strength: We need to work toward throwing the ball harder, longer and without injury.
Improving accuracy: Every player must work to constantly improve their ability to throw the ball where they want it to go. ALL THE TIME!
Mastering different throwing techniques that different situations require.
We will discuss the components of a great throwing program over the next couple weeks. A good throwing program can be done at every practice and when done well can fit nicely into the practice schedule of teams of all skill levels.
Throwing is a skill! Period!
About the Author: Tory Acheson brings a wealth of knowledge to the Fastpitch Prep staff. He has coached at all levels of the game, including the last 25 years at the college level at the University of Wisconsin – Parkside, Tennessee Tech and Kennesaw State. He began his coaching career at the high school level spending 9 years Whitnall High School in Greenfield, Wis. and is now working as a professional softball instructor.
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