If you watch almost any team in America start their warm up routine, they almost always start with throwing. When you tell the kids to go warm up they invariably grab a ball and a partner and start throwing. This is, in and of itself, troubling enough but the total lack of attention they are investing into throwing well is shocking.
There is one absolute truth about our game. The most basic skill, throwing, is undervalued and under coached. Players throw at every practice and before every game but throwing is almost always a warm-up activity rather than a skill that is valued.
We need to change our attitudes and the attitudes of our players about the skill of throwing. There are fundamental pieces of throwing well just like there are fundamentals of the fun stuff like hitting and pitching.
We need to teach the fundamentals of throwing. We need to create a throwing program that our team will follow every day that they practice and play. We need to hold our players accountable for throwing and catching just like we expect them to be accountable for any other skill.
Every team has the one player who goofs off during throwing. They are unfocused and usually send their partner running after a bunch of balls every time they throw. I have the drill that is going to help you send a clear message about how much your team values throwing well.
Partner Chase – when a ball gets thrown away, both players chase it down. It doesn’t matter whether it is a bad throw or a bad effort to catch the ball. If the ball gets away from the throwers they both have to run after it. It’s amazing how much more attentive your problem throwers are when they have to run just as much as their partner when the ball gets away!
It is up to us as coaches to instill value into the skill of throwing. If we teach it, if we hold our players accountable and if we show everyone that we value throwing we will start to see our teams winning more games because we will be great at the most important of the fundamental skills.