Baseball is an exciting game that requires many skills. No matter if you’re just starting out or have been playing for years, discovering new ways to perfect your throw is always a challenge.
Whether you’re a little leaguer or a pro, no one is immune to the occasional throwing mistake. But with a little practice, you can minimize those mistakes and improve your throwing accuracy. Here are ten tips to help you get started.
1. Use the Right Tools
For most kids, this means using a smaller glove. Look for one that isn’t too stiff when you buy it and is evenly broken in on both sides of the pocket. If it has laces, they shouldn’t be really tight or really loose. The more flexible your glove is, the easier it will be to snap out of quickly for an accurate throw.
2. Hold Your Glove Like a Tray
When you grip your glove with your throwing hand, hold it close to your body like you would hold a tray at a restaurant or cafeteria—just below chest level and close enough that you can see what’s inside without having to look down. This will help keep the ball secure in the glove until you are ready to throw it.
3. Keep Your Throwing Hand Close
When you hold your throwing hand close to your body, it naturally gets closer to your target because of the way your arm angles when you make a throwing motion. This is important for accuracy—the closer your hand is to your target, the more likely you are to hit it with each throw.
4. Bend Your Elbow
As you bring your arm back, drop down into a slight crouch and bend forward at the waist while keeping an upright upper body. When bringing your arm forward again, extend straight up out of the crouch instead of just swinging out from the shoulder in a straight line. Also, snap your wrist as you release the ball, so it spins properly and doesn’t tail off to one side or the other.
5. Keep Your Glove Open
As you bring your arm back, let go of any tension in your fingers by keeping them extended and open—almost as if you were holding a small dish or tray with your hand underneath it instead of just around the border. This will give the ball a smooth surface to travel over as it falls into the glove, making for an easy catch with minimal movement from having to close up around the ball.
6. Practice Makes Perfect
If you want to get better at anything, especially throwing, then practice is key! You should use a radar gun for baseball practice whenever it’s possible; this will help you improve your throw by measuring the speed. You can easily keep a record of your previous throws and see where you’re improving and in which areas may need further work.
7. Work on Your Arm Stretches
To stay loose and flexible, it’s a good idea to stretch your arm before you start playing. Also, keep these stretches in mind as you play by reaching out as far as possible with each throw to take the shortest path from one point to another.
8. Get Your Body into It!
Your legs are just as important for accuracy as your arm is—the stronger they are, the more power you can put behind your throws. Some kids even wear ankle weights to help increase their leg strength during practice and games alike.
9. Be Ready for Anything!
Being able to react quickly is key when throwing accurately—so work on improving your reaction time by practicing snap-throws from catch position, so you learn how to immediately drop into a good throwing position and snap off your throw without having to step into it first.
10. Keep Your Eye on the Ball!
Remember: The best way to improve your accuracy is to keep your eye on the ball and let your hand and arm follow naturally. This will help you develop muscle memory so that every time you pick up a ball, you’ll automatically go through the right motions for improved accuracy.
Baseball is a sport that takes a lot of practice and skill to perfect your throwing techniques. These ten tips will help you improve your accuracy, speed, and reaction time so you can be the best player on the field. Remember to always focus on keeping your eye on the ball and let your body follow naturally—this will help you develop muscle memory for improved accuracy.