So you’re new to baseball? If that’s the case, there’s one skill you need to learn first before anything else. You need to learn how to throw a baseball properly. It’s a skill that every player on the field will use.
Pitchers need to learn this skill, obviously. Catchers need to throw hard to second base to get a runner trying to steal a base.
Fielders need to throw quickly to first base ahead of the hitter. And even the 1st baseman needs to throw well to the catcher to avoid a run scoring.
It’s important to learn this skill properly because if you don’t then you can cost your team a run or even the game. And what’s more, if you don’t know how to throw the baseball properly you may even hurt yourself as well.
Now you can go online and read all sorts of technical articles on how to throw a baseball harder. You can even watch videos that show you the proper form you need to throw well. But here we can start with a few simple tips to get you started.
Tips on How To Throw a Baseball Harder
Here’s the most important rule, so we put it here first: Stop when you feel pain. When it starts hurting, you stop throwing. This keeps you from unnecessarily injuring yourself.
Warm up your throwing arm first. This loosens up your muscles so you can throw more effectively later on. And it also helps reduce the chances of injury, so don’t throw too hard too quickly.
So spend about 10 minutes of easy and light throwing with a partner or teammate, and do some gentle stretches as well.
Practice finding your grip. To throw hard and accurately, you need to know how to grip a baseball so it always goes where you want it to go. And that means you need to learn the 4-seam grip.
It’s called that because as the ball goes through the air you can see all 4 seams as it rotates. That lets the ball travel straighter and faster.
This grip means the horseshoe shape of the seams should be across your index and middle fingers, while the thumb is under the ball.
For smaller children, it’s also normal to use the ring finger here as well.
You should practice constantly to get this grip every time. So when you have the ball in your throwing hand, you’ll need to practice turning the ball quickly into a 4-seam grip.
This is a skill that pro ball players can do instinctively, but you can learn this quickly too through practice.
Now play catch every day. This isn’t hard, and it’s not even a chore. If you really like baseball, it’s fun to play catch.
It’s something to do with your friends when you hang out and talk about sports or discuss favourite TV shows.
Instead of spending hours playing video games, you should play catch instead.
About 4 to 5 times a week, you can play long toss after you warm up. This means on some days, the throwing distance is extended farther put for just a few feet.
You can extend it by 3 to 5 feet one day, and when you’ve become comfortable throwing at that distance you can gradually extend the throwing distance farther.
For younger children, over the course of 3 to 4 weeks the final distance should be about 100 feet.
That’s the distance between bases plus the distance between the pitching plate and home plate in Little League. For kids in high school, the distance should be gradually extended to about 250 to 300 feet.
The long toss is crucial, because only with practice will you and your body really learn how to throw a baseball farther.
And when you’re playing loss toss, you need to throw the ball straight through your long toss partner, instead of lobbying a rainbow pass.
It’s better to throw a ball straight even if it needs a couple of bounces to reach your friend.
When your throwing arm feels uncomfortable, you may need to rest it for the moment. You can spend the time running sprints, which can actually help your arm recover. Running sprints also strengthens your legs.
Make sure you’re fit. That means you need to boost your arm strength and core strength. You even need to boost the strength of your legs if you want to throw harder.
If you doubt the importance of your legs for throwing, try to throw a baseball on your knees or when you’re sitting down.
I bet you won’t be able to throw all that hard.
So how do you strengthen your arms and legs? If you’re still a kid, strength exercises can be complicated, as you may not be able to use gym equipment properly.
You’ll have to get the help of a trained fitness professional. In fact, even at any age the help of a fitness pro can really help you boost your overall strength.
If you don’t have access to a teach or trainer there are plenty of exercises one can do at home…even without weights.
Examples would be jumping rope, running, push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups and any number of exercises using one of those big fitness balls.
Get your coach to teach you proper mechanics. For most players, the most basic throwing stance means lining up your feet and shoulders towards your target.
Then you try to throw overhand as much as possible towards the target, while you keep your head up.
Lift your non-dominant foot (your left foot if you’re a right-hander) and then drop it pointing to your target as you use your dominant foot to push you forward.
You can also shuffle a few steps towards your target to gain some momentum. It eases the pressure off your body and it helps your accuracy.
Then you need to work on your release of the ball. This is hard to describe, but this right “feel” is crucial when you want to be accurate in your throw.
And to develop this, again you need constant practice in throwing. Aim for your friend’s head or chest when you play catch, and see if you improve in your accuracy as time passes.
You can also try throwing against a target on a wall.
Additional Tips on How to Throw Baseball Faster
Health Related Baseball Tips
The Final 3 Tips on How To Throw Harder
Conclusion on How To Throw a Baseball
For most players who just play for fun, the rules on how to throw a baseball are simple: always warm up, practice all the time, and keep yourself fit and strong.
For those who really want to excel, it all boils down to one thing: get a good trainer and coach, and do what they say!
With this advice in mind you can eventually learn how to throw a baseball faster the older you get.
If the player eventually wants to get recruited for college baseball as a pitcher they’ll most likely need a little speed on their fastball.