Today, let’s talk about softball throwing mechanics for beginners, and specifically your hand position once the hands break. Where should the hand face in the throwing motion: forward? Backward? Sideways?
There’s a lot of different opinions on this one, but the reality is that what’s been taught for many, many years is now very outdated. We do NOT want to point the hand backward.
Why NOT to Point the Hand Backward
basically we need to think about the mechanics this way. So once we’re here and we start to rotate my chest and my core rotating, my arm is flung back into this externally rotated position. I’m my, my core is rotating very, very fast and it throws my arm back and it goes back and then it goes forward, right? We all know that.
What Beginners SHOULD Do With Their Wrist and Hand
Learn this the right way from the very beginning – the hand should face the same direction as the chest during the softball throwing motion.
Watch the video below to see exactly what I mean:
It’s important to be skeptical of old teaching points and really consider WHY we’re teaching what we teach, not just nod and accept that old teaching points are still what we should do for today.
Drills that stress good softball throwing mechanics for beginners should be foundational – building on simple concepts while young.
One of these foundations is what the hands do after the hands break. When the hands separate, we do NOT want to point the ball away from us or toward the head. This is not what high-level players do in baseball or softball.
Softball Throwing Mechanics for Beginners: More Resources
The issue of where the hands point is just one–albeit an important one–aspect of throwing instruction. For more, I highly suggest the following videos:
Learn The Glove Arm Action
The glove arm begins to rotate the player, getting the core and hips to accelerate the arm. Most players who struggle with their throwing do so because their core and hips don’t help them as much as they could.
Watch the video below for softball throwing mechanics examples from D-1 players.
Next, be sure to work on shoulder-hip separation. If the front side leaks, players lose a lot of power and often end up throwing sidearm as a result.
What is the Front Side?
The front side consistents of the glove arm, glove leg and glove hip. Basically, the front side opens and closes the hips and helps get acceleration of the body and arm started.
Because throwing a softball is a rotational activity, what the front side does, the backside will be forced to do. If the front side begins to rotate, the backside will as well.
But if the front side does NOT start rotation at the proper time, the rest of the player’s mechanics will be thrown off, and everything will get out of sync.
What commonly happens next is a low elbow as the player pushes the ball, trying to generate force. Without the front side rotating, this becomes a very difficult task.
Clean up your sidearm throws in this video by working on the timing of the front side. This is a very common issue.
Helpful Throwing Articles
- The Complete Guide to Throwing Mechanics – this is the most comprehensive article anyone has ever written on softball throwing.
- Fielding Drills for Beginners – Fielding has a tremendous impact on throwing technique, so please take the time to assess basic fielding, funneling and glovework technique.
- The Hand Break in Throwing – timing is everything, and the timing of the handbreak in softball is very, very important.
Thanks for Reading! Go Practice!