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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Kids Baseball - Coach the Fundamentals of Throwing and Catching

Kids Baseball - Coach the Fundamentals of Throwing and Catching
By Kenny Buford

When coaching kids' baseball, an important first step is identifying the mechanical elements of each skill and then using that knowledge to teach the fundamentals of the game. Most beginning players will not know the proper technique for gripping, throwing, and catching the ball. Establishing these skills early will ensure players feel more confident and have fun playing the game.

Proper Grip

Start by teaching how to grip the ball:

For proper grip, the ball should only contact the fingers and thumb, not the palm of the hand. However, because beginning players' hands are often small, they might have to use their whole hand in the grip.
Players should grip the ball across the seams, with their fingers spread over the top of the ball and their thumb positioned on the bottom. Those with big enough hands should use only the index and middle fingers, while those with smaller hands can use three fingers to grip the ball across the top.
As the grip is released, players should focus on keeping the fingers directly behind the ball. Following through with the fingers after the throw will increase the velocity of the ball.

Throwing Fundamentals

Next, coach proper throwing technique for a basic overhand:

Players should begin the throwing motion by taking a step with the foot opposite of the throwing arm. The step should be in the direction they will be throwing.
The front shoulder and hip should be positioned so that they are pointing in the direction of the throw.
The front shoulder should be positioned toward the target, and the rest of the body is turned to the side. The arms should be extended from the body in a T-formation.
As the arm begins the throwing motion, the elbow should be as high as the shoulder and the hand should be higher than the head.
The front foot should now start forward, stepping toward the target.
As the arm continues the throw, the front shoulder and hip should turn so that they face toward the target.
The ball should be released above and in front of the head, snapping the wrist right before the release and pushing through with the fingers directly behind the ball.
Follow through the throw by bending the back slightly forward.

Basic Catching Technique

To coach catching, follow these steps:

Keep arms bent and relaxed, and provide a target for the thrower.
Hold the glove open toward the thrower, keeping the fingers up. If the ball is thrown low, switch to position the fingers down.
Use the bare hand to cover the ball once it is caught in the glove.
After the catch, bring the glove, ball, and throwing hand up to the chest and prepare to throw.

And if you'd like to see more free kids baseball drills and coaching tips, go here to watch a free video:
Kenny Buford is a kids baseball coach, and the owner and publisher of, the web's #1 resource for kids baseball drills, practice ideas, and coaching tips.

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Hello Baseball Friend,
I welcome any comments or suggestions. If you have a question or a topic that you would like to read about, please leave a comment and I will try to address that topic as soon as I can. Good luck in the coming season!
Have a great day, Nick