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Mason District Little League

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Player Development

Coaches resources:
Core Skills Throwing

How To Throw A Baseball In 5 Easy Steps [ 2021]

Every successful throw in a game situation contains three elements: 1) it is made on the move; 2) it must be accurate; 3) it must be strong. The fundamental checkpoints to develop and look for in your players are: 1) grip, 2) eyes on the target, 3) front-side
aligned with target, 4) smooth, continuous arm circle, 5) consistent overhand release point, and 6) leg drive.

Grip: The basic grip on the ball is a four-seam grip across the seams. Four younger players describing this grip as “across the horseshoe” might be helpful. The four-seam grip used in an overhand throw promotes backspin which keeps the ball in the air longer and on a straight path. The ball should be in the fingers, not in the palm of the hand.

Eyes and Front Side: Eyes should be level and focused on a specific target. The front side should be aligned with the target. The front foot should stride directly toward the target but in a closed manner. The easiest way to ensure that the upper body stays properly closed and aligned to the target is to have the glove-side elbow point to the target.

Throwing Arm Motion: Proper arm motion begins with the throwing hand in the glove on the ball, securing a proper four-seam grip. The sequence of movements in the arm motion are: 1) taking the ball out of the glove keeping the hand on top of the ball; 2) making a small circle; 3) repeatable overhand release point, and 4) snapping the wrist to start the ball on its way.

Consistent Overhand Release Point: As players mature they will need to be able to throw the ball from a variety of angles or release points. But a young player should strive to find a consistent overhand release point. A healthy release point to strive for has the upper arm almost parallel to the ground with the forearm at about a 90 degree angle and closely resembling the shape of a capital L that rotates forward toward the release point.

Leg Drive: The legs need to provide a balanced, athletic foundation for the upper body to function properly in the throw. The legs also are a source of power.

Throwing Drills
• Ready Break Throw
• QB Drill/One Knee/Skip and Throw/Clock Drill/Long Toss
• QB Dropback/Quick Feet/Box Throwing/Relay Race


721 Girl Catching Ball Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock

The fundamental checkpoints for catching the ball are: 1) athletic position with your legs,
2) elbows inside shoulders and away from body; thumbs up, “drive the bus, 3) move to catch the ball in the middle of your body, 4) always use two hands.

Catching Drills
• Infield Receiving Drill/Wide Receiver Drill/Underhand Hot Potato Box/2 Ball Juggle with Coach
• Quick Feet/Box Throwing/Relay Race/On the Fly Fungos
Infield Groundballs

Good infield play is about 1) footwork, 2) timing, 3) creating an angle to the ball, 4) keeping your elbows inside your shoulders and away from your body, 5) staying low. The fundamental progression to develop in young players for fielding a straight on groundball is creep, glide, field and throw.

The creep is a two-step, pre-pitch routine to get in an athletic position as the ball crosses the plate so the infielder can be ready to move if the ball is hit to him.
• Right step, then left step; left foot should hit the ground as ball crosses the plate.
• Eyes and the palm of the glove should be focused on the strike-zone.

The glide involves footwork and timing to get to the ball and breakdown into a fielding position.
• During the glide you need to get to the ball quickly, but under control.
• Imagine there is an eye in the palm of your glove and that eye has to stay on the ball that is hit to you.
• Create an angle for fielding the ball so you can see the hops from the side and create momentum toward first base for the throw; some coaches call this “getting to the right of the ball”.

The proper fielding technique on a straight on ground ball:
• Chest square to the ball, feet spread, knees bent, tail down.
• Field the ball off the glove-hand eye.
• Throwing hand goes on top of the ball.

Infielders need to position themselves to make a strong, accurate throw.
• Left shoulder pointed to the target, eyes focused on the target.
• Eyes should remain on the target after the release and until the ball is caught - “eyes to leather.”

Groundball Drills
• Perfect Play/GB Toss at SS/3 Play GB Toss at SS/Light Fungos at SS/Agility Ladder GBs
• Little Glove/Stopwatch/Divers/Last Man Standing
• DP Rotation at 2B/QB on the Run


boy-hitting-baseball - Baptist & Reflector

Common traits among the best hitters are that they see the ball better, have better balance, and better rhythm and timing than average hitters. These traits can be worked on along with the more technical fundamentals of stance, stride and swing.

Great hitters have different stances but they have a few key elements in common:
• Eyes level
• Balanced and relaxed
• Rhythm and movement

The stride creates timing and moves the hitter into the hitting position. The stride consists of footwork and hand movement. The most common stride is to reach forward with the front foot about six inches or so in a closed position while moving the hands slightly back. This “traditional” stride is the easiest for young hitters to repeat consistently.

• The stride should be in “slow motion”.
• The stride foot remains “closed”.
• Head stays “in a picture frame” ie still; eyes stay level; shoulder, hips and feet aligned.
• Hands move back slightly, to a position about in line with the back foot.

When the front foot touches down from the stride, the hitter is in the hitting position. Though great hitters may take slightly different paths, they all arrive at a common hitting position when their front foot touches down.

• Front shoulder is down and tucked.
• Head stays in the “picture frame”, eyes, shoulders, hips and feet are aligned.
• Hands are shoulder height and in line with back foot.
• Bat is slightly wrapped and at about a 45 degree angle.
• Feet remain closed.
A great way to see if hitting position fundamentals are sound is when a hitter takes a pitch. If the take is easy, balanced and in control, then the foundation is laid for a proper swing.

The swing is about the path of the barrel of the bat to the ball.
• Hands pull the knob of the bat across the body.
• Barrel of the bat takes a short path to the ball.
• The hips turn against a firm front leg.

Just as with the hitting position, all great hitters look alike when they make contact:
• Head down with eyes at the point of contact.
• Shoulders and hips square to pitcher’s mound.
• Upper body in line with back thigh.
• Rear toe to the ground, front leg is firm.
• Impact occurs at front foot.
• Top hand palm faces the sky.

The barrel of the bat should be accelerating through the hitting zone to drive the ball with backspin. After that, the follow-through is more a matter of personal style. Some hitters take their top hand off the bat and others do not.

A final word in working with young hitters. Keep everything simple. From a big picture standpoint, young hitters need to work on 1) seeing the ball, 2) balance, 3) rhythm, and 4) timing. From a technique standpoint, coaching checkpoints should be: 1) hands
controlling the barrel, 2) front-side staying closed, 3) short path to the ball, 4) hitting against a firm front side

Hitting Drills
• Overhand Lumberjacks/Side Lumberjacks/Bat Dips/Impact Wiggles/Windmill
• Stance Stride Swing Progression/Call Out
• Tee Drills: Stance Stride & Swing/Balance Drill/Step Up/45 Open/Close Tee Drill/Bottom Hand
• Soft Toss Drills: 45 Open/2 Strike/2 Ball/Target Practice/Left Right Center/Toss from Behind
• Short Toss Drills: Middle Opposite/Left Right Center/Wait and Hit/2 Strike

Contact Us

Mason District Little League

4270 John Marr Dr. #592 
Annandale, Virginia 22003

Phone: 571-544-6355
Email: [email protected]

Mason District Little League

4270 John Marr Dr. #592 
Annandale, Virginia 22003

Phone: 571-544-6355
Email: [email protected]
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