Baseball is a game that consists of habits. It’s about expertise. No matter what, repetition is the easiest way to become an expert at the game. You want to throw the ball better? Start throwing it every day with the right mechanics. Get yourself in the habit of throwing it the correct way and it will become like clockwork. You’ll repeat the same throw every time.
Decker Sports has smaller sized baseballs to help you field better and this post will teach you how to throw a baseball. It is proven to bring your fielding percentage up because it is DIFFERENT than just fielding balls over and over. However, bad habits are incredibly hard to kick. That’s why it is important to learn the right way to throw a baseball the first time, as early as possible.
The reason the ball moves in the air is because of the Bernoulli Effect. Bernoulli said that if you have pipe that is smaller in the middle, the air would go in at one speed, go much faster through the smaller space and exit at the same speed as it entered. This effect can be used to explain the shape of airplane wings and how planes fly. The air in the sky is turbulent, but as it moves over the wing, it is calm and streamlined.
This same effect can be explained for a baseball. See the stitches on the baseball? They’re raised, meaning the air around the baseball is calm and will cut through the turbulent air molecules similar to a plane’s wing.
The most important thing to start with is your grip. There are many different ways to pitch a baseball and throw the baseball in the field.
The first thing we need to look at is our equipment. The baseball seems like a well-weighted ball that will throw pretty true to your aim. However, the ball moves much more than you may know or than what meets the eye.
Why is this important?
Well, that effect explains how pitchers can move the ball in addition to the raised seams. It also explains how the ball can move when thrown in the field of play. If you are throwing from third to first, or from the outfield to another player, the ball has a lot more time in the air to move.
Your grip should be a four seam grip.
This is how to throw a baseball properly. Your index and middle fingers should grip the ball perpendicular to the horseshoe of the seams or stitches. You want the ball to be released with the most perfect backward rotation possible. This is to deter the ball from veering left or right in the air. The four seam grip ensures that the ball will rotate backwards perfectly. Because your middle finger is a bit longer, it will leave the baseball last and give it that backwards rotation.
Grip Repetition and Rotation
Once you’ve got the grip down and you feel confident of being able to repeat that throw, it’s important to learn how to get to that grip when fielding the ball. Professional players can field a ball and by the time it leaves their hand, they’ve rotated the ball to grip it four seam. The baseball doesn’t need to rotate more than a quarter to get a four seam grip, meaning no matter how you field the ball, you should be able to rotate it quickly in your hand to a four seam grip before it leaves your hand.
No matter what, You want to make sure that your mechanics are correct. Get those good habits early and you’ll carry them for the rest of your life; and can pass them onto teammates or your children.
The mechanics of your throw are most important. If your mechanics are wrong, that’s when you injure yourself. It may not be right away, but over time your arm and shoulder muscles will deteriorate. Make sure you know how to throw a baseball properly, it will save you a ton of hassle and pain in the long run.
You want to make sure your shoulders are in line with your target, however it will depend on the situation of the ball you are fielding. When throwing, make sure the ball and your elbow are shoulder height or higher. If it is lower, your throw will look like a shot put and you will sacrifice muscle safety and velocity.
If you have the time, try to make sure you are stepping toward your target so all of your momentum is headed that way. When the ball leaves your glove, both hands should be moving in a symmetrical way until you get close to releasing the ball.
Outfield players, try to incorporate and improve your crow hop to get more distance and velocity in your throws. At lower levels, it is more important to throw the ball on a rope, or straight line. It feels more natural to try and throw the ball higher so it doesn’t bounce. However, like we discussed earlier with the Bernoulli Effect, throwing it higher is detrimental to your velocity. When you try and throw the ball higher, the air combined with the backwards rotation of the ball will only hold it up in the air even longer. Throw it on a rope, and even if it bounces, it will still get there faster, which is ultimately the most important thing.
Finally, when you release the ball, make sure you are using your wrist for extra velocity and remember to release with that middle finger last to ensure the backward rotation and a straight throw.
Following all of these tips will ensure that you become an expert on how to throw a baseball properly, as well as making sure your body can withstand the rigors of the game for as long as possible. The last thing you want as a player is to develop bad habits that you’ll carry for the rest of your life and can damage your body over time. Your body is your most important piece of equipment, you need to take care of it more than anything else.