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Throwing Learning - Issue #63
October 23, 2009

Throwing Learning

Hopefully you received my last newsletter on hitting learning. If not, there's a link at the bottom of this e-mail to see it. I did get a good response to the ideas and suggestions I gave there.

But I received an e-mail today telling me that my 4 videos are ready for me to review and while I'll still leave you guessing a little longer as to what they're about, I'll give you a hint.

It probably has to do with what we talked about in the last e-mail and something to do with what's in this e-mail about throwing learning.

I almost never talk about anything other than hitting or maybe coaching or playing the game but I rarely venture over to the "other side", the defense or throwing side.

But having coached for 35 years I certainly have had my opportunities to teach more than hitting.

And like hitting, there are simple steps to teach throwing, but most coaches don't emphasize the right things. Normally it's just "go play catch to warm up". Proper mechanics are so important and they have to be carefully watched otherwise they can go on for a long time until they get a coach like me that will break their bad habits to get them to throw correctly. (I even had to take the #1 kid in every league she played in for 8 years and start her on her throwing learning at the same place I start little 6 year olds (or younger) just to get her ready for the varsity HS team).

I break it down into 3 steps (4 if you count the grip as a throwing step) and actually the 3rd step is really just the full throwing motion so it's really only 2 drills that I pound into kids that other coaches seem to be willing to give up on way too early.

I insist on perfection on these two drills before you have your kids stop doing them which probably means they should be doing these at every practice for 3 - 4 months (if they're working on their own daily) or longer.

I even insist on the proper grip, because it starts everything. I even went to google images to find you an image for you and I found the same thing that I fight against all the time. A fraction of an inch does make a huge difference.

See if you can see the difference between the image at this website and almost any other you'll see for a 4 finger fastball grip, which is the proper grip for any straight throws, whether it's from the outfield, in the infield, from the catcher or a baseball pitcher and it works for softball as well as baseball.

You will have to allow for younger players and anyone with a hand that's too small to comfortably grip the baseball or softball with just two fingers to start using 3 across the wide seams (some people allow them to throw with only 2 seams because it feels smaller and therefore easier to control), but the 4 seam grip, across the "C" or "horseshoe" allows for straighter throws and a straight throw is the goal in almost all cases.

2 simple drills aid your throwing learning

Next I'm going to send you to a website that I think does a pretty good job of describing the drills I use (ignore the fact that his depiction of the 12 - 6 rotation of the ball is showing a 2 seam fastball rather than a 4 seamer. He does get it right in what he's saying, it's just the picture that's off. He also has a picture of the grip that is good too).

The things I add to what he's saying as I do with my hitting is I name them catchy phrases so the learning for the kids is easier to identify with.

Drill number 1 I call the "Flip Drill" and Drill #2 I call the "Swim drill" because you'll see the similarity between the arm movements that are very similar to the Australian crawl in swimming. (Some call this the one knee drill, but that's not as catchy and it only reminds them of how the drill is started not how to throw the ball).

Again I'm a stickler, as you should be, on making sure they do these right and don't let them off the hook just because "we've done that before". It's the only way I know to consistenly get kids throwing the straightest and allowing them to move up to the next levels of throwing mechanics.

So even though this sounds like this is for youngsters only, it is for anyone who throws technically incorrect regardless of age, but if you get them started early enough they won't have to back up and do these later.

Other stuff

So I hope you didn't mind the detour into throwing learning. I have a hitting guru friend that is convinced the better hitters are the better throwers and vice versa so learning the proper way to throw and developing those skills will necessarily improve your hitting skills. So maybe it wasn't such a departure afterall.

Again, look for more information from me and if you need better visual representation of these throwing drills (and along with other drills for throwing) and many hitting drills, I'll have those for you in video form very soon.

In my last newsletter I told you of an ESPN sudoku book that doesn't use numbers but uses the positions on the baseball field! P, C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, LF, CF, & RF It makes it a little more challenging but is still the same on all the ways that it's played and the strategies.

I have a couple of copies left. If you'd like one, they're $9.95 and I'll ship it out book rate for $3, just reply to this e-mail and I'll e-mail you back a paypal request to pay which you can pay with PayPal, credit card or electronic check and I'll ship you out one (if any are left, otherwise, I'll tell you they're sold out via e-mail). Might just be perfect for yourself or that great fan in your life.

Thanks for reading this hitting newsletter.

Again, if you have any questions or comments you can write to me via e-mail.

To see other hitting tips in past newsletters, go to the past issues of my hitting newsletter page.

Welcome to you who are new to my hitting e-zine.

Thanks for reading and talk to you next time.

Coach Andy

6801 Dove St. Ventura, CA 93003


Coach Andy Collins has been helping players achieve their goals in softball and baseball for over 30 years. He's an advisor to national teams and can help you be a better hitter. He offers free information on his website and through free e-mail hitting lessons and has just introduced a new hitting video discussing and demonstrating how to hit great with either the rotational or linear hitting methods.

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