Coaches should not let ballplayers waste their warm-up time, by allowing them to throw for very long, without a purpose. Most kid's arms loosen easily and once loose, players proceed to lose interest and do not concentrate on their throwing. The following two drills keep warm-up time beneficial, as they are a good way to practice accuracy, as well as for gaining a better understanding of the game.
Having young ballplayers aim for the receiving player's chest with throws is fine, but as they move up in experience, it is necessary to make throws to different heights. For example, on a relay throw the target should be head high, on double play throws, chest high, on routine throws to first base, waist high and with tag plays, knee high.
Receiving a double play or relay throws at ankle high hurts players chances of making plays, just as receiving tag play throws at head high is not the best for getting outs. Additionally, first baseman cannot stretch out as far at higher thrown balls.
For that reason, coaches assign a number to each section of the body for this throwing accuracy warm-up drill, with one being the head, two the chest, three the waist and four the knees. Once players understand what body part is associated with each number, this throwing drill is simple. The receiving player simply flashes a number, from one to four, designating where the throw should be made.
Over time, players' throwing accuracy improves, as well as their understanding of game situation throws, and that the target for every throw is not the chest, as is often taught.
Another good throwing accuracy warm "“up drill, more well known, has players compete against their catch partner. The target for each throw is the receiving players' chest or head. For every throw caught in front of their body, between their waist and shoulders, players receive one point, and for each throw caught in front of their face, players receive two points, as that is a smaller target. Receiving players do not move in front of balls for this drill, as any throw that is not directly at the target receives no points.
After a catch, where one of the intended targets is hit, the receiving player flashes a one or two at the throwing player, so they know when they receive points and for adding their totals. When one of the players reaches five points, the throwing partners back up a few feet and begin scoring again. Obviously, this competition becomes more difficult the further players are from each other.
These accuracy throwing drills are a better use of warm-up time, keeping kids more interested, as well as for teaching them that every throw has a purpose.
After playing major league baseball, Jack Perconte has taught baseball and softball since 1988 and offered valuable coaching training too. He has helped numerous youth players reach their potential, as well as having helped parents and coaches navigate their way through the challenging world of youth sports. Jack is one of the leading authorities in the areas of youth baseball training and coaching training advice.All Jack Perconte articles are used with copyright permission.
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