Softball is my Life
Protecting throwing arm / Pronation at young age
I have a 2001 team and we have been playing for about a year and a half. We are now moving up to 12U. I have never really worked on throwing mechanics and the girls and they have all kinds of different throwing patterns. We as a team decided to have closed practices to work on throwing mechanics for the next 2 weeks. I'm teaching them what I have learned from you guys especially from the "Throwing" thread, and watching how the best players in college are throwing (Hanson principle). One of our players dad has an outside D1 coach with lots of experience that works with her throwing, catching and hitting. They left the team partially because of not wanting to buy into how we wanted the team to throw. Her throwing pattern was no where near what high level college throws look like. This was her basic pattern. 1. From glove take ball around and back to the "L" position. 2. Step and rotate shoulders and then throw hard in a downward motion.
This is a quote from him to our other coach in an email.
"Please be cautious with the other players on the team and watch closly what he is saying. As I mentioned to you about the throwing mechanics, if he is preaching thumb down or pronating you are looking to destroy the girls arms. That is for fully developed arms and pitchers that are paid millions of dollars to push their arms to the limit. There is a reason baseball pitchers have pitch counts and little league pitchers have inning limits."
Please let me know what you guys think of this.
Certified softball maniac
Good friend of my is a college d1 coach. His words to me over pizza and beers: "Throwing? The biggest thing I know about throwing mechanics is don't recruit girls that don't already have it."
Hopefully Alan you get a new throwing thread re started.
Not to hijack, but just walked in the house from practicing throw downs to 2nd with dd. She is throwing ok, probably middle of the pack 12u, her arm mechs look fine, I have been working on her using her legs more to tap into more velocity. My question is what part do the legs have in a throw? I am telling her to push of the back foot, only because that seems right to me.
Certified softball maniac
To your pronate thoughts thoughts: I was wondering what dd was doing on vid, ffs pointed out that she pronating naturally, and don't change it. I have videod her and her bff, both pronate, both are our best arms an our team (not saying a whole lot), but both do out last me on long toss before their arms tire.
Softball is my Life
This is the model throw I'm showing my girls. Not what she says to do but what she does when she actually throws. The last three throws in the video.
Almost all high level college girls throw with this arm action. Now is this something you shouldn't teach to young girls? What age should they learn to throw like this? To me it shouldn't matter the age. This is the arm action that I taught my 10 year old several months ago and she has pretty much perfected it and is very accurate, quick and even has stronger throws. This is what I'm trying to teach the entire team to do now. Also everything I've read about pronation is that it is good.
I just want to verify with those who know kinesiology if this is appropriate for any age? Is this the arm action that needs to be taught?
I really like what Wellphyt talks about when not externally rotating until the front leg rolls over. It just makes sense to me.
To me what feels the best with my arm is when I externally rotate and up kind of behind my head (acute angle / forearm close to bicep) and my elbow rotates with my shoulders until it is out front and then it is just an extension of the arm to release. Just like in the video of Ashley, that is what I see. If I externally rotate and keep more of an "L" or right angle (ball farther away from me) that is when it hurts more to throw. Hope this makes sense. I was a physics major in college but it just seems logical if the ball is a farther from you as you rotate then it is going to cause more stress on the arm. To me that is why I think if feels better to have the ball closer (behind head) and then after rotation it is more or less a straight extension of the arm. Seems to be no stress, but still have the velocity on the ball. I'm I seeing and feeling this correctly.
I'm just looking for more discussion and knowledge. I have a 4 year old that will start playing next year. I want to know what to teach her.
BTW We got to get Ashley's autograph last year when we watched the USA team at play the Aggies at College Station. She was super sweet and was always smiling.
Last edited by Alan Snedeker; 08-02-2012 at 03:51 PM.
I'm a fan
My name is Austin Wasserman and own an Athletic Development company in Nashua, NH. We have worked with a ton of youth, high school and collegiate Softball Players. Throwing is one of the most difficult things to "re-teach" because countless reps of the wrong sequence and patterns have been engrained in these girls over time. I see you were a physics major in college. I studied Kinesiology and Exercise Phys. I like where you're head is at in terms of thought process and finding "the feeling" of a proper throw verse a "gross, pushing" throw.
Below are a few articles I wrote about high level throwing mechanics. Let me know if you have any questions. Talk soon.
Why Your Softball Players Have Elbow Pain: Wrist Flick Edition
Training Movement Patterns: What Sport Specificity Really Means
Stability Ball Throws
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