Three Tips to Successful Throwing
Success is defined as the accomplishment of an aim or purpose. In the game of baseball/softball, specifically pitching, the aim is to throw a strike and get the hitter to record an out. As a defender on the diamond, we aim to throw the ball to a target to record an out as well. The aim is a very specific target in which we try and have success by hitting our aim. At Freedom Physical Therapy Services, we believe the three keys to success when throwing are: Repeatable Mechanics, Intent, and Efficiency.
Hitting a specific target when throwing is a hard task in itself if we break the task down to its bare bones. If an athlete is unable to perform the same mechanics with each throw, this objective becomes even more challenging. It is imperative young athletes can perform the same motion from their first pitch to their last pitch at the end of their pitching outing or end of the game. This allows each player to have a solid working foundation to build on. The best way to ensure repeatable mechanics is through PRACTICE. Practice, practice, and more practice. Practice can happen anywhere an individual has open space. Athletes should repeat their mechanics to make sure they can perform the movement without thinking. It should become second nature to perform mechanics
Intent and repeatable mechanics go hand in hand when looking for success with throwing a ball. We need to have specific intentions with what we are trying to accomplish. For example, pitchers should be throwing to a specific location within the strike zone to get a hitter out. This could be hitting the outside corner with a fastball to get weak contact to one of the infielders to throw a runner out or make sure you throw your curveball low in the strike zone to induce a swing and miss for a strikeout. The same intent can be applied to any defender on the baseball diamond.
We aim to have the specific intent of hitting our target in the chest to record an out. This can be applied to a shortstop trying to turn a double play with the second basemen, or a centerfielder trying to hit his relay man to throw the tying run of the game out at home plate. Any scenario we have as a throwing athlete on the baseball or softball diamond, we should have the intent of hitting a specific target to execute and complete.
As Physical Therapists, we aim to make movements as efficient as possible to limit our exertion with tasks and activities. The same concepts are applied to throwing. We want to make sure our bodies are as efficient as possible to maximize our success. The more efficient a movement pattern we have as a thrower the more accurate we can be and the harder we can throw. Efficiency works hand in hand with repeatable mechanics and intent. We can make our mechanics more efficient when we can repeat them and make the needed changes to maximize efficiency. We can also maximize efficiency by having specific intent in our throws.
These are three keys to success when throwing a baseball or softball that any athlete can start implementing into their regimen. At Freedom Physical Therapy, we are always willing to assist athletes desire to better themselves and minimize their injury risk. Schedule your appointment today!