Today, we’re going to take a look at a cool throwing drill that’s designed specifically for youth softball players.

I like this drill because it explains throwing mechanics using a concept most kids are familiar with – swimming! Whether they’ve been watching Michael Phelps on TV, or taken swim lessons themselves, even young players tend to understand the arm motion of a front crawl, and translate it into throwing the softball fairly easily.

“Swim” Throwing Drill

Have your players partner up and kneel with the throwing side knee down, facing their partner, around 10-15 feet apart. Place the ball on the throwing arm side, then, using a swimming motion rotate both arms around in a wide, looping circle, sweep down and pick up the ball, then throw it to your partner in one smooth motion.

Make sure your girls are getting their elbow up above the ears, and releasing the ball with a good wrist snap. As they get more comfortable with it, extend the distance between the two players to create a longer and longer throw.

If you enjoy the video, make sure to click the Like button before you go!

Recommended Resource: Youth Softball Throwing and Catching Skills – discover an easy step by step plan for installing reliable, consistent, and stunningly effective throwing and catching skills with every player on your team. Jam-packed with simple drills and coaching cues designed specifically for kids under 12.

    7 replies to "The “Michael Phelps” Secret To Throwing Mechanics"

    • Walt

      Why not take the 7 & 8 year olds and teach them correct mechanics from the beginning. The mechanics taught here will lead to lots of arm injuries. When was the last time you saw a college player or an elite player throw a ball with these mechanics – uh never ? The long arm movement taught here is the bad habit that needs to get broken not too far down the line.

      • Becky

        Hi Walt – thanks for your input. It’s a valid point – but I think this “swim” cue tends to really help with the tendency for young girls to “short-arm” or “shot-put” the ball. Of course, the mechanics will be refined over time to include the entire “kinetic chain” – but I think this is a good start. Interested in hearing your favorite approach for teaching throwing mechanics? Also interested in what the other coaches in our community think?

    • Jodi Murphy

      It seems like a great way to work on form with younger players. The fundamentals are so important and learning how to do it right from the beginning is always the best option.

    • Richard

      Good video – thanks for posting. I’ve already shared it on Twitter. -Richard

    • Kris

      Nice drill – keeping them on their knees also isolates the upper body to get the proper hip and should rotation. When they stand up and can step into it, the throw seems easier and more powerful.

    • Marion Smythe

      Good video Becky – I will check out the full tape – interested in what other drills are included?

    • Coach Nissi

      I like the approach – seems like something my 7-8 yr olds would understand and be able to practice on the field and at home with their parents too.

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