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Throwing Curriculum by Jeff Kane


This Throwing Curriculum breaks down the throwing motion into 3 basic parts (Grip not included): The Pivot, Break to Power Position and Power Position to follow through.  Please note that the drills provided are for beginners but should be continued throughout middle school, high school and college.  Also note that the end goal is a fluid, balanced throwing motion.  Please feel free to ask any questions.


The Grip:  First and foremost thing to address w/ young kids.  All kids should hold the ball using a 4-seam grip.  This will lead to a straighter, more accurate throw.  Good cues to use are to tell them to hold the ball “across the ‘C’”.  If hands are too little, it’s OK let them use three fingers


The Pivot:  First move to throw

  • Back foot must turn and plant perpendicular to the target (should form the letter “T” with the direction of the throw
  • Hands should be together at this point
  • Eyes/head up and focused on target

The Break to Power Position

  • Shoulders turn and front shoulder is pointed at target
  • Hands come down “the zipper” and break around the belt
    • Think about the hands/elbows making a “W”, or each hand mirroring what the other does.
    • Key terms here—“down back and up”, “thumb to thigh”
  • During the break, front foot strides to target, weight slightly back
    • Front foot should land slightly closed “not flying open” and show the target your “back pocket”
    • Ball should be facing back (away from target)—player should be able to look back and see the back of his hand
    • Shoulder should remain pointed at the target
    • Lead arm should act as a “scope”—this can be done w/ the glove (thumb down) or the elbow
    • This is called the “Power Position”

Power Position to Throw/Follow Through

  •  Drive chest to glove (some coaches say drop the glove…I don’t recommend this…encourages spinning instead of driving)
  • General rule—keep elbow up…above shoulder
  • Throw the ball “out front” and “down hill”
  • Accelerate the arm (last 10 %)
  • ALL momentum should be going towards the TARGET!!
  • Heel should finish to the sky, back slightly bent, head still on target

Important keys:

  • As always, BALANCE is crucial and increases accuracy
  • Encourage kids to throw the ball out front and really “finish their throw”…too many quit early, fall off or recoil
  • Head must stay still throughout delivery
  • Although breaking down the throwing motion is good, encourage kids not to stop their arm when throwing…once the basics are taken care of, it should be one, fluid arm action
  • Every kid may have different tendencies to maximize velocity and accuracy...make sure the basics are there (i.e.…dropping the elbow is NOT good), but encourage things that WORK!!!

Drills (use stripe ball for all drills)


Seated Stripe/Drag Drill- sit cross legged, drag ball along ground, lead w/ front arm and throw ball out front...stripe should run straight up and down


One Knee/Thumb to Thigh Drill- lead leg should be up, back knee down.  Hands should break down the zipper, “thumb to thigh”, “down back and up”, drive the chest to the glove and finish OUTSIDE the lead leg.


Feet in Cement Drill (can be done on two knees also)- both sets of toes should be pointed at the target, knees slightly bent, shoulders should then turn, hands break to power position, then throw, making sure to finish out front.  Player should be bent over, bent back, loose arm finish…accentuate the “last 10 %”)


Power Position to Finish Drill (also can “Rock back and Drive”) - start at Power Position and throw from there and follow through.   Focus on driving chest to glove, throwing out front, and the finish (which you can hold).  If you want to “rock and drive”, have player shift weight to back leg, break and throw all in one motion


Mechanized Game of Catch- break throwing motion down to Pivot, Break/Power, and Throw/Follow Through…this should evolve into one fluid action.