Throwing.

by Jordan
(Pennsylvania)



Everyone throws differently, and just like every other player, I throw up over my shoulder like I was taught. Well, my dad is the one who taught me how to throw, which was when I was 6, because I started out with Tee-Ball then I moved into fastpitch, and my dad taught me everything I know. He's been my sister's coach and so has my mom, since she was little, but she plays slow pitch, and so do I. I play both fastpitch and slowpitch, I know that might bring up some questions, like how can I do both?, and doesn't it affect your swing? The answer is, no, I can transfer back and forth from fastpitch to slowpitch without having any problems with batting, or anything. Now, that I'm playing for my high school, my coach wants me to change the way I throw, and I just can't throw the way they want me to. I haven't even heard of throwing the way they taught us. They want us to catch the ball, crow hop, bring the ball behind our shoulder-palms out, then come down over our shoulders- release infront of us, follow through, and then bend our backs and follow through with the other leg. I just can't do it! It completely screws up my throw, the ball goes to the ground. So, my question to you is, have you ever taught your girl's to throw like this?, have you ever heard of throwing like this?, and do you think I should keep throwing my way or they're way? Sorry, for such a long paragraph, I just wanted to make sure you had everything so you could understand my questions better.

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Teaching to throw
by: Coach Dan

Hi Jordan,

Thank you for the details. I appreciate the time you spent articulating your situation.

Ok, when I hear "crow hop", I am assuming this is for throwing from the outfield. I can think of no reason why you would crow hop in the infield. Too much time lost. Are you an outfielder?

I also read your description about six times and my head hurts. Sounds very complicated. That being said, here is what I think. I have always been of the mind that if it ain't broke, don't fix it when it comes to softball. The concept has been more applied to hitting the ball than throwing the ball.

Let me ask you a very pertinent question. When you throw the way your dad taught you, do you have the velocity and distance expected from your high school coach? A crow hop is generally used to add distance to your throw. If you are getting the distance and accuracy, then you need to have a conversation with your coach. I would attempt to try the crow hop with your throwing style initially and see if you get the distance and accuracy required. If so, the conversation should go along the lines that you are satisfying what his/her expectations are, even if it is not 100% as he desires.

Many coaches like to have uniformity when their players do something, be it hitting, fielding or throwing. That way, if something goes wrong, they (the coach) know what to look for and how to fix it. The question becomes at what point has the coach over-engineered the team. It is one thing to do it at 10U or younger, when muscle reflexes have not been set. It is quite another to do it when you are at the high school level. As the saying goes, "hard to teach an old dog new tricks." Not that you are an old dog ;), but you get the point.

See if your dad can work with you on the crow hop with how you throw and see if that will satisfy your coach.

Hope this helps and best of luck with your season.

Kind regards,
Dan

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I dont understand.
by: Jordan

I play in the infield, I'm a third basemen. What I don't understand is he can't really determine if we can throw the ball from our position to the proper destination that he chooses, because were conditioning right now and were in our high school cafiteria, which is big enough for simple drills and such, but for throwing. I can throw the ball from mid-outfield to the plate. So, I don't see why there would be a problem with the way I throw, and I have good accuracy as well. I don't understand the crow hop either, especially for an infielder. I also don't understand why he wants our back to bend the whole way down with the follow through? He said he shouldn't see our face after we throw?

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Have a discussion
by: Dan

I think I would have a discussion with your coach. BTW, my daughter is in a similar situation. She is a senior and they brought in a whole new coaching staff. The first indoor practice was on how to grip a softball for throwing. She's been playing since she was 6 and was all league as a sophomore and junior.

Here is what I will tell you. Sometimes, especially in pratices that are not "official" practices ... like before the PIAA says you can start practicing, which is not until March, these practices serve the coaches to do some basic things that they would not have time to do in the regular season. That is why they are called "camps" and not practice.

Your coaches are teaching this for everyone's benefit. If you can throw as you should from third to first and do what you need to do, once real practice begins, you should be fine. Talk with your coach and let him know about where you are with this and also show him in these "camps" that you are giving 100% and you should be fine.

Hope this helps,

Dan

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