Using the glove arm when throwing

I’m not sure when this started happening, but from my observations it seems like a lot of girls are learning to throw without using the glove arms effectively. Most of the time when that happens, they either let the glove hang down limply at their sides or they sort of sweep it down and then behind them.

Neither of these methods is very effective. At least with the second, there is some effort to use the glove side. With the first, where the glove hangs limply, there are a couple of problems.

One of the biggest is a lack of balance when throwing. The body likes to be in balance when making athletic movements. When the throwing arm is moving back then forward, balance can be affected — especially if there is nothing to offset the movement. If the glove arm just hangs down, it is not being used to balance the body. Therefore either some other body part is going to have to provide the balance — often the head — or the throw will be made off-balance.

Another problem is a loss of power in the throw. Some girls who do this have strong arms, so they believe they’re throwing as hard as they can. But they’re not. Pulling with the glove arm adds some attack to the throw, helping make it sharper. No matter how hard you throw, you will throw harder by using the glove arm.

The way to think of it is to picture a tug of war. You are manning the rope. The glove arm should pull back as though you are pulling on a rope. It pulls at the same time the throwing arm moves forward.

If you are throwing without the glove side pulling, or have players who are doing it, it’s time to make the change. It may throw them off a little at first, but the end result will be a better overall throw.

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About Ken Krause

Ken Krause has been coaching girls fastpitch softball for nearly 20 years. Some may know him as a contributing columnist to Softball Magazine, where he writes Krause's Korner -- a regular column sponsored by Louisville Slugger. Ken is also the Administrator of the Discuss Fastpitch Forum, the most popular fastpitch discussion forum on the Internet. He is currently a Three Star Master Coach with the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), and is certified by both the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) and American Sports Education Program (ASEP). Ken is a private instructor specializing in pitchers, hitters, and catchers. He teaches at North Shore Baseball Academy in Libertyville, IL and Pro-Player Consultants in McHenry, IL.

Posted on March 30, 2008, in Throwing. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. This makes me think of the old point and throw my coach taught me, and I’m trying to hand down to my daughters team… Point the glove where you want the ball to go… Pull it back through the throw… POINT…SHOOT…HIT

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  2. I used to teach it that way, but there’s a tendency for the glove to swim out instead of pulling back. It also doesn’t involve the shoulders as much. Try pointing the elbow instead of the glove. You’ll find they throw harder and more accurately.

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