For throwing problems, check the thumb

Sometimes the solution to a big problem is something small. Take throwing problems for example. If the ball is tailing off, or is not going hard enough, it could be due to the position of the thumb.

Girls have a tendency to lay their thumbs on the side of the ball rather than opposite the middle finger where it belongs. This is often driven by the size of their hands v. the size of the ball.

It’s funny when you think about it, really. Boys, who tend to have larger hands, play with a baseball that is nine inches in circumference. (Yes I know boys also play fastpitch, but it’s not predominant). Girls, whose hands are generally smaller than those of boys, play with a ball that has a circumference of 11 or 12 inches. It just doesn’t seem to match up.

The problem this creates is putting the thumb in the proper position opposite the middle finger can be somewhat uncomfortable for girls. The younger the girl, the more uncomfortable it can be. But laying the thumb out to the side is not a strong position, which means the throws won’t be as good as they could be.

As your players throw, it’s definitely worthwhile to check their grips and make the correction if needed. They may not like it at first, but you’ll be doing them a favor.


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 April 29, 2008, in Throwing. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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