Teaching your daughter to throw a softball correctly focuses intently on the throwing motion and mechanics. Proper throwing form means mastering the mechanics, which is putting all the “little” elements together perfectly. The most effective way to teach your daughter to throw a softball correctly is to break it down into a series of three isolation drills.
1. Indian Style. The first series in teaching your daughter to throw a softball correctly is the Indian style which isolates the upper body for correct form and teaches using the glove hand to properly rotate the shoulders. Your daughter should start with her hands together and rotate her shoulders 90 degrees so that her glove hand shoulder is facing the target. Her glove arm and throwing arm should extend (the ball hand should swing down first, then back up) so that her glove is pointing at her target and her throwing arm is behind her, coming up until the bicep is parallel with the ground and she has a 90 degree angle at the elbow (forearm pointing up). The wrist should be cocked and the ball facing backwards. As your daughter’s elbow and arm come forward, she should start to pull her glove toward her chest. She should keep her elbow high (dropping it will cause her to sidearm the ball). She should release the ball at her ear, snapping the wrist and bringing the glove to her chest. Her follow through should come across the chest and her shoulders should be squared to her target.
2. One Knee. The second series is the one knee position. Have your daughter assume the one knee position, kneeling on her throwing leg, the stride leg in front pointing toward the target. This position, like the Indian style, focuses on the upper body throwing mechanics. The same steps for the throwing motion should be used here as in the Indian style, pointing the glove at the target, keeping the elbow high, and keeping the glove close to the body. Your daughter should follow through on her throw with her elbow outside her stride knee, bending at the waist.
3. Standing. Finally, have your daughter stand up and put the upper body mechanics together with the lower body. Have her stand with her glove hand side facing the target, hands together, head turned toward the target, and feet shoulder width apart. As her ball hand swings down and comes up to a 90 degree angle with the elbow, and her glove arm extends out in front of her, she should take a step with her stride leg (her stance should widen at this point). Her glove and stride foot should be pointed toward her target. Have her transfer her weight to her back foot as she lifts her stride foot off the ground. As she comes forward with the ball in the throwing motion, she should transfer her weight back to her stride foot and release the ball at the ear. The glove should pull into the chest as her throwing arm follows through across the chest (her elbow should end up across her midsection) and her back foot should come forward, pointing at the target. Her shoulders and hips should also be squared to the target. As she gets the mechanics down going in slow motion, you can work on putting it all together in one, smooth motion.
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