In past posts I’ve discussed using varying arm slots and how to maximize your warm up throwing. The purpose of this post is to dive into throwing on the run and specifically a drill progression for learning or refining your throws on the run.
In a perfect world we’d get a perfect hop on a groundball and have nice athletic base with our feet lined up to our target to throw. Unfortunately, it’s not a perfect world. Having to throw on the run is inevitable as an infielder. Majority of the time throwing on the run is the result of having to field on the run. You can see our charge play rules in IMAGE A. Those rules are our cues for completing a charge play, but how would we go about learning to throw on the run?
The critical takeaways from IMAGE A when it comes to throwing on the run are:
- Maintain just about the same trunk angle, relative to the ground, throughout fielding the ball and the throw. Think of throwing from where you field it.
- Throw off of the right foot so you can drive off the foot for some power and to rotate your hips open.
- Show your belt buckle to the target. This will ensure you rotate your hips into the throw.
- Aim for the target’s correct should to account for run or tail on the throw from the momentum of your movement (right shoulder on most charge plays).
The following drill progression is 4 steps that include Throwing Posture-Ball in Glove, Throwing on the Move-Ball in Glove, Receive Toss or Hop on the Move, Field Slow Roller on the Move.
Throwing Posture-Ball in Glove (GIF A)
In this first step the fielder will hold the ball in their glove and stand on their right foot. They should bend over as to mimic a neutral arm slot, not too low or too high. This step will ingrain the correct posture and maintaining that posture thru the throw. As they throw it’s important to remember to show the belt buckle to the target so our hips open.
Throwing on the Move-Ball in Glove (GIF B)
In this step the fielder will hold the ball in their glove and take a few steps before establishing their trunk angle and throwing off the right foot. This step will ingrain initiating the throw off of the right foot and the correct timing of the footwork and arm action.
Receive Toss or Hop on the Move (GIF C)
In this step the fielder will move toward the ball that will be tossed to them, in the gif I’m receiving it off of a bounce. This step will add the receiving of a ball when on the move and then initiating throwing off the right foot and turning the belt buckle.
Field a Slow Roller on the Move (GIF D & E)
In this step the fielder will field a slow roller that is either rolled from a coach/partner or a fungo. This will be closer to live action speed. The fielder can field it one handed or with 2 while using the proper footwork for each and the proper throwing on the run technique.
There are various factors that can be altered to change the difficulty of the drill progression.
- Ball Speed
- Ball in Glove
- Live off a bat
- Ball Height-the higher the ball is received the easier
- Chest height
- Waist height
- Knee height
- Ankle height
- Player Movement-change the direction the fielder moves to throw relative to the target
- Move to the left
- Move toward target
- Move to the right
- Move away from the target