Softball Throwing Biomechanics

Softball Throwing Biomechanics

Throwing is one of the most important skills in softball.  If you can consider the softball throwing biomechanics, you will have a good understanding of the mechanics for teaching and error detection and correction purposes.  Following is an analysis of a right handed softball player and their throwing.

Softball throwing biomechanics for a right handed thrower

Objectives of the Skill

  • To get the ball to a specific location with high velocity under varying conditions

Special Characteristics

  • Non – repetitive closed skill

Identify Top-flight Performance of the Skill

  • An athlete with a longer arm will improve the effect of the throwing lever
  • Strength
  • Experience level

Technical Progressions

  • begin with the feet shoulder width apart to facilitate balance
  • step forward with the right foot transferring the weight (center of gravity) to that foot
  • rotate upper body back to the right to facilitate the coiling effect
  • step forward with the left foot toward the target
  • begin rotation toward front to the left with the hips first, then shoulders then elbow and wrist
  • right elbow moves in front of the body bringing the ball and the wrist in line with the target
  • snap the wrist in front of the body at the target on release of the ball
  • follow through with deceleration of the upper body and arm extend down past the hips to the left

Evaluation and Assessment Tools

  • video analysis
  • charts and graphs
  • self evaluations
  • statistics from games
  • general observation


Most common errors

  • not looking at target
  • ball too far or too close to the body
  • not stepping toward the target
  • no follow through

Throwing Factors

When teaching or evaluating softball throwing, we need to consider of course the numerous conditions that the throw is made.  This is discussed in the throwing for beginners article.  The softball throwing biomechanics is an evaluation tool that will be useful when detecting the small things that can make a difference in the outcome of the throw.

This would be considered a part of the process of teaching throwing.  We need to also be aware of paralysis by analysis that can be more confusing than helpful.  As with hitting, softball is a skill with many components and that requires coordination and flow.  Any interruption in these elements will decrease the success.  This is why mental skills are important in allowing the thrower to relax which will allow them to execute.