softball throwing analysis

In order to be able to fully help your softball players to be good throwers, it helps to have a good understanding of the skill from as many angles as possible. Following is what can referred to as a referent model which can be used for softball throwing analysis that will give you some ideas on how to improve small specific pieces of the skill that need to be refined.

Softball Throwing Analysis

The best way to analyze softball skills is with video analysis.  The ability to slow the motion down and see specific movements by the player will allow you to not only take not of the refinements but also allows the player to see it as well.  This will be useful in the development of kinesthetic awareness.

Technical / Tactical Skill Factors

We don’t always consider it, but throwing is a technical and tactical skill.  How and when the player throws the ball will determine the ultimate success.

Some Technical Errors for Throwing

Technical Errors

Improvement Strategies

No Wrist Snap

Flip the ball at a wall or snap to partner

Stepping with the wrong foot

Mirror the movement with athlete

No follow through

Remind her to point her front shoulder after the throw

Not looking at the target

Use targets and move the target before throw

Some Tactical Errors for Throwing

Tactical Factors

Improvement Strategies

throws to incorrect base

have them stop before throwing

doesn’t know where to

use practice situations

no confidence in receiver

reinforce good throwing

Psychological Requirements

This game that has a lot of psychological barriers for athletes during competition.  The psychology of throwing should be a part of the softball throwing analysis and requires skills that are going to have a:

  • Narrow focus – making sure to hit the target
  • Confidence – feeling capable of making a good throw
  • Emotional Control – not worried about the outcome
  • Concentration -not distracted by environment and thinking about the process

Some Psychological Challenges for throwing

Technical Factors

Improvement Strategies

Scared to overthrow

Cue word just before throwing

Not confident about abilities

Visualization in between

Believes receiver cant catch

Focus on own skills , talk to the coach

Physical Requirements

Softball is a power sport that requires the following biomotor skills:

  • Coordination – transition to throwing / good mechanics
  • Balance – being able to plant the lead foot to start the throw
  • Speed strength – strong through full range of motion
  • Maximum strength – explosive power on the release
  • Flexibility – most productive range of motion of the arm
  • Agility – quick footwork in the transition to the throwing motion

Some Physical Challenges for throwing

Technical Factors

Improvement Strategies

Lack of strength

Therabands / weighted balls

Coordination

Coordination drills

Flexibility

Yoga / Post activity stretching

Performance Outcome Factors

Every softball skill is executed with a desired outcome.  That outcome however can be broken down just as the skill itself is.  Here are some expected performance outcomes that you might have in throwing analysis.

Expected Outcome

Mechanics / Biomechanics

Accuracy

Grip

Correct location

Stride

No effort required by receiver

Arm / wrist action

High velocity

Body rotation  / wrist snap

Quick transition

Follow through

Interventions

As coaches, error detection and correction is what we do.  There is a time and a place however for that activity to occur.  During competition is generally not the time.  Following is a few recommended paths you can take to help your players improve their skills.

Intervention

Timing

Break down the skill

During practice

Kinesthetic feedback

During practice

Skill instruction

During practice

Provide a mentor

During practice