I’m sure most of us pitchers have been instructed to throw down on the ball to add a better angle on the ball. In turn the hitter has a more difficult time seeing the ball.
So, is that a myth or a fact?
Well it is a myth and it can in fact cause major damage to your throwing arm.
It has been my experience that most coaches in little leagues across the country are still teaching youth pitchers to throw down on the ball.
I know this because the majority of the first lessons I teach to my students, I have to correct this mechanical flaw. Good thing its not too difficult of a problem for them to overcome.
Here are a few reasons why “throwing down on the ball” should never be taught.
It isn’t natural! Most pitchers natural arm slot is 3/4 arm slot anyway. Most of us aren’t built to raise are arms to the sky and come down on the ball like that. In fact, I don’t know anyone whose natural arm slot allows them to throw that way period.
We really don’t throw with are arm anyway? Yes that’s true. Have you heard that you throw with your legs?
Your legs, when used properly, will give you the momentum you need toward the plate, then your hips take over, then your core, then upper body and finally your arm. Your arm is literally along for the ride. In fact, your arm should be relaxed through the entire throwing motion; not tense.
What happens when you lift your arm up to throw down on the ball? Well, for one, your arm tenses up and you lose some flexibility which leads to decreased velocity and wear and tear on your arm. When you tense up while throwing your arm speed slows down too.
Your focus for power pitching shouldn’t be centered around arm strength. When throwing the ball correctly you need your entire body working together for the velocity in one relaxed, yet explosive throwing motion.
So what about creating a better angle on the ball? How do you do that?
The answer is that you don’t! You don’t need to when you understand pitching mechanics.
So why is this still taught in little league and high schools across the country? Your guess is as good as mine.
The fact is throwing down on the ball is a myth and if attempted could cause you some arm trouble.
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