June 2019 - Tip of the Month
Grip it and Rip it!
One of the things that I believe has set our program apart from all of the others is our attention to details. We spend a great deal of time making sure we touch on every little thing that could impact the success or failure of a particular skill. I always want each catcher to know the entire process behind a skill so that they’re able to make adjustments as needed in the middle of games, no matter their age.
One of those small details that we constantly teach is using a four-seam grip when making a throw. For those not familiar, this is what it looks like:
By gripping the ball this way, it makes it less likely for the air that the ball is thrown through to impact the movement of the throw as it makes its way to 2B. Often, a mis-grip can lead to a tailing action on the ball which affects the accuracy of our throws. A four-seam grip allows the air to pass over the ball evenly as it rotates through the air, one set of horizontal seams tumbling over the next.
Now let me state for the record that this is slightly less of an issue in the girls game. The ball, being larger, is not nearly as affected by the grip as a baseball. However, those female athletes who develop the stronger arms in the game, will also see a very large impact on the movement of the throw as well. So it is important for catchers in both sports to be aware of the grip that they are using.
All that being said, it is important to remember that anything which takes away our ability to get rid of the ball will inevitably lead to a slower throw. If we don’t come out of the glove with the our fingers spread across the correct seams and spend additional time fooling around with the ball, trying to get the perfect grip instead of throwing, we are only hurting our chances of an out.
We can spend time working on coming out of the glove with the proper grip. We could do it while sitting on the sofa watching TV if we must, but in the middle of a game when the pressure is on?…GRIP IT AND RIP IT! Don’t concern yourself with getting it right every time. Concern yourself with getting rid of the ball.
Remember, the ball is never traveling any faster than when its out of your hand and in the air!
Thanks for reading this month’s Tip of the Month!