Having a strong and accurate throwing arm is vital for baseball players of all positions. Throwing drills build the arm strength, mechanics, and muscle memory needed for on-target throws from the infield to outfield. They also help prevent common arm injuries by progressively developing skills. Here are the best throwing drill routines to improve key areas and take your baseball throwing to the next level. For our favorite training ball check out the Kore Baseball.
Warm-Up Throwing Drills
Properly warm up your arm before throwing at max intensity. Try these dynamic warm-up drills:
Stand with arms straight out by your sides. Make small, controlled circles with your arms forwards and backwards. Slowly increase the size of the circles. Do 2 sets of 10 circles each way.
Clasp your hands behind your back and lift your arms up and down slowly. Also try reaching one arm across your chest and pulling on the elbow to stretch your shoulder. Hold each stretch for 5-10 seconds.
With one arm straight out, grab the finger tips with your other hand and gently pull the fingers back towards your body. Repeat with the other arm to stretch both wrists.
Walking Arm Circles
Walk forward doing arm circle motions as you walk to fully activate your shoulders. Start with small circles and gradually increase the size.
These dynamic stretches prepare your rotator cuff and prime your nervous system for throwing. Always warm-up before intense long toss or drills.
Long Toss Drills
Long toss drills build tremendous arm strength by throwing from progressively further distances. The long arc on the ball forces you to use proper throwing mechanics.
Base Distance Throws
Play catch starting at an easy 60 foot distance. Focus on putting zip on throws using your whole body. Take 10 throws at this short distance.
Move Back in Increments
Slowly increase the distance between you and your partner in 10-20 foot increments. Move back as far as you can while maintaining accuracy.
Throw Until Arm Fatigues
Remain at the max distance you reach until your arm tires. This trains arm endurance and strength. Finish with short distance throws to cool down.
Long toss 2-3 times per week trains your body and nervous system to handle making hard, accurate throws from the outfield to home plate.
Throw with Overload Balls
Training with heavier balls like medicine balls builds arm and shoulder power:
Single Arm Throws
Grab a 2-5 pound medicine ball and stand sideways like you’re throwing from third base. Throw into a wall working up to 20 throws on each arm.
Take knee in your fielding stance holding a medicine ball. Simulate snagging a grounder then make hard throws to first base. Do 10 each side.
Play catch with a medicine ball to simulate catching and throwing hard liners. Focus on quick transfers and using your legs to drive ball speed.
Using heavier balls than normal trains explosiveness to help throw lasers during games and practice. But don’t overdo it – stick to a few sets of 10-20 reps.
Throwing Accuracy Drills
Dialing in control and repeating your release point develops pinpoint throwing accuracy:
Hit Small Targets
Have a partner call out randomized targets to hit like corners of the batter’s box, fence posts, and bases. Aim for precision.
Simulate pickoff throws by doing 10 throws in a row to each base. Focus on proper footwork and consistency hitting your spots.
Throw to Specific Locations
Set cones to mark specific locations in the strike zone like inside corners, outer thirds, or high and low. Aim to hit each spot.
Hang a ball from a string or bungee cord. Throw 10-15 pitches aiming to hit the dangling ball as it moves like a piñata.
Accuracy drills ingrain the ability hit tiny targets from any angle or distance on the field.
Quick Release Drills
Developing a quick throwing motion reduces the time it takes to release the ball and nab base runners.
Rapid Fire Into Net
Stand 10 feet from a net and make 50-100 throws into it as fast as possible. Focus on shortening your arm path and quick transfers.
Side Throws on The Knees
Take a knee and simulate a sidearm throw from the 3rd base position, working on immediate ball transfers. Do 10 throws then switch sides.
Hold a ball in your throwing hand with your elbow bent and wrist cocked back. Rapidly flick throws into the net like skipping rocks across water.
These drills train fast-twitch muscle fibers and eliminate wasted motion from your throwing mechanics. Start throws slow focusing on form before building speed.
Increase Throwing Strength and Consistency
The key to lasting arm strength improvements is intelligent progression and recovery built into your throwing program. Here are some final arm care tips:
- Always warm-up your arm thoroughly before throwing at max effort
- Build volume gradually over several weeks and months
- Slowly increase throwing distance, speed, and reps
- Monitor for signs of overuse like soreness or reduced velocity
- Take at least 1-2 days off from intense throwing per week
- Follow throwing sessions with ice, compression, and massage
- Stretch regularly to maintain shoulder health and range of motion
With disciplined programming focused on mechanics, progressive overload, and recovery, your throwing velocity and stamina will improve dramatically.
Incorporate these throwing drills into your training to build the tools needed to control games from the mound or make accurate lasers around the horn. Precision throwing separates the best defenders and pitchers. Dedicate time to honing this vital baseball skill if you want to excel on the diamond. Master proper throwing form and your performance will reach new heights.
Throwing Mechanics Checklist
For maximum throwing power and health, there are key proper mechanics to ingrain:
- Feet - Point glove side foot towards target, drive back leg forward
- Hips- Rotate hips and shoulders back, then uncoil explosively
- Shoulders - Keep shoulders tilted back, don’t fly open early
- Elbow - Keep elbow above shoulder height throughout motion
- Wrist- Extend wrist late right before ball release
- Follow Through - Swing through and point chest towards target after release
Reinforce proper throwing form on all reps. Make adjustments to flawed mechanics immediately to develop muscle memory. Proper throwing foundation prevents injuries and unlocks peak ball speed.
Outfield Throwing Drills
Outfielders rely on making strong and precise throws to bases and the cut off man. Practice outfield arm strength and accuracy with these drills:
Place cones, buckets or have a partner stand on the bases. Jog back to the outfield and practice throwing on the run to your targets.
Sprint and Throw
Set up targets at different depths and angles. Sprint to field an imaginary ball, plant your feet and make hard throws to each target.
Outfield Wall Throws
Stand with your back against the outfield wall. Field imaginary balls coming off the wall and make hard turns and throws to the cut off man.
Jog around the bases and field imaginary balls on the run. Plant and throw to whichever base the coach calls out.
Make throws from max outfield distance and different arm angles. Work on crow hopping and adjusting your feet before throws.
Infield Throwing Drills
Infielders need lightening fast exchanges and throws to nab runners on grounders and steal attempts. Do these drills to up your infield throwing quickness:
With a partner, stand 5 feet apart and rapidly toss the ball back and forth, focusing on quick glove transfers. Do for 30 seconds to a minute.
Take grounders from the coach, field the ball cleanly and rapidly fire to first base. Exchange hands and repeat back and forth.
Double Play Turns
With a partner, simulate turning double plays with you at second base. Focus on transferring the ball from glove to throwing hand smoothly.
Position infielders at each base. Rapidly throw the ball around the horn drill making crisp exchanges.
Quickness and efficiency eliminate the wasted milliseconds that allow runners to reach safely. Practice lightning fast infield transfers until it becomes second nature.
Pitcher Fielding PracticeEven pitchers must field their position and make accurate throws. Use these drills to master pitcher throwing fundamentals:
One Knee Throwing
From the stretch, take a knee and simulate fielding and throwing to bases at different angles. Do 10 reps working on form.
Have a partner roll grounders from the mound to either side. Field and rapidly toss to first base. Do 5 each side focusing on footwork.
Cover First Base
Simulate covering first base on a grounder. Take throws from the catcher and infielders and make crisp returns to keep doubles plays alive.
PickoffsPractice deceiving pickoff throws to first and third base. Emphasize quick footwork and hiding the ball before throws.
Fielding and throwing quickly gives pitchers a weapon to control the running game. Even routine pitcher fielding plays require repetitious practice.
By dedicating regular practice to honing proper throwing mechanics and arm strength, your baseball throws will become formidable weapons. Use these throwing drills to tailor training for your position. With an accurate cannon for an arm, you’ll shut down opposing offenses and make it further in the game.