How to Throw a Baseball, Part 2: Mechanics of Throwing

Once we get our grip we need to know how to use our body the most efficient way possible so we can make a strong and accurate throw.  This article on the mechanics of throwing is part 2 of 3 on How to Throw a Baseball by MN Twins Doug Bernier.

Continued from How to Throw a Baseball, Part 1 – The four seam grip.

The mechanics of throwing a baseball.  Free baseball instruction

“..throwing hand holding the ball in the middle of our body, around chest height.”

The right way to throw a baseball. Free baseball instruction on

“…it should feel like you are leading your glove to your target.”

Mechanics of throwing a baseball

Wrist action is a critical component for power

NY Yankee Doug Bernier explains how to throw a baseball. Mandatory Credit: Ed Wolfstein Photo

Images by Ed Wolfstein

1.Keep ball at chest.  To start our throw lets have our throwing hand holding the ball in our glove right in the middle of our body, around chest height.

2.Line up to your target.  Have your feet and shoulders in line with your target.

3.Your front side and back side will be working together.  When starting your throwing motion and you separate your glove from the ball.  If your glove elbow goes straight towards your target, your throwing hand will be going in the correct position back.  If you close your body off, your throwing hand will be far behind your body making an accurate throw much more difficult.  Your two sides work opposite of eachother, so if one side is off, your other will be off also. Your body tries to stay in a strong position and to do that, your back side compensates by doing the extreme opposite of what your front side does.  Stay in a straight line to your target so you don’t fight against your body.  Let it work for you, not against you.

4. When taking the ball out of the glove, keep it facing the ground as long as possible. Your glove hand should follow along with what your throwing hand is doing. It should feel like you are leading your glove to your target with the heel of your glove hand. This is a strong position to throw.

The first instinct for many people is to take the hand out of the glove and have the baseball facing toward where they are throwing. Their glove hand will follow what the throwing hand is doing and this will be a weak throwing position.

5. Take the ball from facing the ground to facing behind you.  Once your hand can’t go back any more and it is time for your hand to be in the strongest position to throw the ball from. Keep thinking of taking the ball from facing down to the ground to facing the centerfielder (if you were pitching off the mound). This position will create as much torque as possible for your body.

Your glove hand will continue out and a little upward and your glove will go in the direction of where you are throwing the ball.  Some people will use their glove and some will use their glove elbow to line up where you want the ball to go.

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6. When throwing the baseball, take your chest to your glove.  You will take your front elbow and bring it back into your body and keep your glove in front of you so that it will eventually touch and meet up with your chest. You want to keep everything tight. The tighter you are the quicker you will fire. This is similar to ice skaters that when they want to spin faster they start moving their limbs in closer to their body.

This move will start some torque, at the same time your legs will start to fire and your hips will start to open up toward your target.

7. Throw the baseball.  The last thing to fire is your throwing hand and the ball to come out. You will follow your body, the ball will go from facing the centerfielder to turning toward your target. Your elbow will stay at about 90 degrees and you will feel that you are pulling the ball down.

You want to reach and get as much extension as possible as you throw toward your target.  This is like a whip effect. The further down the whip the quicker it snaps.

8. Use your fingers and wrist to throw. The big muscles set everything up for your little muscles to really fire and get the most out of your throw. Just working on using your wrist and fingers more you will really see a difference in the velocity of your throws.

Continue to follow through and don’t cut it off until your arm has decelerated as much as possible.

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About Author

Avatar für Doug Bernier

Doug Bernier, founder of Pro Baseball, debuted in the Major Leagues in 2008 with the Colorado Rockies, and has played professional baseball for 5 organizations (CO Rockies, NY Yankees, PIT Pirates, MN Twins, & TX Rangers) over the past 16 years. He has Major League time at every infield position, and has played every position on the field professionally except for catcher. (You should click to watch this great defensive play by Bernier) Where is he now? After 16 years of playing professionally, Doug retired and took a position as a Major League scout with the Colorado Rockies for 2 years. Currently Doug is the Data and Game Planning Coordinator with the Colorado Rockies


  1. Avatar für Kane Holland
    Kane Holland on

    While learning to throw a ball harder seems easy, you cannot go wrong with consulting professionals.
    You can ask your school coach for tips and corrections on how to pitch fast.
    They can spot what you have been doing wrong at a single glance. If you really want to excel in baseball, get a good coach.

  2. Avatar für Jack Aitchison
    Jack Aitchison on

    i play shortstop and i pitch for my freshman team and everytime i throw a ball it’s not accurate and i feel like i think to much about the throw but at the same time i feel as if there is something wrong in my mechanics. but mainly the ball goes off to the side and is rarely on target. what do you think is wrong?

    • Avatar für james morales-stitt

      It sounds like you thumb or your arm is in the wrong place. Take a fastball… Your thumb should be at the bottom or underside of the ball. This keeps the ball true, even at high speed. The other problem could be the angle of your entire arm. If you throw side-armed or even partially, it is difficult to keep your thumb under the ball. Also, if you error in the release, instead of going high/low it goes wide left/right.

  3. Avatar für Alex

    What If you have fell into the custom of throwing side arm? I find it hard to make a strong and accurate throw consistantly. any suggestions?

  4. Avatar für Robby

    Great article, I am a freshman playing D3 baseball and have gotten into bad habits with my throwing motion resulting in weaker throws that what I am accustom to, this article really helped.

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