Kickball Help Please
April 14, 2014 12:37 PM   Subscribe

Just joined a kickball team. My throws are sad. they go maybe 15 feet. How do I get more power in my throw?
posted by kristymcj to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This is hard to tell, not seeing a video of you throwing, but there are a couple of possible solutions.

1) Your release point is either too high or too low. Is it popping up in the air, or just heading straight down? If so, try to get a nice, even arc on the ball. Experiment letting it go at a different angle.

2) Are you throwing just with your arm? Good throwing motions involve your legs and your core. Step into the throw, and torque your body to move with you. This is from water polo, but notice how the body opens up to your throwing side, there's a step, and then closes.

3) If you just can't get any action using a traditional throwing motion, you can practice slinging it - i.e., like a discus. It takes a lot of practice to be able to find a consistent release point where it will go where you want it to, but it does allow you to build up some momentum behind your throw.
posted by rutabega at 12:44 PM on April 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

You have to get your whole body into it, especially your shoulder, so that your whole arm is acting like a lever. The sort of weak throw people often describe as "throwing like a girl" is weak because people are only really using their forearm to power the throw, throwing from the elbow.

To get power behind the ball, bring your throwing hand back slightly behind you at waist level, then as you throw, step forward with the opposite foot, bringing your arm up in a big circle, releasing the ball at the top of the circle.
posted by Diablevert at 12:46 PM on April 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Leverage and momentum. Take a look at how baseball pitchers and cricket hurlers throw.

I think the key is getting used to having your whole body be part of the throw. One way to get used to this is to practice doing the throw at a jog. Assuming you throw with your right hand, you want to start the throw by pushing off with your right foot, and finish it just after planting your left foot. Once you're at speed, and ready for the throw, count out loud with your steps, right-left-throw! You might find it easier to do a stutter-step, actually, so you hop with the right foot before starting the motion. i.e. (jogging) RLRLRL (time to throw) right-(hop)-right-left-throw!

Take a look at these .gifs of baseball players throwing. Notice a few things:
- Always a stutter step going right-left-throw (unless they're left handed in which case it flips). Right foot pushes off, left foot plants simultaneous with the throw.
- Ball is always pulled behind them before the throw, so there is more time to accelerate it
- Ball is released just as the momentum carries the body's mass over the planted foot
- Whole body pivots around the planted foot, making a whip that extends from left foot through the torso to the extended right arm.
- When they can, they get a running start and use their forward momentum to increase the speed of the throw.

It's kickball, of course, so it will look a bit different, but the idea is the same. I think if you can get used to the running throw, you'll have an easier time doing the motion from a standstill.
posted by PercussivePaul at 1:21 PM on April 14, 2014

Palming a kickball (so that you can throw it baseball style) is really hard if you are playing with a 12inch ball. I am a woman and have smaller hands. I find that throwing two- handed overhand, like how soccer players sometimes inbound it, works ok. I start by grasping the ball on opposite sides, raising both arms and ball up and as far back as possible, then snapping my arms forward, releasing when the ball is alittle above my forehead. you can add steps beforehand to add some extra zest.
posted by holyrood at 6:36 PM on April 14, 2014

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