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How to Teach Young Children to Throw a Baseball

Updated on September 11, 2017
Coach_Pickles profile image

Foremost expert in early learning in sports, Founder at Jelly Bean Sports, Father of 4, Masters in Human Relations, Educational Doctorate.

Young boy throwing a baseball
Young boy throwing a baseball | Source

The biggest enemy to learning is the talking teacher.

— John Holt, Educator and Author

Teach Young Children How to Throw a Baseball Teaching Video

Showing His Stuff

Adapted physical activities enhance young children's creative, social and thinking skills. A young person further develops different contexts that help them gain a better personal understanding of the many fun and positive benefits of sports.

— Dr. Brad Kayden, Early Learning in Sports Development Expert
Young boy and girl throwing a ball
Young boy and girl throwing a ball | Source

Baseball Kept Simple, Throwing Made Fun

Throwing is one of the fundamental skills children need to learn to play baseball. It like dribbling in basketball or getting the proper stroke in swimming is highly complex in its coordination of movements. It can be a difficult skill, at first, for young children to learn. As a result, there are certain modifications and techniques that can be implemented that make the technical side less of an emphasis and the fun highlighted. Essentially, the goal is to help young children overcome these coordination difficulties.

Baseball and other sports have long lacked the NOVELTY AND CONTRAST that young children enjoy when they learn. The training exercises and coaching techniques in this and my other hubs offer you both written instruction and the videos that provide you a firsthand account of how the exercises work for young children.

I'd like to take this opportunity to say thanks for stopping by, if you like what you read be sure to FOLLOW my Coach_Pickles hub and discover my other sports-related hubs and receive updates when new hubs are published.

Lesson Overview

Teaching Time: 4 minutes

# of steps: 4 easy steps

Level of Instructional Difficulty: Easy

Ages Appropriate for: 2 years +

Keywords: Toothpick, Ball, Wall, Broken, Roof, Loose

Learning Objectives

Parent/coach will:

  1. better understand how young children think about sports
  2. better understand how to modify teachings to fit the ways young children think about sports
  3. keep sports simple
  4. make learning fun


Getting children to throw and throw with confidence requires that we open them up. Early on in a baseball class, after their warm-up of standing in rings and throwing at the jelly beans on our instructional signs, I will bring them together to play the ouch game. It is a simple concept, the kids get baseballs, soft rag balls, and they throw them at me. Every time it hits me, I say "Ouch!"

The game is fun for them but it also gives me a chance to evaluate the throwing technique of the children, their arm strength and potential areas of throwing improvement. I admit it is an unconventional way of coaching but it is something young children really get into.

Instructional Script:

Begin by standing near a wall or a curtain.

  1. Create a toothpick (straight arm) out in front with baseball in hand. For really young children, skip this step and begin with step 2.
  2. Ball-to-the-wall Kiss the ball to the wall. This requires the ball to be extended straight behind the body. The key to this step is to make a fun kissing sound as ball touches wall. It adds novelty to the instruction and helps seed the learning. (Repeat Steps 1 & 2 bringing the ball front to back twice more)
  3. Broken toothpick (Create a cracking sound [this is fun for kids] and bend at elbow.) (Start from the beginning and do it twice more, [repetition is a key to kids learning retention]
  4. Loose-at-the-roof™ (Extend broken toothpick above head straightening arm and throwing the ball at something fun)

3-Step Throwing Motion

Throwing a baseball
Throwing a baseball | Source

Instructional Reminders

  • Have patience
  • Be hands-off in your coaching
  • Teach to all children not just the best learners
  • Be kind, avoid frustration...have patience

Advanced Teachings

  • Add the step, and then Loose-at-the-roof
  • Field and throw
  • Long throw


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    • Coach_Pickles profile image

      Dr Brad Kayden 8 years ago from Atlanta, GA / Chicago, IL

      Hi Melissa,

      At the median ages between tots and pre-teens lies the group you are talking about.  Developmentally, there is a big range of skill and ability as there is at most levels. 

      We teach these techniques I write about up and through the age of 8.  The difference between the older age groups and the younger age groups is the pace and scope with which we teach.  As children get older, they just understand baseball or softball coaching instruction faster.  Their ability to understand and retain more, however, does not mean coaching instruction has to necessarily become more complex.  The best ball players (baseball for men or softball for women) have excellent fundamentals.  They practice the fundamentals repetitively.  The scope for them is simplicity or refined efficiency in thoughts and movements.  Complexity or anything less than fluid thoughts or motions is their enemy because they cannot be understood or controlled.  In my advanced instruction, I did reference the step you inquired about.  I don't go into much detail because the focus of the hub is mostly about teaching those who don't know how to do teach a sport skill to young kids and do it in very little time.  I leave many of the advanced techniques to others because they only complicate things for the young children we teach.     

      As kids get older, I suggest changing the kid-language to more fit the language of the game.  When they forget the fundamentals, I suggest going back to the kid-language we've designed to queue their muscle memory and thinking to more easily help them focus on the important fundamentals forgotten. 

      The whole process of developing a ball player is easier than many coaches make it out to be.  I suggest keeping it simple for many of the reasons I have stated.  There are many resources to pull from.  I am happy you have enjoyed our techniques and methods.  


      Coach Pickles      

    • profile image

      Melissa 8 years ago

      Thank you very much. Do you have any tips for youths a little older than toddler age? This hub is great, but it doesn't incorporate the "step and throw" part of it, snapping the wrist to release the ball or having a wind up to your throw. Great for little ones, but what about the 7-9 year old range? You have such great tips, please share if you have some for the older kids.