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JELLY BEAN SPORTS: How to Teach Young Children to Properly Throw a Baseball

Updated on April 6, 2016


This hub will teach you lessons on movements and vocabulary a beginner athlete can really understand and it will allow you to see that they can throw a baseball properly. Note: This doesn't mean they always will. When they don't, you will know how to properly coach in a way that KEEPS SPORTS SIMPLE, AND MAKES LEARNING FUN.


Teaching Young Children How to Throw

# of steps - 4

Teaching Time - 2 minutes

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

Instruction: Begin standing on a spot or line two steps away from the garage, a wall or gym curtain.

Instructional Script:

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. The key to this step is to make a fun kissing sound as ball touches wall. Keeping your arm holding the ball straight. (Repeat Steps 1 & 2 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


As children practice use your clutch words, as we call them at Jelly Bean Sports.  These are the key words that make up the instruction. The more the child hears them the more apt they are to saying and using the instruction as they perform the throwing motion.    Toothpick, Ball-to-the-Wall(sm), Broken Toothpick(sm), Loose-at-the-Roof(sm).

Finally, encourage! Encourage! Encourage! –Good! Awesome! Way to go!

Do Not:

And for you Type A personalities, there is no need to get overly technical. This technique is for a beginner athlete. Use the first video if your athlete is older. Progressing beyond this instruction to the video is counterproductive. Your young child or team will remember more when it is taught this way.

Some Advanced Techniques

* Add a step, and then Loose-at-the-roof(sm)
* Add more than one target and call out the one you want him or her to throw at. This improves children's cognitive abilities.

And there you have it. Short, simple, and fun! Enjoy!


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      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.

    • Coach_Pickles profile image

      Dr Brad Kayden 8 years ago from 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      

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