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I mentioned in the last tip that I want parents to become familiar with the four stages of throwing. In this tip, I'm going to to over stage one and stage two. This is right from a Dr. Robert Pangrazi and his excellent book on physical eduction.
Stage one throwing is generally observed between ages 2 and 3 years. The stage is basically restricted to arm movement from the rear toward the front of the body. The feet remain stationary and positioned at shoulder width, with little or no trunk rotation occurring. Most of the movement force originates from flexing the hip, moving the shoulder forward and extending the elbow.
Quick Tip From T-Ball America
and Marty Schupak's book T-Ball Skills & Drills
Stage two throwing develops between the ages of 3 and 5 years. Some rotary motion is developed in an attempt to increase the amount of force. This stage is characterized by a lateral fling of the arm, with rotation occurring in the trunk. Often, children step in the direction of the throw, although many keep their feet stationary. This throwing style sometimes looks like a discuss throw rather than a baseball throw.
Parents must realize that accuracy will come last. Parents should focus on recognizing what stage their child is in and never become concerned if their development is a little later than earlier. Human nature makes it tough when two friends live next door to each other and one is developing at a faster pace.
One observation I have found even at the youngest age is if the child has older brothers and sisters. If they play sports, the younger kids in this setting have an advantage two ways 1) By participating with them 2) By observing them. Many young kids are sharper than we give them credit for as an observer.