T Nation

Softball Throwing


hey all, I'm having a lot of trouble with throwing lately. Well I just started playing again and my shoulder and my elbow area tend to hurt really bad after a game. I'm 29 and have not played since I was young. I've been trying to work on flexability and my rotator cuff strength but I'm wondering if there is any throwing specific movements I should be doing?

I only play about once a week but I try to get out and throw a few times each week. That is helping but not enough.

hope you guys can help.


I had the same problem this season. First time playing in a bit and the first few games and pratices I was letting the ball fly and had some real zip on it Then I not sure what I did, but I got the same pain pattern your discribing. I let it rest during the week and only threw hard on the day of the game. The thing I noticed the most was that if I threw with all I had and didnt keep the shoulder "tight" Id get that sharp pain and the arm would go rubber on me. I did get a elbow sleeve that helped immensely and iced after each session.


Do you mean a sleeve you wear while you play or after the game?

I have been icing and taking inti inflamatories to try and help. Last week was the best it has been but it is still not great. Plus I seem to not be able to throw it very far.


I can swing a golf club over 110mph but cant throw a hardball without pain. Go figure.

After such a long lay off did you just jump right in it and begin throwing on a regualr basis or did you work your way into shape?


Try throwing it with 3 fingers, not two like a baseball. Stretch, ice. Build up your arm strength & try throwing the football to build up strength.


Thanks guys.

I sort of jumped right back into it. I signed up and got a glove and had a scrimmage without much if any practice.

It sounds like what I'm trying is the right approach. Try to control damage with ice and stretch and strenthen the muscles used to throw.


I'm also working on my technic I find some methods much less painful.


take a look at how you're throwing. I just started playing ball again after a long time off and had a similar problem to yours. I'm a catcher so a lot of the time I toss the ball back to the mound from my knees (i.e. all arm and shoulder). I figured out that this might be the cause of the problem and started forcing myself to stand up and throw the ball back each time (taking a good full step and throwing with my legs and body, not just arm). Made a huge difference. Concentrate on how you're throwing next time, a lot of people pick up bad habbits when learning as a kid and never fix them as they grow up. It seems kinda silly to think about having to relearn how to throw properly as an adult but it's fairly common.


Well I dont have any suggestions for the pain but I do have some ideas to try and look at for your throwing technique. I coach fastball (6-7) year olds, so its really focusing alot on the technique.

But do you throw straight over your shoulder or more of a 3/4 arm? Going straight over your shoulder will save lots of stress on it, though for awhile you will loss some power on it. The best way I found to practice this was to run a strip of tape around the ball and just practice tossing it like 30 feet to someone making sure that it spins straight. IF your coming over your shoulder the tape will stay upright. I would also second what another poster said above of gripping the ball with 3 fingers or even 4 depending on hand size. Hope this helps and have fun.


Yeah I wore it during the game, it gives some compression and warmth in the joint. It helped immensely. Here is a pic of it...


Thanks, these were pretty much what I have found to be working. Thanks.

I've been working on using more hips and also throwing over my shoulder instead of side arm. This does help. Although when I'm in the heat of the game I think just go all out and my technique suffers. Practice should help.

Are there any exercises other than throwing to help build those muscles?


Interesting thought about throwing overhead vs. 3/4. I find that while warming up and I try to come overhead that it actually hurts my shoulder and elbow. Plus, it just doesn't feel natural. I tend to throw 3/4 and that feels good. I think what matters the most for me is making sure that I get a good warmup before going right onto the field. But everyone is different and maybe throwing overhead will help ya. Give it a shot and go with what feels good.