Key Points in Video #3
Forearm Swing

Sequencing, Alignment and Spacing.
Item How Why

Forearm Swing
Stand on Power Line Stand with the feet perpendicular to the power line. Have the toes of each foot touch the closer edge of the power line. Let the arms dangle from the shoulders in a completely relaxed manner with the palms of the hands facing towards the body. For most pitchers the resting position has the hands in the middle of the leg (front to back) and the elbow will fall along side of the small of the back or so. Whatever position the arm comes to if fine - don't force the arm or elbow to do anything unnatural. Finding the pitcher's natural arm angle.
Let Hand Fall Above Power LineKeep the arms dangling freely and either roll the shoulders forward or bend slightly at the waist or some combination of the two so the fingers of the throwing hand point directly down to the power line. Generally the shoulders will be directly above the toes. The little finger of the throwing hand should brush the front of the pant leg if the hand moves a small distance along the power line towards the target. Finding the position of the hand for release.
Clear the Hips For most students with the arms dangling freely and the hand above the power line the elbow will be touching the side of the torso just above or at the hip bone. Without changing where the shoulders, elbows and hands are dangling, slide the hips away from the power line so that as the hand swings one the power line to the center of the body, the throwing hand elbow passes freely past the hip. This is the key principle of spacing.
Finding Elbow Connection With the hands dangling above the power line and the palm facing the target and the elbow in a position to freely pass the hip, slowly lift the throwing hand keeping the elbow stationary the having the hand remain above the power line as it goes back away from the target. Do not force the palm to remain facing the target, allow it to rotate so that the palm is facing away from the body. The elbow will naturally rotate the hand as the student pulls back. For most students the hand will be facing completely sideways somewhere between 30 and 45 degrees of hand lag or elbow flex, the angle measured from the forearm to a straight line extension of the upper arm towards the floor. This will be the student's ideal amount of elbow flex at elbow connection.
Swinging the Forearm Swing the forearm back, with the elbow remaining in contact with the from of the hip bone and keep the hand on the power line and let the palm of the hand rotate. Lift to about 45 degrees of flex then bring the hand down. On the path down the palm of the hand should rotate until it is facing the target at the bottom of its arc. Then allow the hand to continue forward, staying on the power line and with the elbow remaining stationary. The palm will naturally continue rotating until it is facing in. Think for reaching back to shake someone's hand, then reaching forward to shake another hand. Swing the arm back and forth. Make sure the little finger of the hand brushes the pant leg each time it passes. Also make sure the elbow does not move and that the hand rotates a full 180 degrees from back to front. This is ane of the last components to the key principle of sequencing. Also alignment and spacing.
Elbow Separation Once the forearm swing becomes natural begin to move the upper arm away from elbow connection on the back side. Basically get to the place where the hand has rotated 90 degrees with about 30 - 45 degrees of flax then allow the elbow to leave to side. Do it only slightly at first. As the swinging continues the elbow must return to the elbow connection position while there is still 30 - 45 degrees of flew.. Allow the upper arm to separate from the body on the front side as well. The body may need to rotate some on the front side. The hand stays above the power line all the time and the little finger continues to touch the pant leg each time.
Flip Position The flip position is basically where the hand reaches back until it is shoulder high. As the elbow leaves the elbow connection the elbow will slowly lose some of its flex on the way back, not all the way to s straight arm but to a nice, comfortable flex. As the arm swings back to elbow connection the flex must return to the starting point. The hand swings by the pant leg and as the elbow moves from behind the body to the front is passes easily in front of the hip. Do not let the student hit her side with the elbow. The upper arm touches the side but the elbow passes in front of the hip just grazing or slightly away from the hip bone (so it's not literally elbow connection). The amount of swing on the front side must be the same as it is on the back. As the arm swings forward the hand stays on the power line until it is shoulder high. As the hips and shoulders will be rotating during this phase, the hand will also rotate until the palm is facing down. Sequencing, Alignment and Spacing.
Finish Position Once the shoulder high swing is fluid, start increasing the speed of the arm swing. The speed of the elbow moving down the back side of the circle is important. Watch from facing the student as she starts this motion in order to make sure the hand lag is correct and the rotation of the hand is proper. Also watch looking straight down the power line to make sure the hand remains on the power line and that the elbow does not contact the side of the body. On the last forward swing allow the arm to become completely relaxed to relieve any stress. It is not unusual for the wrist and hand to flop around as the arm extends towards the target. At the end the hand may be pointing at the target with the palm down (never palm facing the sky). Some pitchers finish with the elbow pointing at the target with the forearm and fingers pointing to the sky and the elbow flexed about 90 degrees. Finish relaxed
Add a Ball Start with the elbow not leaving its initial position and just swing the forearm. Swing a few times then release the ball. The stripe on the ball should be straight up and down. Adjust the grip as needed to find the perfect stripe. Review the previous step if needed. The ball should exit the hand going roughly parallel to the floor. The ball will travel only a few feet before falling to the ground. Do not let the student throw on the fly to a target that is too far away. It is very difficult for an inexperienced coach to both be the catcher and to see what is going on. Find another person to catch or throw into a net. Finding the release.
Add some Speed As was done without a ball start making the arm swing longer. Do a few swings each time before releasing the ball to make sure the student is being very fluid. Pay particular attention to arriving at elbow connection with the proper about of flex or hand lag. Make sure the ball is traveling directly above the power line. It is OK for now if it goes too high or too low. Increase the speed but never so fast that the student loses her technique. f she is having trouble have her close her eyes and make some throws. That often helps as the student is not so focused on the result, just the technique. Getting close to pitching.

Problems Resulting from Not Having Great Technique for the
Forearm Swing

Item How This Causes Problems What it Affects
Hand not above power line With the hand above the power line from circle peak until release, the ball has a great chance of traveling on the power line unless the release is poor. Any deviation will make the ability to exactly repeat the motion every time quite difficult. Accuracy
Hand faces back or down on the back side It is very difficult to arrive at elbow connection with proper hand lag or elbow flex. Lack of sequencing which reduces pitch velocity. Also upper arm tightness due to an unnatural way of bending the elbow could lead to injury.
Hand lag not carried all the way to elbow connection (straight arm). In a pitch the upper arm pauses briefly at elbow connection and the forearm whips through the release due to sequencing. Decreased velocity. Also high and low accuracy.
Stripe rotated (axis of rotation from the top)The hand is not facing directly at the target at release of the result of the hand rotation not being correct. It could also come from the ball rolling off the fingers poorly Decreased pitch velocity and movement.
Stripe rotated (axis of rotation from the target) The forearm is not straight up and down at release. Loss of accuracy and velocity
Stripe wiggles or ball tumbles Release is not correct Speed and accuracy.
Elbow stays by side during follow through. The elbow should release from the body and point at the target in the follow through. Accuracy - also leads to upper arm injuries
Toes not on power line The body likely to be rotated. The arm swing on the back side should be parallel to the shoulders. If the shoulders are rotated then the student is either making inaccurate throws or is making accurate throws by having her hand in the wrong place on the back side. Students that are not in good alignment can learn to make accurate throws but it will come at the expense of being able to reach her potential for velocity and movement. Key principal of Alignment
Hand not above power line when reaching back If the hand is behind the head, the ball will be off line to the throwing hand side. If the ball in the back is off the power line away from the body the ball will be off line to the glove side. Accuracy