How to throw into the wind
When you are playing the infield, another of the many challenges you may face is a stiff wind coming directly from first base. That means every throw to first you make is going to be straight into the wind. That can pose a problem with velocity and accuracy if you don’t handle it appropriately. No matter what infield
position you play (or even outfield for that matter) following these simple tips will lessen the effect a strong wind in your face may have.
Throw over the top. Infielders often throw at angles below “over the top.” When the wind is at your face, throw right over the top with an across-the-seams grip. Doing so will create a 6-12 backspin on the ball and will prevent the ball from sailing right or left. Throwing side-arm or any angle less than over the top will naturally create a curve or tail on a throw to first. With wind in your face, a side-arm throw will sail much more than normal making your accuracy a problem.
Get on your line and stay on your line. After catching the ball a fielder needs to quickly get on their line to first base. Getting away from that line will cause problems with accuracy. Add a stiff wind and the problem gets worse. Stick to your lines.
Follow through. Like a pitcher who is trying to get the ball in the strike zone, an infielder with wind in his face should focus on reaching out to first base on the follow through. Much like throwing darts, after the ball/dart leaves the hand, the hand continue to move to the target. This helps pitchers with accuracy and it will help infielders when it’s windy.
Continue to the target. After throwing the ball, continue in a straight line towards first base. An infielder should always do this but it’s even more important with a wind.
Keep the ball low. Wind is worse the higher off the ground you are. Keep your throws from having a big arc on them and your throw is less likely to be effected.
To practice all this, go out on windy days and place a teammate about first base distance away so that the wind is directly in your face.
Like everything else, if you want to improve, you better make time to practice it.
Tomorrow’s post: How to give a pitchout sign