Motor Development: Throwing

Throwing takes many forms. The two-handed underhand throw and the one hand underhand throw are both common in young children. There is also the sidearm throw and a two-hand overarm throw. The type of throw that a person uses, especially among children, often depends on task constraints, particularly rules and the size of the ball. Throwing skills such as underarm throwing is a fundamental movement skill that should be practiced and encouraged in the early years. Our focus, though, is on the one hand overarm throw, which is the most common type of throw in sports games. Many of the mechanical principles involved in the overarm throw apply to other types of throws as well.

What Is Throwing For A Child?

Throwing games allow your child to throw balls and beanbags in a controlled environment, instead of inside the house where he may break your valuables. Once your child reaches 4 to 6 years old, he is at a stage of gross motor skill development where throwing games can help him practice using large muscle groups. In addition, the Encyclopedia of Children’s Health notes that throwing games can help your child with fine motor skill eye-hand and foot-eye development.

Why Is Throwing Important?

In order to generalize throwing skills, it is important to practice the same skill with different equipment in different settings. You can increase the challenge as the child gains mastery of skill and builds confidence. In the photo pictured to the right, the athlete practices throwing footballs into hoops of different heights from variable distances. This helps generalize the skills of throwing to a target.


A Fun Way to include Throwing!

Parachute Color Toss: Lay out a parachute on the ground. Give each athlete a beanbag. choose a throwing movement pattern based on you athletes age and skill level: Underhand or Overhand. Have athletes practice throwing their beanbags from their spots onto the parachute. Retrieve the beanbags one at a time by sprinting to a color called by coach and returning to their spot.



For more games and other fun moving activities find an Amazing Athletes program near you! If you want to spread the joy of movements and sports in your area check out our Franchise Opportunity page and learn how to become your own boss!

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