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Difference Between Short and Long Arm Action

infielders long arm action outfielders short arm action youth baseball Sep 08, 2022

At the younger ages players tend to play all over the field. At this point, it is important for them to be taught full arm separation when throwing. As they get older and become more specialized to their position, infielders throw with short arm and outfielders and pitchers throw with a long arm technique.   

As an infielder, the side view of the throw will look like a "mini C". Coach Steve describes it as a "bow and arrow". They field the ball, bring it to the center of their body and bring their elbow directly back before resuming into the "c" motion. Posture for infielders is also extremely important. Sometimes tilting to the side is the best posture for speed depending on where and how the ball was fielded. Something to remember about "side arm" throwing is that the ball is still going over the top of the shoulder joint to avoid the negatives, the only thing that changes is the positioning of the chest.   

A way for infielders to differentiate between the two throw techniques is to pretend the player is standing in a pool of water up to their mid-stomach. When performing short arm action, the player should not "touch the water". So instead of dropping the arm and hand down below the waist like a player would for long arm, bringing the ball straight back allows for short arm action.

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