The specific case I'm thinking of is throwing in quidditch (so think baseball, dodgeball, football, etc. mechanics). I'm hoping however to find a more general guiding principle if possible.

I coach a mix of players at different levels of athletic abilities, some come from other ball sports, some from others sports, some others had no prior sporting experience at all.

In the case of throwing mechanics, I try to teach with fairly simple methods, breaking down the movement in its components like in this answer. I have seen moderate progress with several players, but they seem to forget everything by the first couple of plays in a scrimmage or actual game.

Is there some recognized method or best practice for this sort of situation? Again, ideally a general approach would be great, but I'm happy with answers specific to throwing mechanics as well.


By using the principles outlined in "The Art of Learning" by Josh Waitzkin and "Body Mind Mastery" by Dan Millman, I have seen the greatest results from paying attention to Balance, movement minimization, and smoothness/rhythm.

These principles are at the foundation of T'ai Chi; finding their application to throwing is the mission of the learning process.

I suffered from the yips as a baseball player (had a mental block and couldn't throw the ball back to the pitcher as a catcher) and these principles helped me overcome the physical mistakes that accompanied the mental block.

Develop balance through every part of the throwing motion. You should be able to stop and remain perfectly still at any point of the throwing motion.

Use only the parts of your body relevant to throwing. My mistake with the yips was a very tense throwing arm (my bicep was fully flexed, which resulted in stopping my wrist mid-throw). I also had excess movement as a result of the tension and there was no rhythm.

Rhythm and smoothness comes from near effortless movement from the arm because your are balanced and not using any excess muscles.

Test balance regularly by pausing at different points of the motion. Try to slow the movement down to as slow as you can, maintaining balance, movement minimization, and smoothness. Once you can do so slowly, scale up to a more normal pace.

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