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Overhand Throwing
Grade Level(s): 3-5
By: Eugene Dellemonache, Student Teacher

This lesson is one of several used to teach students the fundamentals of overhand throwing techniques. The students will apply the cues they have learned. The cues are: step with opposite foot, arm back and up, side to target, and follow through.


After several class periods of lecture and demonstration on proper overhand throwing techniques, the fourth grade students will throw ten tennis balls at a given target, ten feet away, with 80% accuracy.


  • Five tennis balls for each cooperative pair of students.
  • One hula hoop for each pair of students, attached to the wall prior to class.


  1. (10 minutes) Have students stand side by side in a straight line and face the instructor. The instructor will review the cues to perform proper throwing techniques. The instructor will then have volunteers demonstrate proper throwing techniques in front of the class.
  2. (5 minutes) The instructor will then demonstrate the culminating activity. Instructor will ask for a volunteer to assist in the demonstration since the students will be working in cooperative pairs. The instructor and volunteer will go to a designated target area and stand behind the tape line that is ten feet away from the wall. On the wall there is a hula hoop taped 4 feet above the floor. The instructor will demonstrate, using the proper overhand throwing techniques, throwing a tennis ball to hit the wall inside the hula hoop. It is the partners responsibility to catch or retrieve the thrown balls.
  3. (10 minutes) The students will be assigned partners and sent to target areas. The partners will alternate throwing the balls for practice. The students will be reminded to cue their partners to perform the proper throwing techniques. During the practice session the instructor will circulate and observe proper form and technique for the overhand throw.
  4. (4 minutes) Upon hearing the instructors whistle, the students will return to the roll call line with their partners. The instructor will explain that the person throwing the balls will be given 10 attempts to hit inside the target and the other student will keep count of how many balls successfully hit inside the target. Students will then reverse roles and repeat the task.
  5. (10 minutes) While the students are completing the formal assessment the instructor will use a check off observation sheet that tells whether each student "consistently", "sometimes", and "hardly ever" uses each of the cues given. Upon completion of the activity each cooperative pair of students will report their scores to the instructor. They will then return to the roll call line and be seated.
  6. (1 minute) When all cooperative groups have completed the assessment and have returned to the roll call line, class will be dismissed.


There is another alternative to the method described above to teach overhand throwing. One of our readers, Bill, sent in his opinion on the teaching of overhand throwing. It involves adding the cue "palm down" after "arm back and up." He says, without the additional cue, there may be a potential pain issue.

"To demonstrate, simply hold your arm straight back with palm down and then turn the palm up. You will feel the tightness at your shoulder. For some people it is tighter than for others. But kids just adjust rather than live in pain - that leads to poor throwing techniques. Probably 80% of coaches teach a "short-arming" approach when the less stressful power throwing technique should be taught first."

Here is a site which explains this type of throwing technique:Proper Throwing Techniques,www.gloveradar.com


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