Overarm Throw

Stages of Development
Teaching and Learning

Most children will not instinctively know how to throw overarm efficiently. Throwing should be introduced towards the end of Kindergarten/Pre-school or in Foundation year. Children are not expected to have a fully developed overarm throw until Year 4.

Teaching cues
  1. Ready: Stand like a surfer (side-on)
  2. Aim: Make a muscle man (throwing arm bent up above shoulder)
  3. Point non-throwing arm at target
  4. Fire: Step on the star (step with opposite foot onto star marker) and throw
Teaching strategies

  • Focus on skill criteria number looking at the target, standing side-on and stepping forward with their opposite foot
  • Start without a ball and introduce the the teaching cues to help children visualise action
  • Focus on distance over accuracy, place targets further away or have a net or other obstacle to throw over helps challenge children to develop force in their throw
  • Encouraging children to throw over a net or piece of rope tied between two trees can also help
  • Use small balls and beanbags that are easy for small hands to grip
  • Use soft dome cones or star markers for children as a visual cue to step on to when throwing
  • Help children identify their preferred arm if they are using both
  • Place a chalk mark or other visual marker on foot which should be stepping forward
  • Play games such as Ready, Aim, Fire and Catch the Magical Creatures

  • Work on the hip rotation and follow-through at this stage
  • Start practicing without a ball and then place challenging targets to encourage hip rotation and follow through
  • Play games such as Hoop Elimination and Bombard

  • Try throwing on the run
  • Introduce accuracy challenges - Hit the Stumps
  • Teach children how to do a crow hop before a throw to increase distance
  • Experiment with different throwing implements – nerf Rockets, foam javelins etc.
  • Try games that employ some strategy - Golden Child, Race the Ball
Skill criteria
  1. Eyes focused on target
  2. Stands side-on to target
  3. Weight on the rear foot
  4. Stepping forward on opposite foot to throwing arm
  5. Hips then shoulders rotate forward
  6. Follow through with throwing arm towards target
  7. The ball should be gripped with fingers like rabbit ears
Common errors
  • Standing front on to the target
  • Stepping with the foot on the same side as the throwing arm
  • No weight transfer
  • No follow-through

More overarm throw activities

Ready, Aim, Fire (overarm throw)
Overarm Throw, Underarm Throw
Overarm Throw, Underarm Throw
Overarm Throw, Underarm Throw