Overarm Throw

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

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Assessing the Fundamental Movement Skill of Throwing
Assessing the Fundamental Movement Skill of Throwing
Learn how to throw
Learn how to throw

Checklist of 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

Teaching Strategies

For beginners (at the emergent level of throwing skill development):
  • Focus on skill criteria number 1, 2 & 4
  • Use the teaching cues detailed below 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 balls 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 Clean up the Rubbish
For children at the developing level of throwing skill development:
  • 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 Clean up the Rubbish and Bombard
For children at the acquired or accomplished level of throwing skill development:
  • Try throwing on the run
  • Introduce accuracy challenges
  • Teach children how to do a crow hop before a throw
  • Experiment with different throwing implements – nerf Rockets, foam javelins etc.
  • Try games that employ some strategy - Golden Child, Race the Ball
Ready Aim Fire (overarm throw)_photoCollecting Rubbish_photo

Teaching Cues

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

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