Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Mechanics Aren't Just for Cars

Brent Johns


This lesson allows students to understand why throwing the proper way is important. The principles of levers and rotation are taught. Students also learn to check other students as they throw.


The student knows the various ways in which the body can generate force and the mechanical principles involved (e.g., range of motion and speed that the arm or leg travels).

The student knows how to apply mature patterns of locomotor, nonlocomotor, body-management throwing, catching, and striking skills while participating in modified versions of team and individual sports.


-1 Ball for every three students (Balls may be any variety as long as students can catch without gloves.)
-1 Clipboard for every three students
-1 Throwing Mechanics Checklist (See Attached File) for every student


1. Prepare pictures on posterboard showing professional baseball players in the act of throwing.
2. Set up mini handball fields of 25x20 yds. Using 4 cones.
3. Duplicate and place three Throwing Mechanics Checklists on each clipboard and attach a pencil to the clipboard.
4. Get various balls that can be caught without using gloves. There should be one ball for every three students.


1. Begin the lesson by showing pictures of professional athletes in various stages of throwing. Ex. A baseball pitcher pitching the ball.

2. Tell the class they will be able to learn how to throw using proper mechanics. This will enable them to throw with velocity and accuracy.

3. Demonstrate correct throwing motion. This is: side to target, step with opposite foot, arm back, hip rotation, and follow through. Tell the students to look for the arm back and hip rotation as you throw a few times to demonstrate.

4. Tell the students that the arm back is an example of a lever, and the hip rotation is an example of momentum. These are mechanical principles that are important as to how fast and accurate a throw is.

5. Divide the students into groups of three and have each group get a ball. Have them spread out on the field and practice throwing. Remind them to concentrate on keeping their arms back and their hips rotated as they throw.

6. After students have practiced throwing for about 5 minutes, call students together and review the mechanics of throwing. Ask if they have concentrated on keeping their arms back and their hips rotated. Distribute clipboards and a Throwing Mechanics Checklist for each student.

7. Send students back out to the field. They will take turns throwing and checking their partners for the proper mechanics of throwing. They will rotate so that each person will check the other two people in their group.

8. After this is completed, bring each student back in for a quick questioning session. Ask, Why would you want to have hip rotation while you throw? Why would your arm back (long lever) be better than having your arm close to your body when you throw?

9. Instruct students to join another group and play a game of 3 v.3 handball. This is a game that should have already been taught to the students in a previous class period. They will make a field about 25 yds. X 20 yds. They will move down the field throwing the ball to their teammates. They score a goal by throwing to a teammate across the goal line. When they have the ball, they cannot move.

10. Finish the lesson by calling all students in. Ask, “Was it more difficult to throw with long levers and momentum when playing the game?” “Why or why not?”


Students turn in the Throwing Mechanics Checklist at the end of class. Their checklists should not only show that they were able to use the mechanics in their throwing, but that they were able to identify proper mechanics in someone else’s throwing.

While students play 3 v.3 handball, go to each game and mark each student as you see him or her throwing with the mechanics discussed.


For physically disabled learners, modify the mechanics for individual cases by using larger balls, or lighter balls. Use brightly colored balls for sight impaired.

Attached Files

This is a Throwing Mechanics Checklist.     File Extension: pdf

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