A soft 6 is a short-arm, medium arm, or long-arm throw, in a specific range (usually from 3 or 6 feet). The “soft,” for the purposes of this guide, means the distance that the thrower is throwing, so 5-5 means you’re throwing from a few feet into 3.
There are other styles of soft throws, but these are some of the more common. In general, these are all variations on the throw where the thrower is throwing in a straight line from their line of sight, with the soft end of the ball at their thumb.
Some people see the soft 6 as something very natural. It’s something that feels right to them, even. (But let’s be honest, it isn’t something that comes easily). Others see it as a natural extension of their throwing form.
For example, say you practice perfecting an ideal long throw with a 6-5-8 throw, but your form looks something like this:
With your soft 6, you’re still throwing from your exact line of sight, but now you’re throwing with a little bit of slack, allowing your elbow to go up just a little.
If you’re trying to make these throws, or at least understand them a little better, you will probably see them as forms of “weakness,” which is fine—a weakness can be used as motivation.
But let’s go back to the soft 6. We all know that you need to get to that little soft 6 in your throwing motion, if you want to make short, smooth long throws.
The more you practice this form, and the harder you play, the more refined your form will be, so that the 5-5-5 style you had before will become even more smooth and accurate.
Some people may say, “I couldn’t do that because I just haven’t developed enough muscle in the hips while throwing the way I used to.”
The thing is, the muscles in your hips are hard wired, you can train them. In fact, you should aim to train your hips more than your legs. Try it for a few days. You’ll be amazed how much muscle size you can increase in just a few minutes of exercise.
Why is this such a big deal?
If you can’t make a throw that is comfortable, you’re not likely to make much progress in making other throws (or perhaps anything). You need to take this
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