Ball games are near cultural universals, and while foot and ball games like freestyle soccer are awesome, hand eye coordination is arguable more important. As I have touched on before perhaps the most unique human movement adaption is our capacity to throw, if other animals paid as much attention to our movement as we do to theirs they would watch highlights of of us playing football, baseball, basketball and juggling with the same type of awe we view a cheetahs speed, a gibbons agility or a lions power. Throwing and catching are at the center of the human rise to preeminent predator.
The quintessential throw is the overhead javelin toss or baseball throw this was our first projectile weapon and revolutionized our abilities as predators. This type of throw is very stressful on under developed shoulders though so going out and trying to throw like Randy Johnson first thing isn’t the safest place to start.
Developing a wider movement base in throwing and catching and not focusing too much on power in the beginning is a good practice. Work everything from the classic baseball toss and catch, to frissbee’s, football spirals, shooting a basket and juggling, add some of these as regular part of your play and practice and you will be a more adaptable athlete, ready catch a falling cup, or throw rocks to knock a Frisbee out of a tree.
Todd Hargrove’s better movement website has nice series on who is the best athlete that talks about the value of developing coordination with an external object.
Now for some inspiration.
Check out some Larry Bird highlights one of my picks for one of the most dexterous athletes of all time.