10 year-old - Dad can't help anymore, can you?

This is a video of my 10 year-old. He is doing great but want’s to do better. I’ve never played organized baseball and he has moved beyond the experience of his coaches in Little League. Any feedback would be appreciated.

(hope the link works) BTW - couldn’t cut the last 10 seconds so feel free to disregard the madcap comedy of the catcher getting it back to the pitcher.

If, as you say, he has moved beyond the experience of his Little League coaches he might do well to seek out and receive instruction from someone at a more advanced level, perhaps a professional pitching coach. He should check this out and see if there’s someone at or near where he lives who could take him on. The important thing is that he needs to hook up with an instructor who does not subscribe to the “cookie cutter” approach but who will help him make the most of what he has and can do. 8)

Sorry - should have mentioned we are having our first session with a pitching coach this coming Weds.

Where are you at in DFW? I might be able to help a bit. He really only needs to be throwing a fastball and a change up for several more years. Change speeds and locations and he will be successful up to high school.

We are in Arlington (southwest side) and would appreciate any help we can get. What you see in the video is what he throws (It’s supposed to be a 4-seam or 2-seam fastball). We haven’t worked on a change-up yet because prior to this spring his control wasn’t where we wanted it to be. In the past 3 games, though he is throwing 2:1 strikes to balls with 15 K’s and 8 BB’s - so we’re starting to talk about a change-up.

BTW - we are more than aware of the risk to his arm if he tries throwing curves/sliders/etc… and wouldn’t allow him to throw them if he wanted to. But I did notice in the clip that he seems to turn his wrist inward as he releases the ball. I haven’t noticed that before and it may be an aberration in that 1 clip (the only clip I have at this point).

I coach LL at this age. Thanks to working with more experienced coaches as well as to following this site I feel I have a basic understanding of what pitchers your son’s age need to do to be successful.

This kid looks like a good athlete and he has some good things going on, but there are some issues. You end up confusing children this age if you give them too much info, so here are just 4 things I would work on if I had this kid in practice.

1 – start in an athletic posture. The high leg kick makes him start his motion while leaning back. The athletic posture will help him build momentum toward the plate.

2 – Firm up the glove side. He’s flailing it down. It needs to stabilize and meet his chest as he goes forward.

3 – Complete the arm action. He’s decelerating as soon as he lets go of the ball. His hand should end up next to his left hip.

4 – get his weight out over his front leg. He’s decelerating and staying on the back leg, even though he’s doing a good job of “picking up the hat.” Instead he should end up totally over his front leg, like the photo of Clemens on this page.

Heck, you could forget all that and just show him this video and point the differences between what he’s doing and what Clemens is doing. It’s all there.

Quaff has given you some good advice.

I want to re-emphasize two of his points and hope you and Chet’s pitching coach take them seriously.

  1. His starting posture leads to an unbalanced leg-lift and stride forward. Here is the correction: Have Chet start his motion from a “free throw” posture–that is, his feet should be only about armpit-to-armpit width apart and the big toe of his back foot (post foot) should line up to about the middle of his front font (stride foot). He can lift his leg any way that feels comfortable and natural to him, but his front hip should start moving toward Home Plate near the beginning of his leg-lift.

  2. His lack of control over the glove side during his delivery is a classic LL pitcher’s flaw–he needs to correct this, or he will most likely not be a pitcher anymore after LL.

You will hear all sorts of advice about this, and some of the “common wisdom” is wrong.

The best pitchers in the game share this in common: During launch of the ball, their glove swivels into place somewhere out in front of the chest and over the stride foot–and they bring their chest toward the glove as they approach their release point.

You will often hear, “tuck the glove” or “pull the glove”; however, this creates momentum away from the target on the glove side, and the pitcher will have to compensate for that as well.

Probably the best way for you to get a good visual idea of what the glove-side should be doing is to look at slo-mo video of pitchers and focus only on what their glove-side does…and then watch again, and again.

Hopefully, you have got your son hooked up with a good coach who knows what he is doing…a knowledgeable coach can make all the difference in the world.

Here is some video of a nice 13 yo I work with–he is developing pretty solid mechanics and enjoying good success in a 13/14 yo PONY league.

I’m not suggesting that Chet should copy this young man’s style, nor should he worry about copying anyone–there is too much variation among pitchers’ styles to think about copying the details of someone’s delivery.

Still, here’s the deal: There are important features shared in common that can be found in most good pitching deliveries: These are shared features that are at the root of “good mechanics”, even though individual pitchers may look different throwing the ball.

Again, your son in particular would do well to adopt a balanced posture with better placement of his feet. During the leg-lift, his front hip should already be starting forward. His glove side needs control.

Take a look for just those issues in this young man’s delivery:

LAF - That kid looks very solid. Checking out your YouTube page I see you are down where my bro-in-law lives. He teaches at CSM. I should bring my 10-year-old by for a lesson next time we’re down there. Or if you ever find yourself in the north bay…

Hey Quaff,

Thanks for the kind words.

Jeff Bermudez does most of the hands-on mechanics instruction and I help out with analytical video and occasional instruction.

PM me the next time you think you’ll be down in the Peninsula–it would be fun to set something up.

Why don’t you two go get a room. :mrgreen:

Just kidding. Excellent info from Quaff and laflippin. I always emphasize glove and posture with the younger guys as that’s usually their biggest flaws.