10-Year Old Just Starting

Hi there. I’ve been lurking for a few months now. My son is 10 and wants to pitch. He’s not had any formal teachings, and I’ve not worked with him because he doesn’t have a shot to pitch this year it looks like, but will next year if we can develop him.

I decided to take a little bit of video of his pitching motion as it is now. I would love advice from the fine members of this forum on what we need to work on the most. I would also like to hear what he is doing well.

I am looking to get a pitching instructor after the season is over. We only have 7 games left, but we do have league and city tourneys as well as all-stars. So who knows how long we have left. I don’t want to work on the pitching too much during season, but if we can get started on a few things now, that would be great. Thanks in advance for the advice given.

Sorry the video isn’t the best quality, I used my digital still camera as I don’t have a video camera right now.

Nice job dad. He appears to be fundementally sound to me. From here it’s just refinements and allowing him to enjoy it. The refinements I’d be looking for would be to stop collapsing on the front leg (Momentum will drive him up on it instead of stopping on it) and maybe a little less stiff in the hips. At 10 it’s throw strikes (Be accurate) and learn about taking care of the arm…mostly just have as much fun doing it so he can build the confidence and desire for later. It looks like he’s got an athletic aptitude and body so just making sure of the health and approach are good should lead to a whole bunch of success. A pitching coach is fine and should be of great assistance. I wouldn’t spend the mortgage payment though…not for a couple of years…puberty and when the body changes…just a few lessons a year to make sure the path is correct and incrementally tweaking and refining.
Enjoy these years…never make it a grind. You might not hear this often but let me be the first, concentrate on great academic skills and habits, nothing I could tell you will help more later. And save up some sweet canola and get yourself a good camera and tripod…you’ll thank me for that when he graduates and you have a video record of these years.

I agree with jd on all points–your son looks pretty good mechanically. A good coach, someone who does 1-on-1 or, even better, somebody good who does small group lessons would be great for your son as he continues to develop. (I like small group lessons because the kids have more fun and they also learn from each other as well as enjoy competing with one another in small groups).

One thing you can do as his dad: Make pitching practice fun and pressure-free. Make sure you aren’t showing obvious disappointment or criticizing him when he’s not hitting the target–baseball is a game of failure. The burden of imperfection is sometimes too much to bear for kids and their dads–an even-keeled, highly supportive family, and an ‘always positive’ approach to learning and refining the game is a fairly common background among successful athletes.

Some kids who are very good, or could be, cannot seem to handle being less than perfect on the pitcher’s mound (where they are the center of attention). The only antidote I know of is practice and preparation. The more time he spends practicing pitching with you, or a coach, or a small group of friends, or whomever, the more comfortable he’s going to be on the mound in games.

[quote=“laflippin”]I agree with jd on all points–your son looks pretty good mechanically. A good coach, someone who does 1-on-1 or, even better, somebody good who does small group lessons would be great for your son as he continues to develop. (I like small group lessons because the kids have more fun and they also learn from each other as well as enjoy competing with one another in small groups).

One thing you can do as his dad: Make pitching practice fun and pressure-free. Make sure you aren’t showing obvious disappointment or criticizing him when he’s not hitting the target–baseball is a game of failure. The burden of imperfection is sometimes too much to bear for kids and their dads–an even-keeled, highly supportive family, and an ‘always positive’ approach to learning and refining the game is a fairly common background among successful athletes.

Some kids who are very good, or could be, cannot seem to handle being less than perfect on the pitcher’s mound (where they are the center of attention). The only antidote I know of is practice and preparation. The more time he spends practicing pitching with you, or a coach, or a small group of friends, or whomever, the more comfortable he’s going to be on the mound in games.[/quote]

Great Advice.

A supportive family can and will make a huge difference in the way a youngster develops.

It is very hard to perform when you are scared of what is going to be said to you after the game if you do not perform up to your parents expections.

I have seen this with a youngster on my son’s team, it is a shame.

He really looks good for only a 10 year old. I would have one piece of advice as he gets older, to let him know the possible disadvantages of throwing curveballs or sliders at a young age. Teach him a good circle change up and get him to throw his fastball for strikes. I remember my dad didnt let me throw a curveball til I was 16, and a slider til this year, Im 19. My chance up is still my best pitch even though my slider is up there. :wink: Just teach him the basics at this age and time will usually do the rest!

I agree with the others’ comments here. Also, for a kid his age who has not received any pitching instruction, his glove management is above average, IMHO.

I would keep an eye on his posture - watch his head for inappropriate movement side-to-side. You might also move him to the glove side of the rubber to minimize some posture issues as he does sometimes stride to the throwing arm side and then lean to the glove side just a bit.

Your kid looks athletic and natural. I like to see the glove go higher right out of break. Get the glove as high as the head and point the humerus and elbow at the target to sight the gun. I think the following ryhme is a good one for kids: Lift the knee high, thumb to thigh, glove to sky, let her fly.