10u Mechanics What do you think/see?

Hi all, long time lurker. My son turned 10 in November but has been pitching since he was 7.

I was only able to get this side of his motion but will get the other side and a front view next practice (Thurs)

He throws a 2 seam fastball 90% (from 46 feet he is around 56 MPH) of the time and has been developing a Circle Change that is about 5 MPH slower with a lot of sink and run inside to a RHB.

Please let me know what you think we can improve on. I’m open to all suggestions.

Thanks for your time!

In chronological order as I see it happening:

  1. Doesn’t really finish his leg kick and seems to just drift to the plate. Watch Clayton Kershaw. I know the big fad right now is this momentum pitching thing where you don’t find a true balance point, but one of the best pitchers in the game lifts his leg and brings it almost back to the starting point to establish true balance before any weight begins down the mound. There is no drift in his motion.

  2. Not finishing our leg kick and finding any balance allows some of that potential energy we store up to leak all over the place. This translates to weak, non-explosive move to the plate. The result here is your son’s very upright, short stride to the plate.

Three drills that I recommend. He really needs to feel that balance and then the translation to his upper body finishing more over his front leg.

  1. Leg kick and tap - With power and control, have your son kick his leg and alternate between tapping his toe behind the mound and back near its starting position. Keep an eye out for the head leaning, loss of balance, etc. I know some will say that a true balance point is an archaic thought, but we have to be able to lift our leg with power and control without losing our center of gravity.
  2. Towel drill - People will hate on this drill too, but I still like it. Have your son take his normal motion three times and notice/mark where his lead foot is landing. Start your toe there and step heel-to-toe 6 foot lengths (if on the mound, 5 if flat ground). Kneel and hold your mitt at about his waist level. His goal is to slap your mitt with the towel he is holding between his fingers. Encourage the balance point first, followed by a strong move with the legs to explode to your mitt.
  3. Pitching uphill - If you have the location that allows, have your son turn around and pitch up the mound like he is throwing towards second base. This isn’t a max effort drill. You simply crouch 35-40’ away and have him focus on strikes. Stepping up a slight incline naturally makes your upper body lean over your front leg, and I always felt like it built good muscle memory for when we turn around the correct way.

Hope this helps!

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Wow those are awesome, detailed and thoughtful points! Thanks so much.

I will let you know how they go in a few days

Sidewinder: is this the video to reference for Point #1?

You got it. I’ve always loved his mechanics. They almost go against the normal thought you see on most internet forums, but I just love his balancing mechanism. There’s a reason his curveball is so filthy, and it starts with the syncing up of his body, created only by this leg kick/balance point.

Yeah when I watched that it was pretty obvious how he is totally centered before lunging down the mound. What about my sons hand break and how the ball comes out almost on the horizon? I see a lot of mechanics like Lincecum, Sabiathia, Lee, Darvish etc… they all hold the ball down behind their post leg until the last possible second of foot strike.

is that something he could do?

That’s a good point. Your son does kind of bring it straight back out of the mitt. Two things there:

  1. If he is going to bring it out lower or get a little “longer” with his arm action, he will need to make time for it so the arm doesn’t drag behind. Back to the leg kick/balance/timing discussion. I think now the short arm action is a symptom of the rushed leg lift and drift to the plate. Naturally the arm is trying to catch up so it doesn’t complete a full “circle” out of the mitt.

  2. I’m always hesitant to mess too much with the throwing arm. I’ve seen guys throw smoke both with the Lincecum-like drop down the leg and with quicker, almost short-armed movements. The arm angle and action needs to be natural, but the lower half needs to sync up and allow for the arm to do its thing.

Bottom line is teach the legs first and just see how the arm reacts. I think it will get a little longer and down the post leg naturally with better timing and balance.

Got it, thanks!