11 YR OLD Clip I would appreciate any recommendations

For an 11-yo he looks pretty good.
His stride is a little bit short and he doesn’t seem to be pushing with his back leg towards home plate.

But I like his upper body action and he seems to get a good speed on that ball. So with an improved lower body action he would be a pretty solid kid.

He seems to have fairly good mechanics.Here are my observations.

  1. Hold ball and glove at belly button not with extended arms. This will
    allow him to get the ball inot the high cocked position with better timing.
    It will also better allow him to go downk back, and up with ball delivery.

  2. Keep head over center of gravity (belly button) thru out delivery.

  3. Don’t throw so much over the top, three quarters is better. Use hip and shoulder rotation better. This will reduce stress on the arm.

  4. His short stride may be due to the pitching platorm. Make sure from the edge of the pitchers plate to 6 inches out it is flat. Then it slopes
    1" per 1’ there after with a uniform slope.

He has good mechanics for 11 yrs. I don’t expected a long stride or lots of hip and shoulder seperation from an 11 year old. He appears to be striding about 70% of his height. This decent for now and will naturally improve with time. He does get a little hip and shoulder seperation and his timing only appears to be off slightly. He does a good job of landing balanced and driving his chest forward over his knee on release. The only thing I don’t like is his handbreak, which he does off to his side instead of out in front of his bellybutton. I would have him bring the glove to his chest and break as he lowers it down, following the knee down. This will help with his timing. Overall, he looks good for his age.

Thank You very much for your reply. I agree about hand separation and I will work on having him separate higher. I am trying to model him off of a combination of Sandy Koufax and Tim Lincecum. Both of them come over the top and not 3/4. I do admire Greg Maddux who has more of a 3/4 delivery. He is having trouble keeping the ball down. Do you know of any fixes or drills to help him release further out.

Thanks Again

You may want to move the rubber on your mound from the back to the middle (no more than two feet away from where the drop off starts depending on the slope of the incline) before you start adjusting anything on his mechanics. Moving it closer to the drop may help him be able to throw out front a little more as he will naturally bend more at the waist on the incline. Right now his release point is between his head and front foot. It should be out past his front foot. If he thinks about reaching out to the catchers glove a little more - that may help as well.

Ah yes, another Lincecum inspired delivery.

Two glaring things I did notice was your son does not have a great follow through with his back leg, he slides his foot instead of a quick twist and straight up and through. Sliding his back foot may take away a mile and hour or two on his velocity. A good drill is to set a chair in front of the rubber which will force him to really get that violent follow though with his back leg, this may also help him to keep the ball down because it also really forces and overall follow through. The second thing I noticed was he swings his front leg which causes him to open his hips up a little early. Instead of a swinging front leg, try to get him to follow a line with his lead leg and lead out with his bottom half. Since he does open his hips up a little early from his leg swinging this can cause a pitcher to be a little up in the strike zone also. Really try to have him lead out with his bottom half and to get that violent finish by not sliding his foot.

The thing I notice is the “Lincecum lean” and the glove pull. These two issues make it difficult to delay shoulder rotation and get good hip and shoulder separation (which is where power/velocity is derived from). Note that Lincecum is able to stay closed and rotate late despite his lean towards the glove side because he has practiced it a long time and he has the developed the strength and flexibility to accomodate it. But I wouldn’t recommend a young pitcher trying to do the same. I also wouldn’t recommend trying to arbitrarily mimic another pitcher’s arm slot. Let your son find his own slot that is the most natural and comfortable for him.

These issues also lead to early shoulder rotation which has the effect of shortening the stride and not letting the release point get out front where it should be, IMHO.

Most of the top pitchers in the game drag their back foot. And it really doesn’t reduce their velocity. Nolan Ryan dragged his back foot yet still threw in the upper 90’s.

Lifting the back foot instead of dragging it can actually be an indicator of mechanical flaw such as a posture issue or opening up early.

[quote=“Roger”]The thing I notice is the “Lincecum lean” and the glove pull. These two issues make it difficult to delay shoulder rotation and get good hip and shoulder separation (which is where power/velocity is derived from). Note that Lincecum is able to stay closed and rotate late despite his lean towards the glove side because he has practiced it a long time and he has the developed the strength and flexibility to accomodate it. But I wouldn’t recommend a young pitcher trying to do the same. I also wouldn’t recommend trying to arbitrarily mimic another pitcher’s arm slot. Let your son find his own slot that is the most natural and comfortable for him.

These issues also lead to early shoulder rotation which has the effect of shortening the stride and not letting the release point get out front where it should be, IMHO.[/quote]

Thank You for you reply

The over the top slot has come pretty natural to my son. Someone else wrote that it may lead to future injury. Are over the top pitchers more prone to injuries than 3/4 arm slot?

I do like Lincecums delivery because it does seem to use hip rotation the most effectively out of the deliveries I have looked at. I know it is not an easy thing to duplicate but I thought if he starts early that with much work he can use some of the principals to be an effective pitcher. He probably will not grow to be very tall based on the size of my wife and I. So he needs to get the most out of his delivery. We do stretch on almost a daily basis and he is doing some simple strength training such as push ups and medicine ball exercises.

Is that a bad thing?

There is nothing wrong with keeping the back foot down until release as long as he drags it. In fact it is preferable. The stride is not an issue either. He pelvic loads and leads with the hips, which means he reverse rotates his hips before striding. So, the hips will be turned toward third base as the leg is being extended causing the leg to intially move away from the driveline and then back to the driveline. The key is to not land closed or open, which he doesn’t appear to be doing.

[quote=“Johnphantom”][quote=“Roger”]The thing I notice is the “Lincecum lean” and the glove pull. These two issues make it difficult to delay shoulder rotation and get good hip and shoulder separation (which is where power/velocity is derived from). Note that Lincecum is able to stay closed and rotate late despite his lean towards the glove side because he has practiced it a long time and he has the developed the strength and flexibility to accomodate it. But I wouldn’t recommend a young pitcher trying to do the same. I also wouldn’t recommend trying to arbitrarily mimic another pitcher’s arm slot. Let your son find his own slot that is the most natural and comfortable for him.

These issues also lead to early shoulder rotation which has the effect of shortening the stride and not letting the release point get out front where it should be, IMHO.[/quote]

Thank You for you reply

The over the top slot has come pretty natural to my son. Someone else wrote that it may lead to future injury. Are over the top pitchers more prone to injuries than 3/4 arm slot?

I do like Lincecums delivery because it does seem to use hip rotation the most effectively out of the deliveries I have looked at. I know it is not an easy thing to duplicate but I thought if he starts early that with much work he can use some of the principals to be an effective pitcher. He probably will not grow to be very tall based on the size of my wife and I. So he needs to get the most out of his delivery. We do stretch on almost a daily basis and he is doing some simple strength training such as push ups and medicine ball exercises.[/quote]

What Roger describes is the most difficult aspect of power pitching. Getting the timing down for this style of pitching can be quite difficult. The torque created will want to pull the shoulders early. As Roger mentioned, strength and flexibility are key. Lincecum has this to an extreme. That is why he is referred to as “the freak”. As far as you son throwing high, that is in relation to his release point. Fix his hand break and then see where he is at. Make sure that he understands that he needs a little better extension out front so that he can work on that. Give him time. He is still very young and his arm speed will increase, which will help.

Leaning to the glove side can lead to opening up early and that can be the source of injury.

You’re on the right track here. Pick out the things Lincecum does that are in common with most top pitchers and work on those things. For example, early momentum towards the target, staying closed, etc. But don’t try to mimic his entire delivery. There’s areas the best pitchers in the game still look different. They have a lot in common - the principals as you called them. Yet they also have their differences.

Sounds like good reasoning.

that looks good. 2 good 2 bad.
Good:

  1. He does a great job with his upper body by driving that to the plate
  2. He has a very nice release point out in front of him.
    Bad:
  3. He needs to use his LEGS! Tell him to reach out with his plant foot and try to dig a hold through the earth with it (push hard on the drive leg)
  4. His head,nose, and mouth need to be lined up with his belly button when he releases. This will add more strikes.
    He looks great. Hope this helped!