11 yr old-looking for a critique

Sorry about the black and white, had camera on wrong setting. This is my son, 11 soon to be 12. Has been pitching since he was 9. Average fastball 53-55. His biggest problem is control and would love any input on what you see that may be causing his troubles.



Sorry about the black and white, had camera on wrong setting. This is my son, 11 soon to be 12. Has been pitching since he was 9. Average fastball 53-55. His biggest problem is control and would love any input on what you see that may be causing his troubles.

The very first thing that caught my eye is that he looks like a robot. The pitching motion is a fluid movement. While it can be broken down into pieces, there is never a point when one part of the motion should be isolated. In this case, he lifts his leg and holds it. Yes, the leg lift is vital in building power, but it won’t help velocity or control if he stops for a second with the leg lift. It is one fluid motion.

is a recent post of Ubaldo Jiminez’s motion in slow motion. Watch how fluid he is and immediately you will see that he doesn’t pause with his leg lift.

Also, I do not know exactly how tall he is, but using a ruler you can see from the video he is driving only 75% of his height, where optimal drive is 85-90% of a pitchers height. Remember that the legs and the explosive power they can provide are the key to both velocity and control.

His finish also needs to be so that he isn’t falling off towards the first base side as much. Remember, you want him to drive with linear force towards home. Any force that deviates from towards the plate will be velocity lost, as well as control. Think of it like this, you are running and you want to throw a baseball at the same time. It is hard to throw a baseball in the direction that you aren’t moving right? So in other words, you want to have all your body moving home. Have him finish so he is in the ready position to field the ball.

I did not watch the second video. Within these are enough suggestions for you to work on and change. Make it natural for him, then let us know about how this helps his progress.

This is hard to say sometimes but your son needs strength and conditioning . The first thing I would do is look at Ellis’s book on this. And no I wasn’t paid to say this.

I agree with CSOlson. He needs to be more fluid. The stopping is at the top of the leg lift is robbing him of power. Like I said on another post, it actually easier to get control if you go faster. Riding a bike is easier if you go faster rather the going very slowly.

His front side looks good and I like his finish.

As for his strength, I agree you can be stronger. This will help with injury prevention and velocity improvement. That said his strength looks appropriate for his age.

Steve’s book is good as is Wolforth’s new Athletic Pitcher.
You can also get ideas for free at www.ericcressey.com and look under baseball content.

Suggestions for strength and conditioning for an 11 year old:

  1. Thrower’s ten resistant band exercises, three days a week. This will strengthen the shoulders. http://www.asmi.org/SportsMed/throwing/thrower10.html

  2. Push ups & sit ups, daily. Add pull ups when strong enough. We have our son do these before he can play video games.

  3. Stretching exercises, daily. Do these when he’s watching TV.

Awesome info, he’s definately not real strong for his size. Just over 5 ft and weighs a little over 120. We will start working on getting rid of the pause and will take a look at the exercises. Thanks for the input.

120 lbs decent weight for being just over 5’. He’s coming of age where core exercises are very beneficial and will help him not only in pitching but also hitting. My son’s middle school coach constantly urged the kids to do push ups all winter to strengthen the upper body so their swings would be more powerful. Our orthopedic doctor recommended the daily stretching for flexibility and chiropractor recommended the core exercises (push ups, sit ups and pull ups) and resistant bands to strengthen and condition the shoulders. None of this cost money, and the kids can do them when they watch TV. The other exercise our chiropractor recommended for a young pitcher is rowing. Also would recommend to strengthen the grip, such as squeezing a ball while watching TV, etc. We do this more for basketball with the anticipation that some day their hands will be big and strong enough to palm the basketball. It also keeps their hands busy and out of trouble.:slight_smile: He has a small ball that he keeps at school. During lectures, he squeezes the ball. This is actually a class requirement for Logic. This keeps him focused on the lecture and his hands from tapping, and the by product is a stronger grip. My 13 year old’s hands are just getting to the size to palm the b-ball, and it is amazing to see him go one handed over the defender for lay-ups.

Could you take a look at updated video. We have removed the pause. Appears to me he may be falling forward to soon ? Also started doing band exercises 3 times a week. I really appreciate your input.



One thing that Tim Lincecum’s father did was to place a dollar at the end of Tim’s stride, and then Tim worked on picking up the dollar in his follow through. This seems to put more focus on a longer stride and using the lower body along with the upper body in the delivery.

Practice and patience and he’ll be fine. My oldest son was much stiffer and robotic at 11, and at 12, and I would bet he will be at 13; yet, each year he gets stronger and a little smoother. His stride gets a little longer, and by the end of LL last year he picked up the dollar. At 11 he was very awkward and a poor thrower. Throws around 65 now. Nothing to boast about, but learning how to use his body correctly strengthened his throwing and put him in a good position to win the 3rd base job during the fall. Picking up a dollar doesn’t mean he will be a pitcher, but he now has a strong arm from 3rd to 1st.

i think there are positives about both videos, even though the b&w video looked very robotic I liked his balance and his overall movement to home. The color video, I don’t personally like the over the top with the hands since it can impact balance etc. On the other hand, I do like his timing and the overall pitching style…this is without getting into the mechanics very much which I think doesn’t need to touch much until he has started to feel solid with one set of mechanics. Once he has what he is comfortable with, then set up a new video for mechanical analysis. Good Luck to him.