12 year old - Any constructive criticism welcome

My son is 12 years old. Weighs 120lbs and is 5’8" tall. One thing of note is that he has grown about 4-5 inches in the last 6 months.

Please take a look at the provided links. He very interested in learning as much as possible. Thanks in advance.


Third Base Side

Home Plate Side

First thing I notice is that he stays straight up when he throws, his velocity comes from all arm power. You might notice at about :07 sec. that his body never gets any farther down than that, he needs to work on pulling the ball down, ending with his right wrist just above the left knee, this will help to get his back flatter to the ground, there should also be more action of his right leg coming over to help decelerate the arm action, this will happen naturally at first from him getting flatter.

Second thing I notice once I watch all the video’s is that his timing isn’t always the same as he starts to come to his post, once he starts to come to the post all the mechanics should be the same including timing.

Did I hear you say to him, “No cutters, cutters are hard on your arm”, and then turn right around and ask him, “How about a curve ball”. Well honestly I think you son at 12 is too young for both those pitches but you are the best to decide. The cutter is truely just a 2 seam fastball with the fingers set to the right a bit and the wrist pre cocked, but the arm swing is the same as a fastball so it really is no more stress on the arm than a fastball.

Thanks for the comments.

First, can you say more on what is contributing to throwing upright. Would lengthening the stride of focusing on hip shift help. Or is it just a matter of emphasizing throwing over his left knee.

Second, in regards to the curve ball/cutter issue. Obviously I have misunderstood what is going on in a cutter. I assumed that there was a similarity between the arm action of a slider and a cutter. My bad. As far as curves go. I allow him to throw only about 2 curves for every 20 pitches he throws. My view is that too many is the issue.

Thanks again.


Longer stride is a result and something that can develop once he can start to use his hips, legs and core to pull the ball down into that position. If you are asking for the major contributing factor, I would say balance, pulling the ball down in that way reuires more and more balance and strength to keep the body from going too far forward. Once he has started to develop that action or pulling his hand down over the top of his left knee, striding more might be the next step which can be worked on through the hersheiser drill which develops moving all your body weight toward home with your hips and core.

It’s hard to tell his mechnics here on the curve ball but there definately is a different high load to his arm vs his fastball, looks like when a catcher throws to 2nd base with the ball in his ear. I also think that it only takes one pitch to tweak the elbow or shoulder and require rest or more steps to get health again. I would only start throwing curve balls again once someone who can see him live (and knows the proper arm action of a curve ball) sees him and can diagnose that action. The most recent medical articles about curveballs etc say that they put no more stress on a pitchers arm than a fastball, “IF THROWN PROPERLY”, well on video, unless it’s slowed down, I don’t believe I can tell if that is true or not. In the past, the pitching community belived that curveballs should not be thrown prior to a pitcher being 14…that being said, younger pitchers who’s growth plates are still fusing I belive can have problems if not coached and managed properly.

get him to use his hips more and that will lengthen the stride, like the braves hat:D

i have the same suggestions as the other guys but i will go farther by saying that i am currently teaching 11-12yr olds and the biggest problem they face is just strength. most of them don’t have the leg strength to support a proper throw.

the basic thing you have to know is that the human body can’t support a 100mph throw without the pitcher being an athlete. likewise, your son can’t throw 60-70mph at his age without some strength conditioning.

my son is 12 years old and throws over 60mph in a game situation…consistently, with no pain. keep in mind that he is 5’ tall and weighs in at a mere 71lbs. here is a video of him last week:

not bad for 12yrs old but you can see that he isn’t of major league caliber yet. there have been several guys like Buwhite and 101MPH that have contributed to the mechanics my son now has. i can’t say there is one perfect method, but you will know the truth when you hear it.

the guys on this forum have been invaluable to many of us fathers (and coaches).

thanks guys.

i thought i might also add which strength exercises really worked for us:

running. short bursts of wide open speed. maybe just 50 yards max.

pushups. my son does as least 50 per rep. sometimes several times a day.

crunches. any type of stomach exercise will help.

squats or deep knee bends.

marshall arts of any type will help build endurance and speed.

splits. none of my boys can do one, but they still work on getting flexible enough to try.

in the end, a relaxed flexable muscle will throw the hardest.

The exercises to strengthen his core and stuff, sounds like good advice. It seems like he has adult size feet, and height, but is working with middle school strength and physical maturity.

Despite that he does approach 60 mph with his throw and has never once complained about any arm soreness. We will continue to work on his mechanics and control and I will encourage him to do some core training.

Thanks again for the candid suggestions.