12YO Ver. 2.0

My son’s instructor and I have been emphasising more rotation and creating hip/shoulder seperation. We’re eager to learn if the forum sees any improvement.

Thanks,
OHdad

While I’m not the expert, it looks like you have other issues. It looks like you son makes the inverted W. (This might make some people mad) Personally, I don’t think that is too good. Some experts agree.

BTW, the inverted W is when you bring your elbow up above your hand and your thumb points down.

BUT, like I said, I’m no expert. Go ask Leo Mazzone.

[quote=“Bakersdozen”]While I’m not the expert, it looks like you have other issues. It looks like you son makes the inverted W. (This might make some people mad) Personally, I don’t think that is too good. Some experts agree.

BTW, the inverted W is when you bring your elbow up above your hand and your thumb points down.

BUT, like I said, I’m no expert. Go ask Leo Mazzone.[/quote]

Your son is wearing a red shirt. That makes me mad. I’m sure I could find someone that agrees.

Really not bad at all especially considering he’s a 12 yo. It seems like he reaches a bit with his front foot rather than leading with his front hip to build momentum. Thats the one thing that kinda came to mind watching the clip.

I dont see the inverted W too much

I received the following from my son’s coach. Spot on analysis in my book. Your thoughts?

Tim

On the side view, Andy is loading up okay with his body but not his
arm. 3 things need to be corrected still.

  1. The Elbow is coming thru too low below his shoulder. When he keeps
    his elbow up like he did the other nite he fires the ball and when that
    elbow drops it comes in slower.

  2. The reason the elbow is too low is because of his separation. Notice
    how the elbow is not getting up with the ball in the "high cocked"
    position and then coming thru below the shoulder. You can also notice
    this from the rear view video. Notice how the “pinch” with the
    shoulders doesn’t happen in the rear view.

  3. His left foot is flipping open too soon. Watch the foot flip open
    with the knee halfway before toe-touch. This is keeping Andy from being
    able to fully drive his lower body before delivering the pitch.

If he can continue to work on a “later” hands break and getting the
ball into a high cocked position while driving sideways to the plate
his speed and accuracy will follow.

Do some throwing, starting very slow in the movements, and tell your son to land with his foot and make sure his upper body is still closed then rotate

Your son is wearing a red shirt. That makes me mad. I’m sure I could find someone that agrees.[/quote]

Judging from your recent posts to me, I have a feeling you are mad at me. Why?

here’s what i see. when he gets to the top of his knee pump, he takes the upper body forward to the plate at the same time as his hips. this causes him to primarily use his arm to throw.

the fix: get the hips WAY OUT in front of the shoulders. this tilt should be your first movement to the plate. stand behind him with your sternum directly behind his front (glove side) shoulder. have him come up to balance point or the top of his leg pump and hold the position. he will be lined up vertically (head, shoulders, hips and post foot) over the rubber. put your left hand under his front side arm pit (glove side) and take your right hand and place it just above his back foot hip (what some call the waist line).

hold the front shoulder where it is and push his hips as far forward as you can creating a < with his body. you will need to hold him up in this position. this is the position he should get in as his first movement toward the plate. you can even have him hold a ball in his glove with the throwing hand and then count 1, 2, 3 and let go. have him throw after you step back out of the way. this works pretty good

Dusty, thanks for taking a look. We’ll try the drill you suggested at his next lesson.

“the fix: get the hips WAY OUT in front of the shoulders. this tilt should be your first movement to the plate. stand behind him with your sternum directly behind his front (glove side) shoulder. have him come up to balance point or the top of his leg pump and hold the position. he will be lined up vertically (head, shoulders, hips and post foot) over the rubber. put your left hand under his front side arm pit (glove side) and take your right hand and place it just above his back foot hip (what some call the waist line).”

Dusty, I’ve not got your lenghty experience or volume for that matter, but I would interject that IMO this kid needs to exaggerate nothing and incremental tweaking as he adjusts and matures physically is likely the most productive and healthful way forward. As a 12 yr old, he’s bringing the ball to the plate in (For a 12 yr old) a fundementally sound fashion…i.e. non-apparently injurious (Excepting those who believe about inverted w’s and what not). He is obviously going to get stronger and that stength will have to be worked in. Just watching from footstrike to release again IMO he looks sound. I am not a fan of bending at the waist as a method of momentum increase (I think it can effect timing adversely) but again for a kid this age I’m thinkin he’s walking the right path and dad is approaching it in a reasoned educated manner.

Dusty posted a while back thought you would like to see what he has to offer…

[color=blue]dusty delso
Major League

Joined: 14 Oct 2007
Posts: 313

Posted: Nov 29, 2007 Post subject:


46

played division 1 at oral robert university under former major leaguer jim brewer, the lefty reliever for the dodgers who was also the pitching coach for the montreal expos. we were ranked 2nd in the country in 1983 by collegiate baseball for a while but could not beat oklahoma state in the playoffs when it mattered.

pitched in high school (5 no hitters) but played the outfield in college. could not hit leftys well enough to make it and just flat wasn’t good enough. should have remained a lefty pitcher but you can’t tell a left hander anything.

spent 10 years as a business partner with vern ruhle, major leaguer on the staff with nolan ryan at houston and 6 year major league veteran pitching coach. we invented a pitching machine attachment. he showed me many things he did not share with everyone. he died last year.

been a youth league elite level coach for 6 years. average between 80 and 110 games per year for the last 5 years.

teams won 2 national superseries championships, 2nd in aabc world series in puerto rico, 5th at usssa elite 24, and dizzy dean world series champions last year at 14.

my son was the mvp at the dizzy dean tournament, 2 time superseries all-american, winning pitcher in the 2004 title game, and as a 15, threw a complete game 7 inning shutout against a 17u team at the woodbat underclassmen world series in ft. myers this fall. he currently pitches for the dallas yankees, an elite 15u team that won the triple crown world series this year and are rated 9th in the world by travelball select. he tops out at 85, pitches at 82, walks .5 per game, and averages 7 strikeouts per 7in. very good change and curveball he can throw when behind in the count. will throw at you if needed.

we use the throwing program developed for him by vern ruhle. has not had a sore are or missed a start in 5 years. had his first bout with tendonitis after throwing 21 innings in 10 days this fall (i know it’s stupid but when you’re trying to make the varsity high school rotation as a freshman and play for a team that spends $20k per player, per year in the summer, you do some crazy things). we learned our lesson and had to shut down for 6 weeks. want everyone else to take care of themselves. there are limits and if your pass those limits, you will pay.

do strength/conditioning/flexibility training with the personal trainer of matt holliday of the colorado rockies. the strength training is making a world of difference. you cannot believe what holliday had been doing since he was 15. it is a baseball specific workout and every person who has tried it has thrown up at one time or another.

i have a ph.d. in educational research and am a published author in effective teaching practice. undergraduate degree in physical education including kinesiology and exercise physiology. my passion is baseball and i read between 5000 and 10,000 pages per year on the game with am emphasis on arm strength training and pitching. can usually spot someone who does not know what they are talking about very quickly but will never embarrass anyone and i have been wrong. if you have a genuine question and are looking to get better i am more than happy to help you. i love baseball and like helping others who have a passion for the game unless they are rude or already know everything they need to know.

it is good that you ask. i don’t post this unless asked because it makes me a little uncomfortable posting it. but you need to know who you are talking to and is giving you advice. most guys who made the pony league all-star rec league team will tell you how to pitch if you give them a crayon and hold their beer. be careful who you listen to.

pitch less, throw more, train even more. overprepare for battle without fatigue, there is a fine line.

i hope this didn’t come off as bragging, i don’t mean it to if it did. there are lots of folks who know more about this game than i do. i won’t give advice unless i have checked it out. i wouldn’t recommend anything to you that i wouldn’t do with my son.

Back to top [/color]

I think Dusty is dead on on this kid. Why should we crawl when we can run? This kid has alot of stored MPH in that body, why not get to them now?

I read that post, I don’t think he’s bragging, I respect his expertise and think that it’s ok that I differ in my thoughts.
I really don’t have much disagreement with what he posted, just that I believe that to exaggerate anything in a kid isn’t as efficient because he’ll have to in turn reign it back in. And absolutely Andy has much potential, my opinion…and my resume isn’t as extensive as Dusty’s, but I’ve learned much from an MLB catcher who A) Caught Maddux’s 1st Cy, has caught Rick Sutcliffe and Randy Johnson and Jamie Moyer…his best friend is Tim Wakefield and B) has worked with my son who is now 17 and (throwing in the 90’s) since he was 12. All that said…if the kid isn’t physically prepared to throw at high speeds he will injure himself. You don’t wake up and chunk 90, you develop, I recommend that Andy here continues to develop incrementally until at 16, 17 and 18 he is arm healthy and puking ugly gas…that is my approach, Dusty and you have yours I see your son is successful and wouldn’t for minute say either was “wrong”

there is more than one way to train a youth pitcher. 1. it is a progression and you make changes when they are physically ready to make changes. you do not expect or teach major league mechanics to a 10 to 12 yr old. this argument has merit.

the other argument or method is to teach major league mechanics from the first time they pick up a ball. that way they do not have to relearn or make adjustments to their mechanics. this is the school i’m from. i am working with 10-10 to 12 yr olds and they are having no trouble with the tilt and getting their bodies in this position. they may have trouble finding the plate but i worry about that later. i do not want a pitcher throwing carefully. i want them to throw the ball hard. we’ll find the plate as we get comfortable and relax.

there is also merit to the argument that they can hurt themselves trying to throw hard before their growth plates close. this is why we throw often and strengthen the muscles around the joints to take the additional pressure from throwing hard. if you are concerned about this, i believe you are wise to wait until your son is 14 or 15 before starting to pitch. this is the racehorse method, don’t put them on the track till the x-rays show the growth plates closed. i just think it is hard for a kid to catch up if they wait that long, but it is the safest way to go and can be done.

our trainer jihn carey told us this very thing when we started with him. he had us buy 1 and 2 lb dumbells. i sais we are already doing 3lb and he said yeah, but when you’re sore or injured, that may be all you can do. you expect to be hurt from time to time. you do everything you can to prevent it but it will happen.

OHdad, here’s what I see:

(1) I would move your son to the glove side of the rubber so that his drag line ends on the centerline of the rubber. In the videos, his drag line ends to the throwing arm side of the centerline. Figure out the distance between the end of his current drag line and the centerline of the rubber and move him to the glove side by that distance. This will help avoid postural issues when he squares up to the target. It may also help keep him from planting too far to the open side which he also does in the videos. Finally, it will get him to direct all of his energy at the target instead of to one side of the target.

(2) I would like to see your son start his hips forward a bit sooner. In the videos, he doesn’t start forward until his knee starts to lower from the apex of the knee lift.

(3) Related to (2), I’d like to see him lead with his front hip a bit longer before opening up the front leg. Currently, he does reach with his front foot a bit. Leading with the front hip longer and delaying the opening of the front leg will make that opening of the leg and, subsequently, the hips a little more explosive. Note that this will require more strength - especially in the core area.

(4) At front foot plant, you son’s glove arm is bent to 90 degrees at the elbow while the throwing arm doesn’t bend that much. So he’s not getting to an opposite and equal position. The front arm being bent more can lead to a timing issue as the front arm travels less distance and is quicker to do its thing than the back arm. The result is often opening the shoulders early. So, to avoid those kinds of issues, I would work on having him make his glove arm mirror his throwing arm. Don’t change his throwing arm.

(5) In the side view video, it appears that your son’s elbow comes through rather low. In actuality, his shoulders are also tilted down to the throwing arm side. So his elbow is actually ok relative to his shoulders. However, in the rear view video, he looks ok. So I’m not inclined to pass judgement on this unless I could determine it was, in fact, a trend. In that case, I’d suggest having him lower his front elbow to bring the front shoulder down and keep the shoulders from tilting to the throwing arm side.

[quote=“OHdad”]I received the following from my son’s coach. Spot on analysis in my book. Your thoughts?

Tim

On the side view, Andy is loading up okay with his body but not his
arm. 3 things need to be corrected still.[/quote]
I’m not sure what your coach means by loading up the arm. If he is talking about external rotation of the humerus, I’ll agree that your son doesn’t get a full 180 degrees of external rotation. But I wouldn’t mess with that. It could be a genetic limitation in which there’s nothing to do. Or it could be a timing-imposed limitation in which case fixing the timing is the solution. But I would work on all the other things and let the arm fall out, er, adjust on its own. :roll:

As I stated before, the shoulders are also tilted and the elbow is actually ok relatively to the shoulders. Again, two videos which contradict each other doesn’t warrant any action until the undesirable behavior is shown to be the rule more than the exception.

[quote]2) The reason the elbow is too low is because of his separation. Notice how the elbow is not getting up with the ball in the "high cocked"
position and then coming thru below the shoulder. You can also notice
this from the rear view video. Notice how the “pinch” with the
shoulders doesn’t happen in the rear view.[/quote]
I fail to understand the relationship between separation and a low elbow. I think his separation is fine. I define separation as the distance between the front hip and the back shoulder right before the shoulders rotate.

[quote]3) His left foot is flipping open too soon. Watch the foot flip open
with the knee halfway before toe-touch. This is keeping Andy from being
able to fully drive his lower body before delivering the pitch.[/quote]
I agree with this and addressed it in my previous post.

[quote]If he can continue to work on a “later” hands break and getting the
ball into a high cocked position while driving sideways to the plate
his speed and accuracy will follow.[/quote]
Since I think your son needs to start his hips moving forward sooner, I would let him focus on that and let his hand break happen on its own. Chances are he will adjust the hand break automatically based on the new timing of starting forward earlier.

It’s more of an Inverted L, which is nearly as bad.

In general, it looks like he’s still too focused on throwing with his arm and not his entire body.

For example, his front foot and hips seem to open a little early.

I agree with all of this.

He’s not that far off. He just needs some tweaks.

[quote=“OHdad”]1) The Elbow is coming thru too low below his shoulder. When he keeps
his elbow up like he did the other nite he fires the ball and when that
elbow drops it comes in slower.

  1. The reason the elbow is too low is because of his separation. Notice
    how the elbow is not getting up with the ball in the "high cocked"
    position and then coming thru below the shoulder. You can also notice
    this from the rear view video. Notice how the “pinch” with the
    shoulders doesn’t happen in the rear view.

  2. His left foot is flipping open too soon. Watch the foot flip open
    with the knee halfway before toe-touch. This is keeping Andy from being
    able to fully drive his lower body before delivering the pitch.

If he can continue to work on a “later” hands break and getting the
ball into a high cocked position while driving sideways to the plate
his speed and accuracy will follow.[/quote]

I disagree with 1 and 2 but agree with 3.

He throws from a fairly low arm slot, which isn’t necessarily bad.

His timing is fine. If you have him break his hands later then that will hurt his timing (and possibly his arm).

he does look pretty good. if he were my guy i would still work on getting the hips in front to lead the way. i have 9 and 10 yr olds that can do this and they are not extrordinarily strong. i think it is more of a coordination and timing thing instead of a strength and murity thing but that’s just me. they must learn to feel the position with their body.

one of the things i have discovered that is working is throwing from the back edge of a portable mound using a regular wind up. i also have them come up to the top of their delivery, and i hold their front shoulder from the side as their hips get out from under them and the ball is still in the glove. i tell them ready , go and when i release their shoulder, they are to break from the glove, travel down the hill, and throw with a nice low follow through visualizing some one placing a cup of water on their back. i have a 10 yr old i need to post some video of on the forum. he is becoming very special and he is a small wirey kid that is amazingly strong around his spine.

another thing that is working nicely is throwing a medicine ball with 2 hand behind the head with a running start and 2 hands beside the head (hands behind the ball in both exercises) rotating to a finish position. and you throw the ball with all you’ve got into a solid wall. none of this easy stuff. if they do this for 10 minutes they should crawl out of the cage.