My pleasure, some members here did the same for me… it’s been 20 years since I was around the game & things have changed. Development wasn’t where it is now & the knowledge base is unbelievable. Back then those that were born naturals made it or those who could “get people out”. Development was little, & even then based upon many unfounded perceptions & passed along notions.
This site has enlightened me immensley. Having saif that mu knowledge & advice is far below some of the expertise & detail this site will expose you to. Have fun!
I like 14 as an entry age. He’s developed enough to not be overly concerned with growth plates & magnified stress. Being smart about pitch counts, pitch selection, throwing routines, exercise etc is critical… but the fact is that you can do everything pefrect & still be @ risk until your at your son’s development.
Many Major League players I know (majority I might add) were reluctant to let their kids pitch til 13 and even then they were very concerened about pitch selection & pitch counts. Bottom line, coaching pitchers is tough. The best in the business with millions of dollars invested can make mistakes… let alone a volunteer coach or entry level high school coach.
You need to start developing a curve ball by 16, but ur son has plenty of time to get that in play after a full yr+ of developing the “core” mechanics & pitches.
The footwork is an issue… easy fix. This site has Steve’s articles/blog’s on mechanics & drills to review. Youtube will offer visual tutorials… just make sure the source isn’t 1983 or the guy doesnt look like “Buttermaker” from Bad News Bears.
With no disrespect to his current coach, seek out a professional pitching coach. You might want to discuss this with the coach for “buy in” reasons so he doesnt feel disrespected or left out. Sounds crazy, but I’ve seen that happen. Your son needs opportunities on the mound to develop & the coach does have control of the pencil & line up card.
Again, I know very few coaches who really understand pitching… unless they are qualified pitching coaches. I can think of several Hall of Fame pro & college coaches who have destroyed pitchers for short term gain who didnt have a clue outside of knowing anything that half the stadium already knew as well. It’s a different animal & there are no absolutes.
How do you find the right guy? Tuff call, not sure what area you are in but this site/forum could help. NPA (National Pitchers Association) has a list of certified pitching coaches from across the country. Google search could work as well, but it sounds like you are getting your feet wet on knowledge & might jave a tuff time qualifying things.
Basically you must have a guy that has a track record, emphasis lower body mechanics, understanding/appreciation for exercise & arm care & has a long term game plan vs “lets get ur kid throwing hooks, sliders by next week”.
Again, I’m not a sherpa compared to some of these guys on this site, but this is what I believe to be very sound thoughts that will get you going with your son.
I think he has some compelling natural qualities & big upside… and lets not forget the “left handed” factor. If he’s into it & motivated & a kid that can be coached & will put in the time I wouldn’t hesitate to get a dedicated instructor for him.