14 year old for review **Updated Video**

Not the best video but i thought i would show an update on what my son’s mechanics look like since he has been working with a pitching coach.

Still work to be done, he is leaning back towards his heels too much.

Updated the videos

First video i think has a better release point, the 2nd he is a little back on releasing the ball.

I think we would be interested in how old he is and his height and weight. First thing I see is that when he comes to his balance point he is getting a little tight and balling up just a little, maybe lifting the leg less might help but at the top of the post he really needs to stay relaxed through his ab muscles and upper body.

He is 5’9 and weighs around 140.

Just turned 14 last week.

I watched the video again and I see that at about 2 seconds his chest faces slightly down to the floor, this can cause balance issues, not getting full velocity and control issues. I really like the way he pulls his back foot off the rubber and the solid control he has with his front side.

Of course if you could get better video in the future that would be great.

Thanks for the input.

We go and work with him again tonight (unless we are snowed in) so I will try to remember the SD card in the camera this time. They work much better when you have the memory card.

His coach has really improved his command over the course of 12 lessons we have had.

He has been working with him on keeping his weight back longer, getting what he calls backward tilt and getting out farther on his stride.

We went to a camp last year that stressed with him getting into foot plant
much faster and it really affected his timing.

He was so worried about getting forward faster that he was off balance and his timing was way off with his arm dragging behind.

To me it still looks like he is starting to rotate the shoulders before foot plant, so his timing is not perfect by any means.

Changes take time and you have to commit to doing it a certain way over a long period of time and have faith.

[quote]Still work to be done, he is leaning back towards his heels too much.

This “leaning back” as you call it could be a pre-cursor to and facilitate opening before foot strike. I think I see a little head tilt and the cue “keep the eyes level” may be all that is needed to correct this posture change. I’d work on this first before other fixes for early rotation.

[quote]To me it still looks like he is starting to rotate the shoulders before foot plant, so his timing is not perfect by any means.

If you feel he is still opening early before foot strike- which is hard to tell from the video- you have a couple of additional choices- leave the upper body timing the same and speed up the lower half or slow down the top half.

My choice would be to move a little quicker with the lower half and get into foot strike before the upper half can begin rotation. It sounds like you’ve been this route before. Unfortunately one or two day camps are tough since timing changes can take time and feedback to master. This might be a good time to try again since you know what to look for now and the change may not feel so drastic. Moving faster has the additional benefit of generating more momentum toward the target.

To slow down the upper half work on stabilizing the glove out in front of the torso a little longer. I’m not a fan of slowing down because it creates more time for things to go wrong, especially with youth pitchers.

One final thought. Since this is a changeup it is common for everything to slow down which obviously you want to guard against. If it is a circle change then there can be a tendency to move to the glove side to help with pronation.

After seeing the updated video I would suggest the “eyes level” cue along with better glove side control and stabilization. If you stop the first video at release you will see his glove has swung way outside his body. Ideally at release the glove should stabilize somewhere in front of and within the width the torso- not outside it. “Sweeping the glove” as he does leads to early rotation and a release point further from the target. Moving slightly faster would help but would not be enough to overcome the sweeping glove side IMO.

the glove is not something we have really messed with yet or even talked about with this guy. I will have to ask if it is something we are working on down the road or he may not have noticed it.

Agree on moving forward a little faster but taking smaller steps this time so we do not get him thinking too fast too soon and having the head get going forward too soon. Hope that makes sense.

Proper glove side control is essential for balance (think tightrope walker) and ultimately for developing a consistent release point. Some think that premature rotation caused by a poor glove side (such as tucking or pulling the glove) can be a mechanism for injury. You mentioned previously that he had an issue with dragging the arm. A better glove side that helps delay shoulder rotation can help this especially when working on moving faster.

Here are the biggest issues I see:

  1. During leg lift, he is straight up and down - he needs to lead with his hips as soon as he starts to lower the leg. (You know this since I read in your post that you guys are working on this issue.)

  2. As his lead leg moves forward, it is swinging instead of being directed toward the target. In addition, the front foot is turning toward the target too soon. Keep it sideways as long as possible.

  3. The breaking of his hands is happening way too early. This is what is causing the timing problem you speak of… notice where in the delivery his arm reaches the high cocked position; it’s up well before his foot touches down. What that means is that he is holding the ball up into the high cocked position and waiting for his body to catch up. It needs to be timed so that his arm gets involved as late as possible so that it reaches the high cocked position at the same time that he braces up his front leg. There are a few ways to do this: one is to just hold on to the ball longer in the glove. As the leg goes up the hands go up, as the leg goes down the hands go down, and break them around the belly button. The break should occur only after the hips have moved forward - in other words, don’t break the hands over the rubber. Another method is to dangle the arm down low (like Lincecum and Sabbathia) as the body drives forward. Right now, it appears as though your son’s arm is moving straight back rather than down, back, and up - which also contributes to the arm getting into the high cocked position too early.

I wouldn’t worry about the glove so much - fix the things in the beginning of the delivery first. Oh, and one more thing I noticed: make sure he keeps his rear foot rooted to the ground/mound as long as possible; the heel shouldn’t pop up so soon. Think of pushing/driving the rubber back toward second base as well as driving down into the mound with the entire foot. This will enable him to drive that back leg into full extension with a good, long, low stride. The simple cues I like to use are, lead with the hip, move fast, stay sideways, and get low and long.

Good luck - he looks good, very good potential!

Thanks for the advice.

Still a lot of things to work on but I think we are headed in a good direction.

Doing “step-behinds” is a great way to work on timing, flow and arm action, I also like toe taps for it, combined with step behinds…I always like to see them done before a pen, along with having the catcher come out in front of the plate a couple of feet to work on throwing downhill.

Thanks JD, we do need to get back to doing step behind.

His instructor does a lot of drills but that is not one of them.

The are doing toe taps, they call them something different but the are toe taps.