14 year old girl - Mechanics


#1

I have a 14 year old girl who is a pretty decent ball player but her arm action/mechanics are off in some way. She is hard working and willing to put in the effort to fix it, but numerous coaches have not been able to pin point the problem. She has been told numerous times that its just the way she throws (arm slot) and it cant be fixed. This is not really a pitching video, just throwing for now. Wondering if you guys can take a look and tell me what you see and what drills may help correct it.


#2

Off subject here but just kinda curious.
Why not softball? Looks to be athletic and have good size. Why not pitching a softball?
I have a daughter that plays softball so I just ask when I see a girl playing baseball.


#3

More knowledgeable people here may disagree, but to me it looks like right at the 11 second mark in the slo mo video she pulls her pitching hand into her shoulder. From that point forward, it looks like she is short arming the ball and her arm timing is off.


#4

She was a former softball player but has been playing baseball for the last 2 years. We do not have softball program in our area, and it turns out she much prefers baseball. She was the only girl on our 13U competitive AA travel team last year and was the 2nd best player on the team. She also is a key player on our provincial girls baseball team. We have a university in our area now offering a women’s baseball program so there is potential for her to continue with baseball for many years to come and it is her passion. Since she is a girl, it is harder to find someone to take the time to give feedback on her mechanics, so hoping this forum can help.


#5

Any suggestions on how to correct or work on that if it is the issue?


#6

They are tons of older post you can check out with video and comments. Video combine with research can give you great understanding about mechanics. There’s about 5 things every great pitcher does. The rest can be your own style. Its all on this site. We use Tuff Cuff as a text reference. No expert either just doing the same as you. We use towel strike drills to work on form. Like hitting off tee. Boring but easier to focus on proper form. Google any of that for more explanation. Your headed in the right direction. Good luck.


#7

I have been looking and reading and am just stuck with this athlete. She has been doing towel drills for some time now and many other drills to try and fine tune mechanics but nothing seems to translate back when throwing. Everytime we think we have found the issue, it’s not quite right. Hoping for something more specific someone sees to direct her to work on. Maybe I will get some better video of her pitching. I have stuff but it’s a few months old and we have made improvements since then. She seems more fluid and looks more natural when doing the towel drill but that goes away as soon as she picks up a ball again.


#8

Show her the video. Then YouTube some of the best slo motion shots of great pictures. Frame by frame. Keep dogging it stay persistent. 5000 reps no change then u have problem. 1 it will be healthier . 2 better control. 3. Maybe more velocity.


#9

I agree with Magnolia…brings the ball up to her shoulder and drops her elbow instead of turning her shoulders. It also looks like she is stepping to the third base side of the rubber.


#10

I’ve read this thread multiple times and I fail to see a precise description of the problem - or symptoms thereof. There does seem to be concern about the pitcher’s arm action but no explanation of why.

I would prefer to see video of her actually pitching before doing further analysis. But I will make two comments at this point. First, the throwing arm belongs to the pitcher and coaches should not mess with it - at least not in a direct manner. Second, this pitcher does not achieve a proper “equal & opposite” at front foot plant. This can affect timing.

Post up some pitching video!


#11

No one mentioned this yet, and I’m not sure about it, but her glove arm appears to be lagging behind a bit. This may be the cause of the odd arm action, because she is sub-consciously delaying her throw until her glove arm can get into the right position. Just an idea.


#12

Roger,
I am not being sarcastic, just trying to learn. Is there really nothing wrong with her hand position at the 11 second mark in the slow motion video? She brings her pitching hand into her pitching shoulder and drops her elbow. From that point forward how can she throw effectively?


#13

Im wondering the same thing MagnoliaHunter. She used to drop her elbow a lot more and sooner, but she has been working on that. Im not sure what exactly she should be focusing to avoid that hand coming so close to her shoulder, causing the elbow to drop. Does she need to rotate her shoulders sooner? Or is it something to do with her glove side as Erinbristow mentioned? Her timing is off in a few places, but were unsure what to address first.

I guess we are wondering what is the first thing we should be looking at and trying to improve, if anything at all.

Thanks all, appreciate the feedback.

PS - I was going to post a pitching video but her shoulder is bothering her right now so she is taking some time off. She says it feels like it needs to pop or something and is painful when she throws. Hoping its nothing too serious.


#14

I don’t really see her drop her elbow. Instead, I see her elbow start low and then raise. But it is only low relative to flat ground - not to her shoulders which are tilted so the back shoulder is lower than the front shoulder prior to shoulder rotation. Position relative to shoulders is what really matters. Now you could argue that the shoulder tilt is an issue and I might agree depending on how she gets into that position. For example, does she tilt in such a way that her head moves towards 2B?

She does bend her throwing elbow to less than 90 degrees but that is not uncommon and not cause for concern to me.

What really stands out to me at the 11 second mark is that her glove arm is extended straight while her throwing arm is bent. In other words, no “equal & opposite”. I’ve watched Tom House take a kid with a poor “equal & opposite” who looked out of sync and fixed his “equal & opposite” and gave him good timing. The kid ended up looking smooth and back in sync.

I suggest working on this pitcher’s “equal & opposite” and then see what the throwing arm looks like.

EDIT: Any time a pitcher has enough time in their delivery to make unnecessary movements, they may have too much time and should probably speed things up. I think this pitcher could probably stand to move faster and get into front foot plant sooner. And that may clean up her arm action.


#15

After reading Roger’s remarks about the glove arm…I went back and watched it again. I think the action of both her arms is being thrown off at hand break. Her hands should break together and around the waist. Her hands break very high and she is only breaking her throwing arm. She is holding her glove side in place. Both hands should break at the same time with palms facing downward. That will get both arms into the correct position and timing. Have her watch some slow motion video of MLB pitchers…their hands will start around their chest and separate around their waist and compare that to her hands.


#16

This could be a cause for the “short arm” motion. Pitchers (or any throwers for that matter) who have a shoulder injury will tend to pull their arm in to shorten the “lever” and put less torque on their shoulder. This makes it difficult to do a fair assessment of mechanics.


#17

I agree with having the hands break together. This pitcher looks like she was taught the old “point the elbow at the target” teach. Breaking both hands break together and getting into a good “equal & opposite” position helps both balance and timing.

I think instructing the height of the hand break or to break the hands with palms facing down is over-instructing. If you give a pitcher good overall timing, these things usually take care of themselves.


#18

To be clear, she was not injured at the time of these videos. I just can’t post new pitching ones due to a current Injury. Thanks for all the feedback, when she is healthy we will work on the equal and opposite and timing.


#19

the mechanics are a little strange, especially the way she releases it. This strange release could cause injury in the future but never the less people have said the same thing about Chris sale and Noah Syndergaurd, but as long as she doesn’t acquire an injury and her pitching location is accurate and she can strike out batters then she should be just fine


#20

It looks like a timing issue to me. She has a long, powerful stride, which looks textbook. However, she has a high, outward hand separation which is causing her to release the ball too early. This is making her lose much of the velocity her legs have developed.

You could have her start her windup (or set) with her hands much lower and closer to her body - somewhere between the solar plexus and belly button. Her hands may naturally rise a little when she loads. This is ok as long as her hands drop downward, not outward, as her knee drops. This is an easy fix she can try without having to go through weeks of mechanical adjustments.

She also has hitch (elbow bend) in her throwing arm just as she reaches her power position. She may be doing to compensate for the timing lag between her upper and lower halfs.