14 yrs old - Help with mechanics

I would appreciate any assistance. Like most kids, his mechanics have changed over the years. He has been pitching since 9 yrs old. When he was smaller he had better length and leverage. He got bigger and stronger and started using too much arm. We have been working on lower body move recently to stop an outward swinging leg and a hard landing. He can pick most things up quickly

I want to know if we are going in the right direction.

Such as:

Delay hand break.
Maximize separation and keep throwing arm lower.
Stay closed as long as possible.
Don’t collapse fron leg.

Can anyone offer an opinion?

-Jim

A couple of things I see in his motion:

  1. He doesn’t generate momentum to the plate until after he has reached the top of his leg lift. I would ask him to start experimenting with getting the leading side of his hips going toward HP as he is commencing his leg lift.

  2. He doesn’t get much hip-shoulder separation and it really seems like his throwing-side shoulder almost leads his hips. However, the sequencing should be: Stride, hips begin to open near end of stride (shoulders closed), hips fully open shortly after stride foot plants (shoulders still closed), then the shoulders open and bring his throwing arm to the release point.

It’s one thing to read about hip-shoulder separation and delayed shoulder rotation, it’s quite another thing for a young pitcher to feel it, do it, and repeat it until it’s part of his innate delivery.

My son has used the so-called Rocker drill to train hip-shoulder separation and delayed shoulder opening.

What is the Rocker drill?

The Rocker is one of Tom House’s training drills…I wish I had video of it I could share because, like most drills it’s easier to understand when you see it than it is when you read about it.

Still, here goes:

This is usually a flat-ground drill, but there’s no reason why you couldn’t do it from a mound. It is a throwing drill so the pitcher will need a ball, glove, and a partner (usually another pitcher, who is also doing the Rocker).

The pitchers stand about regulation distance from each other. The guy with the ball comes to the set position with his normal posture. He goes into his normal delivery but stops and holds position without throwing when his stride foot has planted. Here’s what the pitcher should look like at this point:

His front foot is planted, back foot on tip-toe. Hips fully open, shoulders fully closed. Glove-side arm and throwing arm are “opposite but equal”…that is, the arms are balanced and the angles at the shoulders, elbows, and wrists are about the same for both arms.

Okay, the pitcher then rocks back into the set position and the drill starts again. Do 3 repetitions of the drill and on the final rep, don’t stop–continue through with your delivery and throw the ball to your (alert) partner.

The partner then does 3 reps, throws the ball, and so on…

This drill, like all drills, has some artificial elements to it; however, it does effectively isolate and kinesthetically train the part of a pitching delivery where the pitcher should be getting his maximum hip-shoulder separation.