16 year old pitching mechanics arm motion


#1

My 16 year old has been struggling on the mound recently. We have uploaded two videos of him. The first one (in black shirt) was taken 6 months ago when he was throwing with accuracy and velocity (mid 80s). The second video (in red shirt) is more recent during his struggles. He has lost both velocity (probably 5-10 mph) and control since then. He has lost the “whip” in his arm that’s evident in the first video. To me it looks like he is getting his arm stuck behind him in the second video almost catapulting the ball rather than throwing the ball. He has the ball much closer to his head (more elbow flexion) as he transitions to maximum external rotation (view videos at/around high cock position). His arm motion looks very unnatural to me now and I am concerned about injury as well. He is a big kid (6’4") with long arms which don’t seem to be getting through to release.

Looking for help please. :frowning:


#2

Looks to me like he has lost some of his leg kick, I think in the second one he doesn’t really pull his back foot off the rubber, notice how much lower the right foot ends up after the ball is gone. This could be because of timing but it just looks like he is tired in the 2nd one, not as much energy and complete use of the body. The laggy back leg is also causing his hips to turn slow and therefore less explosion.


#3

It’s like he ain’t putting as much body motion in the last one as he did in the first one


#4

Great comments about the energy level and lower body drive/motion. In fact the first video was the only time ever that my son has said that his legs were tired after a bullpen session. If we can only get him to always do that! I’d like to understand more about the comment about timing and how that can translate into proper sequencing of the legs, hips, and so on. He has complained that his timing/motion feels off. Could this have something to do with his lack of lower body/hip involvement in the second video? Also, I’d really appreciate any analysis/comments about where his arm is at foot plant. If you stop the second video around foot plant or shortly after you will see what looks like to me a very unnatural/crowded arm position from which I can’t see how he can get any good arm speed.


#5

Even without having seen the videos, I can surmise that he’s throwing with just the arm and the shoulder and not using his whole body, and that’s why he tires so easily during and after a bullpen session.
I remember when, as a kid, I would go to the original Yankee Stadium every chance I got, and I would sit in the upper deck behind home plate where I could get a panoramic view of the whole field. I would watch the pitchers in particular, and I noticed that the Big Three rotation guys—Vic Raschi, Allie Reynolds and Ed Lopat—were all doing the same thing: they were driving off the lower half of the body, using the legs, the hips and the torso in one continuous (and, it seemed to me, seamless) motion, and that was how they were generating the power behind their pitches. Doing this took a lot of pressure off the arm and the shoulder—not a sore arm or a sore shoulder or a sore anything else in the bunch! As I watched, I saw just how they were doing this, and I made a note of it and started working on it on my own. As I practiced this essential element of good mechanics—and believe me, it is essential—I found that I was doing the same thing. My arm and shoulder seemed to be just going along for the ride, and even though I was not a fireballer I was throwing harder with less effort, and my natural sidearm delivery had more snap and sizzle to it.
I think the kid would benefit greatly from some lower-body work like that—a good example is something called the “Hershiser drill” which aims at getting the hips fully involved, and that would be a good first step. Once he gets his whole body into the action it would do away with the fatigue he’s been experiencing. Worth a try, isn’t it? 8)


#6

Even without having seen the videos, I can surmise that he’s throwing with just the arm and the shoulder and not using his whole body, and that’s why he tires so easily during and after a bullpen session.
I remember when, as a kid, I would go to the original Yankee Stadium every chance I got, and I would sit in the upper deck behind home plate where I could get a panoramic view of the whole field. I would watch the pitchers in particular, and I noticed that the Big Three rotation guys—Vic Raschi, Allie Reynolds and Ed Lopat—were all doing the same thing: they were driving off the lower half of the body, using the legs, the hips and the torso in one continuous (and, it seemed to me, seamless) motion, and that was how they were generating the power behind their pitches. Doing this took a lot of pressure off the arm and the shoulder—not a sore arm or a sore shoulder or a sore anything else in the bunch! As I watched, I saw just how they were doing this, and I made a note of it and started working on it on my own. As I practiced this essential element of good mechanics—and believe me, it is essential—I found that I was doing the same thing. My arm and shoulder seemed to be just going along for the ride, and even though I was not a fireballer I was throwing harder with less effort, and my natural sidearm delivery had more snap and sizzle to it.
I think the kid would benefit greatly from some lower-body work like that—a good example is something called the “Hershiser drill” which aims at getting the hips fully involved, and that would be a good first step. Once he gets his whole body into the action it would do away with the fatigue he’s been experiencing. Worth a try, isn’t it? 8)