8 year old analysis

Here is a video of my 8 year old son. Any advice would be appreciated. :smiley:

Short everything. Short stride, short arm, short everything. A short arm isn’t bad, as if you have good hip/shoulder separation, you can reach high velocities(e.g. Jason Motte). But I wouldn’t really recommend it, you may get the arm too high up. Short stride, you need to lengthen that. His stride should be at least 100% of his height. That will greatly improve velocity and control.

Great mechanics for an 8 year old. I didn’t notice any flaws but I did notice he isn’t always consistent with his mechanics, it seems like sometimes he doesn’t follow through and is trying to “aim” the ball or just lay it in the strike zone which can actually cause a loss in control. Just tell him to be confident every pitch that he throws

I don’t like how he moves his hands behind his head when he lifts his leg. This could affect his timing in the future.

There is nothing wrong here, he’s 8…I love that left fielder, he’s got the biggest glove on earth :lol: :lol: :lol:
Just keep working on fundementals and making sure he has a great time.
At 8 fun is where you should be and stay…nothing is as important.
At some point you’ll want his front arm to become steadier out front and work on straightening his posture out.

Wow! Some really good things going on here for an 8 year old- especially the hips and lower body. He loads his hips real well on leg lift, makes a nice forward move to the plate, has a good stride, delivers with good balance and has a nice drag line. Very good traits for 8 years old.

There are some inconsistencies from pitch to pitch but it’s important to remember this is an 8 year old. There are a lot of things they can’t do or repeat simply because they lack the functional strength necessary to do so.

If he’s enjoying himself, having fun and you are intent on working on something I would focus on the spinal tilt he has at release. I think his abbreviated follow through and appearance of guiding the ball are compensations for the inconsistencies caused by the spinal tilt.

To correct this I would suggest the following:

  1. Get him a smaller, lighter glove. Although he stabilizes his glove better than most the weight could simply be pulling him to the left. The slightly rearward position that he starts from could also be compensation for the weight of the glove. Imagine the problems an adult would have trying to pitch wearing a full sized catcher’s mitt and you can start to understand what a small kid is going through with a big glove.
  2. Set up with just a little more flex in the knees, feet slightly less than shoulder width apart, and toe of posting foot even with the arch of the stride foot. This should give his upper body a slight forward lean from the waist which should help him maintain his posture through the delivery. Standing as upright as he does can lead to a slight rearward lean as he breaks his hands creating the beginning of the tilt.
  3. Normally with a young kid I’d say work on stabilizing the glove out over the front knee/foot at release. In this case I’d say work on being more consistent. What he’s doing now is light years ahead of most 8 year olds but the weight of the glove, lack of strength, and possible early tuck to the side are a recipe for tilt. The more consistent the glove side is the more consistent the release point.
  4. Finally- concentrate on releasing the ball with level shoulders, level eyes, whatever “key” helps to get him more upright at delivery. Sometimes showing him a video shot from the front can be enough.

Once he gets into a more upright position at release his control should improve and he likely won’t feel a need to short arm or aim the ball.

Again he’s off to a great start. Keep it fun. It can be a great journey.

Thank you for the replies. Im a little unclear on a couple things, what does short arm mean? Do you mean follow through or reach back during seperation? He has a 11" mizuno now, what would you recommend. He is getting more consistant but he is 8. I am very proud of him and he does love to pitch. Ill try to get more video. Keep the comments comin.
Thanks again

By short arming I was talking about his abbreviated follow through. Ideally his hand/arm would come all the way through with his hand finishing somewhere near his left thigh. I wouldn’t worry about how far he reaches back during separation. Mess with that and you start to mess with timing, sequencing, etc. and he looks pretty good on those points.

11" is probably border line too big. I’ve seen good quality 10.5" and 10.75" gloves. He looks like a pretty strong kid but in my opinion it could be a bit too heavy but not the end of the world. Most kids- and parents for that matter- can’t wait to get to that full size glove but in many cases I’ve seen larger gloves limit a kid’s development- particulalrly infielders. I coach a team of pretty big 13yo and 11.25" is a pretty standard pitcher/infield glove. Again these are big kids and 11.25" is none too small. One of the smaller kids is still using a 10.75" model. I think you’ll find a fair number of 11.25" gloves in the major leagues as well.

There is one thing to think about that may tie these two different points together. In a good delivery the glove side and throwing arm side tend to mirror each other throughout delivery. If his glove is too heavy forcing him to keep it close to his body for support and balance then his pitching arm may not extend fully to the rear. This may be more than you want to think about but illustrates the impact that something as simple as the weight of the glove can have on the overall delivery. Remember a glove weighs 1-1.5 lbs and a ball weighs 5 ounces. This discrepency is an issue for full grown players, especially as they fatigue. Imagine how it is for an 8yo pitcher with marginal functional strength. Again probably more than you want ot think about.

The biggest thing is to keep him throwing and have fun- with emphasis on the fun part.

I see this re-occuring theme…fun.

That left fielder, now, he’s got a GLOVE. :lol:

I might suggest you look into the local colleges or universities and see if they have summer camps. We had my youngest go to 3 weeks of camp at the University of North Florida a year instead of travel after all-stars (It was much cheaper than both travel and day care too). He really had fun and learned fundementals from skilled college coaches and seasoned college ballplayers…by the time he was 12 he had the poise to pitch very effectively on a Babe Ruth State Championship team. He ended up attending camps and clinics there until he was 18 and it’s payed us back in so many ways…well worth your consideration.