8 year old mechanics, need help


#1

Here is a link to a video we just shot. He is just throwing at a big target. He is 8 years old and plays in the 9&10 year old league. He is our hardest throwing pitcher and best pitcher. Most kids except for a few just seem to push the ball instead of throw in this league. I just started getting him to bring his arm down when he breaks his hands because last year he was just bringing his hand straight back like a power position then throwing. When he is on he is on and is lights out. But I don’t know much about pitching but started with him about a year ago. I know he needs to bring his glove to his other side and get his back foot off the ground. Any drills for that? Also he seems to throw from a side arm or very low arm slot naturally even when he plays catch. I don’t know if this is natural or he is just not strong and is still not coordinated since he is such a lengthy tall kid for his age. His accuracy is what needs the most work but like I said this is only his second year pitching and has not had a teacher besides me. He seems to release the ball a little to early I think. Thanks for any tips and advice in advance. PS this is a very small little league in a very small northern michigan town. We only play once year, their is no travel teams or anything like that. PS i will take more video in slower motion but just wanted to get this up here.


#2

I wouldn’t worry about his arm angle—arm slot—whatever. If he throws sidearm all the time, that may be his natural delivery and should not be interfered with or changed in any way. There are other things that could be worked on—glove side, balance, finding his release point, but don’t mess with the arm slot. :slight_smile:


#3

Thanks for the tips and advice. Any drills for balance or release point. I can search around on this site. I love this site, tons of free information and help. I am thinking if I can get his coordination/balance and glove side in proper position his accuracy will get better. I need to find drills for release point too.


#4

I know he’s only eight years old, so I’m going to tailor my remarks to his age and related factors.

More than likely you’re going to find a pitching coach to help your son understand more than just throwing the ball. In that regard, the best thing that your son can do right now is the develop a healthy eating itinerary, especially for breakfast. Let your son know now, how important his breakfast mix is, and what time release foods are. For example, juice and, say, apple sauce will digest quicker than say, oatmeal, saugage and eggs. So, in order to benefit form a good breakfast, that intake must digest and serve him all morning long. And so goes his school lunch, supper and so on.

Ok, now on to your question more directly.

A pitcher doesn’t release his pitch at a “point” - per se. A pitcher’s release of his pitch is more like a cycle, or as we call it in the pitching coaching circles - a phase. In other words, your son must be taught how to start and complete an entire pitching “release phase”, from beginning to end. For some pitchers - not all, this “release phase” can start at the breaking of the hands … separating the pitching hand/arm from the glove hand/arm. On the other hand, some pitchers are coached within another part of the pitching cycle … phase… called the stride phase. Again, this overall process is finite to each individual and has many disciplines along the way. So, as your son grows, so will his strength in the many disciplines that accompany his coaching.

I especially like his sincerity in the video. A good looking youngster who takes this “show me” and puts his heart into it. As time goes on he’ll get a lot better at motor skills … coordination and ton of other stuff.

Keep the fun in this and he’ll wind up some day thanking you big time for the dad that was there for him when he wanted to enjoy and get better at this.

A final suggestion, try not to go this alone with your son. Find a pitching coach who works well with this age group. And don’t be surprised if a lot of what you and your son see and experience is very basic and simple stuff. Sometimes this kind of coaching can leave you thinking … “hey, I could do that…” but don’t. Be there to encourage and congratulate your son every step of the way and get him use to dealing with coaches.


#5

In addition to what Coach B said, the location of the release point (i.e. that point where the ball comes out of the hand) is determined by everything that happens earlier in the delivery. Use it as an indicator but don’t work on it directly - release point is a non-teach.

For the young pitchers, focus on posture & balance first and the glove second. Posture & balance start with the initial set-up on the rubber. Find a foot position and posture in which he is able to stabilize his posture, eliminate unnecessary head movement and take his head straight to the target.


#6

Thanks for the tips. He has been doing well lately. I am working with him as much as I can. Like I said previously he just started bringing the ball down at hand seperation, he used to just bring his arm almost straight back. Since then he has been throwing high in the zone but getting better. We are working on bringing his glove back to glove side and balance as well. He is only in 2nd grade and I have been his only pitching coach. I have bought several books and everyone seems to have different thoughts, ideas, drills, etc. One other thing I am working with him on is getting over his front leg. We are getting better day by day. But come game time he wants to revert into his old comfort zones where he knows he can get strikeouts. I think his coordination is lacking because he is growing so fast. He is very tall for his age in the 90 percentile. I am 6’2 and I think he will be several inches taller than me. Once he grows into his body and gets some more coordination things will get even better. Glad I found this site I will keep researching topics and learning as much as I can. I live in a very small Northern Michigan town so there are no real pitching coaches or help around so I am glad there are sites likes these and a ton of good resources out there.