8 Year Old Son - Tips Please.. :)

I don’t know where to start… So much LOOKS wrong to me lol… But he has what I’d consider great command & hones in on the strike zone… He lacks some power though, and now that I see the video, I’m thinking the fact that his right leg isn’t following through doesn’t help… What else is wrong here…? Thanks in advance! :slight_smile:

Any idea where I should start? His follow through? His elbow? His glove? Any advice is much appreciated.


im no pro but that kid should start from finding a good pitching stance and learning the most basic pitching mechanics. If you search on youtube how to pitch or basic pitching mechanicals thats the best way to start. He’s still young so it’ll be way easier for him to adjust and change his pitching style. Good thing your doing this earlier than later.

Tom House’s approach, with respect to your son, might be briefly summarized thus:

  1. Start with his starting posture. Adopt a beginning posture that is stable and balanced–“free-throw” bend at the knees–and keep that basic posture through the delivery…that means: No exaggerated head movement up or down, or side-to-side.

Balance and posture is key to starting an efficient delivery and it greatly affects everything that happens downstream in the delivery. Fix the starting posture and balance first.

  1. Leg lift and momentum: As I already noted to you in a PM, your son appears to lean or lurch backward during his leg lift…undoubtedly emulating what he thinks Bob Feller was doing back in the day…

Instead, IMO, your son should be shifting weight forward, leading with his front hip, as his leg is lifting. There should be no “stop-at-the-top” of his leg lift. Most kids are not functionally strong and balanced enough to get their momentum restarted and redirected to home plate after they have leaned backwards or “stopped-at-the-top”.

  1. Glove-side: I have discussed this in great detail with you via PM. If you are not interested, ignore it. However, do look carefully at the glove-side action of as many skilled pitchers as you can…unfortunately, most kids, parents, and youth coaches do not really understand that proper control of the glove-side is actually very important in throwing/pitching. You will see some different flavors of glove-side action among elite throwers, however they mostly share some important elements in common–swivel into place, briefly stabilize, bring torso forward to meet the glove.

An 8 yo child, unless he is a prodigy (and whose kid is not a proidigy…lol) will not be able to absorb all of this at once, especially if his coach/dad is not already deeply comfortable with the concepts. Go slow and work with him on optimizing one thing at a time–starting with the first parts of the delivery first.

The best thing you can do for your son right now is to teach him the correct throwing motion. He needs to learn how to bring his arm down, out, and up into the high cocked position (making an “L”) so that his elbow is at the level of his shoulder. Right now, he brings his hand from the glove straight up to behind his head with his elbow up way above his shoulder. Just work on basic throwing mechanics to start. Get rid of the big leg lift - he doesn’t need it right now. Have him throw from the stretch only (less moving parts - focus is on staying sideways and moving straight toward the target). And get his foot off the top of the rubber; it should be wedged in front of the rubber.

Hope that helps - good luck.

I posted some comments in your thread in the Youth Pitching forum. I didn’t realize this thread was here.

Now obviously every child is different, and develops at a different rate, so I am not sure where your son is at. I can only go by what I see in the video, but I would start with the legs. Its like building a house; you have to start with the foundation. Your son is doing what kids think they see on tv which is lift leg and step out to throw. The proper legwork for pitching is to lift the front leg, then push it down and glide out. This creates the most forward momentum in the hips and produces a significantly longer stride, thus producing a lot more velocity. My son is 8 and I just taught him to pitch this summer, so I just went through what you are embarking on.

I coach a 10U team and a middleschool team, and I use a set of progressive drills for teaching legwork for all of my pitchers. The first is the balance drill. For starters I have all of my pitchers pitch from the stretch to minimize their number of movements and help them maintain better balance. So have him start in the stretch position, then bring his hands and feet together in one motion, resting for 1 second. Then have him lift his front leg to the point where his thigh is paralell with the ground, his lower leg is dangling freely, and his toes are pointing down slightly. Have him hold this position for three seconds, then push that foot straight down until it is 1 - 2 inches off the ground, then lift it straight back up to the balance position for 3 more seconds, then push down and stop. Have him do this until he can do 5 seconds at a time. This will give hiim the proper balance for starting his delivery.

Once he has his balance, and is used to pushing down rather than stepping out, to begin his delivery, then you can move to the stride and high cocked power position. I noticed that he is short arming the his throws and that his left (lead) arm is flailing out when he throws. What you want him to do is spread his feet wider than his shoulders and go from his rested position with his hands together to the power position where his upper arms and shoulders make a T with his body, but with his lead (left) arm bent at the elbow with the elboo pointing at the target, his elbo bent at a 90 degree angle with his fore arm parallell with the ground and the back of his mitt to the target. His back arm should be in the high cocked power positision where the back (right) elbow is pointing to center field, his elbow is bent at approx 90 degrees straight up, and he is holding the ball in a manner where he is showing it to center field. I have the kids go from hands and feet together to feet apart in power position over and over with no leg lift or step (just a glide) and freezing at the high cocked power position so they can feel what proper position feels like.

Once they are comfortable with that, I put the two drills together and have them start in the stretch, put hands and feet together, lift, balance for 5 seconds, push down almost to the ground, lift and balance again, then push down and stride out moving arms into the power position and freeze there.

Once they have this drill done, then I move to having them do those motions with a throw. At that point you want to make sure that the pitcher is throwing the ball from the high cocked power position with the following two positions: 1) that their elbow is above their shoulder as they bring the ball forward, and that the ball (and their hand) is outside their elbow. If they are allowing their elblow to be below their shoulder, and the ball inside their elbow as they bring the ball forward (which your son appears to be doing), they not only will lose velocity, but put added strain on their shoulder and increase their chance of injury.

Another drill you can do to help them learn the proper arm motion is the towell drill. Have him snap a towell overhand at a target to get the feeling of a proper delivery. If you have a large mirror that he can stand in front of while doing his drills, I would strongly recommend it. Kids have a really tough time recognizing the gap between what they feel like they are doing and what they are really doing. If they can see their motions as you are teaching them, and see themselves doing their drills, they will usually progress much faster.

I hope this was of some help.