9 y.o. son

Here is some video of my son. Not the best because we are in my driveway but hopefully good enough. Please tell us how he looks.

http://home.comcast.net/~palmiedj/IMG_0104.MOV
http://home.comcast.net/~palmiedj/IMG_0108.MOV
http://home.comcast.net/~palmiedj/IMG_0109.MOV

P.S. The moss on the garage is another story. Any ideas for that would be great too. :roll:

Lotta things to like in those videos.

There is only so much one can actually evaluate in a 9 yr old. Athleticism, balance, general sound mechanics (natural movements) & arm speed/fluidity has always been my checklist with beginners & under 10 yr olds.

It’s a quick look, but the only I saw to address was his lead leg swings around vs driving down & straight to the target. That pulls his head & shoulder open prematurely. Pretty easy fix.

He’s pretty fundamentally solid… focus on getting everything directed to the target & throwing sessions centered on strikes & he’s on a great track in my opinion.

I agree with JT that the shoulders open early but I feel it is because of the glove arm. The glove is allowed to swing to the side and ends up down by his hip. The glove needs to be stabilized in front of the torso while the body moves towards it.

Thanks for the advice. We will work on his glove side. As for the leg lift, is it o.k. to kind of go up on such a large angle? He pitched last night and had probably his worse outing of the year. He gave up four runs all year and gave up five last night. When we got home, he straightened his knee lift and there was definately more accuracy. Could that be a problem as well? His coaches said they thought it was the high mound (only two of our fields are regulation) but I feel like he’s losing balance and throwing inside too much. He’s pretty bummed today and I want to try and get him out of it. His last two outings have been tough.

The throwing inside could very easily be related to early shoulder rotation. So I would suggest working on the glove to help avoid early shoulder rotation and see what happens from there.

Regarding the knee lift, I do believe that kids can have knee lifts/leg kicks that are more than they can handle - more than they have the strength to perform without affecting other things (like posture). I didn’t see an issue with your son’s leg lift but JT did. If you think he has an issue, then you have a couple options. The obvious option is to have him tone it down or alter it. The other option - and the one I would suggest trying first before taking away part of his leg lift - would be to adjust his starting position to put him in a more athletic position where he has better engaged the core muscles and does have the strength to accomodate his leg lift. Do this by introducing some bend at the knees and waist. Think “batting stance” or “free throw shooting stance”.

Also, you could have your son start with his feet closer together so he doesn’t have to move back before going forward. Right now, he has to shift his weight back towards 2B to go into knee lift.

Finally, tell your son that one bad outing is nothing to get worked up about. It’s frustrating but it’s part of the game. Even the best pitchers in the game have bad outings.

I am a little confused on how to fix the glove side. He should keep it out longer before bringing it in? Thanks.

He gets the glove out front reasonably well. But, yes, he needs to keep it there longer and bring the chest to it. Since your videos are in .MOV format, you can watch them in QuickTime, pause the video right before foot plant, and then advance forward one frame at a time using the left/right arrow keys. If you advance to foot plant, you will see that your son’s glove has dropped to his side and his shoulders have already rotated. His shoulders should still be closed off and rotate AFTER foot plant. Keeping the glove out front as close to foot plant as possible is one technique for keeping the shoulders closed longer. Around foot plant, the glove can then turn over (pocket facing his torso) but it shouldn’t move back - his should move towards the glove.

This will help to maximize velocity while taking some wear and tear off the arm.

Thank you Roger. I understand it a lot better now. We will work on it and I’ll post some video after.

Any better? He just did a couple throws so just want to make sure he’s heading in the right direction. In slow motion he seems to be holding the glove out a little longer. Not that noticeable in full speed.

http://home.comcast.net/~palmiedj/IMG_0132.MOV
http://home.comcast.net/~palmiedj/IMG_0133.MOV
http://home.comcast.net/~palmiedj/IMG_0134.MOV
http://home.comcast.net/~palmiedj/IMG_0135.MOV

Looks better. To me, that has made a significant improvement in the timing of of your son’s shoulder rotation. It’s later like it should be. I’d still pay some attention to the glove to keep him from pulling it back.

BTW, those are some nice, shiny, expensive targets back there behind the target. :shock:

You wouldn’t believe how resilient a Chevy can be. :slight_smile:
Also thanks. This site has kept me sane in some stressful times.

[quote=“12JTWilson”]Lotta things to like in those videos.

There is only so much one can actually evaluate in a 9 yr old. Athleticism, balance, general sound mechanics (natural movements) & arm speed/fluidity has always been my checklist with beginners & under 10 yr olds.

It’s a quick look, but the only I saw to address was his lead leg swings around vs driving down & straight to the target. That pulls his head & shoulder open prematurely. Pretty easy fix.

He’s pretty fundamentally solid… focus on getting everything directed to the target & throwing sessions centered on strikes & he’s on a great track in my opinion.[/quote]

unfortunately I can’t open the video BUT,I was wondering if you mean’t a leg swing like this guy’s versus a down and straight to the target??? Alway’s wondered how you create bottom half torque and hip rotation going down and straight to the target?? where’s the hip coil come from? imo hip coil creates power,why do hitters coil? food for thought???

http://www.chrisoleary.com/projects/baseball/pitching/RethinkingPitching/Essays/ProperPitchingMechanics_GregMaddux.html

I apologize if leaving this link is against board rules BUT I wanted to show you a link of a “leg swing” for learning purposes…again if this violates rules please remove and accept my apology

does linnsecum swing his leg or down and straight? gibson? one of the guys that goes down and straight is beckett that i noticed??/Anyway thought this would turn into a good discussion.

All you need is quicktime to open the video. His is more down and out then a swing I think. It’s hard to tell. I’ve been focusing more on his glove side and he’s been fighting it pretty hard. Basically the second set of videos is as far as we have been able to come. Unfortunately I picked a bad time to try and fix things with playoffs next week. He said he’s not confused but I think he is. I just hope I haven’t hurt him by trying to help him.

Update - He pitched last night, 2 innings, 1bb, 5 s.o., 1 hit. But his motion looked odd. He looked confused and his knee lift was slow and undeliberate. After a short while he got his groove on. But my question is which of the things should I work on most. It’s too much right now for all the changes. So I was thinking legs closer together and keeping the glove out longer. Any suggestions? Plus his pitch count has been getting higher. Is it common for strikeout pitchers to have high pitch counts?

Let me answer your last question first. Yes, it is rather common, because pitchers who strike out a lot of batters also tend to give up a lot of hits. They’re always around the plate, around the strike zone, and the batters are always looking for something around there. Not so with those who pitch to contact (what my pitching coach once described as “Get the ball over the plate and make him hit it. make him go after YOUR pitch, what you WANT him to hit”); they make the batter put the ball in play, and the result is, more often than not, ground-ball outs.
I think you might have tried to do too much with him too close to a game, and so it’s not surprising that he’s confused and discombooberated. You might have done better to focus on just one aspect—such as glove-side control, for example. Also, there is one thing he needs to do, and I’m surprised that more pitchers haven’t tumbled to this—something I learned a long time ago during my playing days. I call it “The Secret”, and I learned it from watching the Yankees’ legendary Big Three rotation and how they did it. What those guys did was to drive off the lower half of the body, using the legs, the hips and the torso in one seamless motion, and that was how they were getting the power behind their pitches (even Ed Lopat, who was a finesse pitcher with not much speed), not to mention taking a lot of pressure off said arm and shoulder. I saw just how they were doing it, and I made a mental note and started working on it on my own. As I practiced this I found that I was doing the same thing they were doing, and not only did it take the pressure off the arm and shoulder but also my sidearm delivery had a lot more snap to it. I was throwing harder and even a little faster—in fact, somewhere along the line I ended up with an 81MPH four-seamer which the aforementioned Mr. Lopat, who was my pitching coach for several years, told me was, for a finesse pitcher like myself, a fast ball!
Anyhoo, your best bet in working with the kid is to take it one thing at a time and don’t overload him. 8)

Thank you for the comments. It’s been a rough few days for him. He pitched in the championship game a few nights ago. Had too many walks, got his count way up, left the mound in the 4th with an 8-3 lead, and they ended up losing. He was hysterical. He kept saying how it was all his fault. The coach needed him to go 5. To be honest, he did start very slow and got more comfortable as the game continued. Unfortunately the 1st inning really hurt him. Everything was missing low and outside or high and outside. Seems to be a consistent spot where he’s missing. They had no intention of swinging so either he hit his spots or they walked. Fortunately he learned a valuable lesson and this is something he can hopefully learn from.