9 year old 'long arm' pitch...how to fix?

My boy is 9 years old and getting into pitching but he has this weird long-arm thing he does when he throws and I’m not sure if this is okay or should I work on him now to change it? Any suggestions on what to do if anything? Also, any other suggestions to tweak on his form?

The long arm does look strange but at his age, with a little work you should be able to fix that fairly simple. I am not a pro instructor so i cant say how. Your son is only 9? He has promise.

I wouldn’t get too concerned about the arm at this age. As he grows and adds strenght and the rest of his mechanics improve, I think you’ll see the arm take care of itself.

Thanks for the replys. Yep, he’s 9 and the tallest on his team of 10 year olds. Just wish he’d grow into his limbs and get some coordination one of these days.

What about his separation? Is he breaking too soon, before he raises his knee? Should he be raising his knee and then separating to throw?

He may grow into a “slinger” type of arm action if he stays the way he is. Not that that’s a bad thing, just different.

You may want to address his timing of the hand break. Break them later when the knee starts down so there is some synchronization between his upper/lower half.

Get a “running start” with the hands (when the leg starts up, then hands go up, when it starts down, the hands go down and then break to throw). This is another rhythm/timing thing that will help.

You should also consider just having him long toss, with a crop hop, and see how that develops his rhythm and timing (along with his arm strength). Don’t try to “look like a pitcher” just see how far he can throw it. After doing that for a while some muscle memory may develop that will assist in better timing when he gets on the mound (again…don’t “look like a pitcher”…THROW the ball).

Watch how many innings he pitches. Don’t let him get over used, and make sure to take care of his arm. Most importantly…keep it fun for him.

I agree with Roger. As he gets stronger, gains coordination and learns to move his body faster his arm should take care of itself. His motion may be long for some but I don’t see any pause or slowing. As a dad I know how it is to have a long, gangly kid. It’s tough to be patient while they grow into that body.

At 9 I’d just focus on solid mechanics and posture. From what I see in the video to keep it simple I’d start by working on him keeping his head going to the target until release.

my personal opinion experience is
don’t show the ball to 2nd base, and start arm swing from side body not towards back first then point to 1st base

if me i will concern, because the best is to keep the good mechanics as he grew up. Why do you have to change after when you grow up then when you start to change the mechanics, everything will change (including parts of mucles that you use, other habitual mechanics, etc)

i got a friend who broke his arm, he can pitch like 130 KM when he is 15 years old, now i help him (16years old) to change the mechanics, he feel very comfortable now with new arm swing , but he has to take time to learn to familiar with the new mechanics which is the arm swing part,

but it depends on people, some people change and adapt very qucikly, some people just take it very slowly, or can not learn the new mechanics.

says for exmaple, Joel Zumaya, why Tigers don’t change his arm swing mechanics??
and let him keep injury for so many years??

because one thing they afraid that, he can not pitch high 90s anymore, so i believe that is why Tigers do not change any mechanics that Zoel Zumaya has, or maybe Zumaya just do not wants to change himself , or there are somethings that we dun know… sorry for out of topic

I wouldn’t worry about the arm action. As he grows and his body catches up with the arm, he may well develop into the type of pitcher Randy Johnson was. Johnson, if you remember, was a true sidearmer and he had an arm action just like that, and he too was a southpaw—and you know how tough he was on the hitters.
Right now he seems to be throwing more with the arm than with anything else. That’s something you can work on—teach him how to get his whole body into the action. It’s not too early to start; if he learns to drive off the lower half, using his legs, his hips and his torso in one continuous motion, he can and will generate more power behind his pitches, and he can and will throw harder and faster with less effort—it would seem that his arm and shoulder will be jujst going along for the ride, and his follow-through will come naturally. I learned to do this many moons ago from watching how the Yankees’ Big Three pitching rotation did it, and as a result—among other things—not a sore arm or a sore shoulder or a sore anything else! :slight_smile: 8)

SpikeDmax- I wouldn’t worry too much about your son right now. As many other people have already said he is only 9 and has no where near the coordination of a full-grown adult. With time his arm action should improve, he just hasn’t had enough time to develop the strength to support a more “major league” arm action or delivery. But I think your kid has promise, I especially like his glove action where he brings it to the chest instead of letting it fall down by his side.

Wow, everyone thanks for the numerous reply’s! Much appreciated. Great site here and just recently joined and reading like crazy. Being a Dad and watching my son struggle with b-ball is one of the most brutal and emotional things I’ve ever gone through yet one of the highest highs I’ve ever felt too when he’s kick’n a$$. Is this game like this all the time? :shock: :stuck_out_tongue: Man, I’m not sure I can take the roller coaster ride for long! Anyway, thanks for the input and I won’t worry too much about his straight arming throw right now and work more on his rhythm and fundamentally sound delivery.

I’m open to any and all input if anyone wants to toss more out there.


My son is only 4…i can not wait till i get to teach him! so hyped about it. I never had anyone to teach me young. My dad bought me a cheap pitch back that started breaking the day after he got it and just said “there you go, have fun.” Heck my high school coach never instructed the pitchers, he focused on the hitters.


Some of my best memories are playing catch with my boys (I have a 7 year old also…and another lefty…which is why I’m here at letstalkpitching.com). Since they were little I dreamed of the day when my boys would play catch with each other and it is now a dream come true. I love watching them play catch together and it’s even more fun when all four of us do it together.

Good luck with you four year old, he’s right there when it starts getting fun. Caution though as it’s a slippery slope of obsession chasing that little white ball. Have fun. :smiley:

Here’s a long-arm (also called “slinger”) pitcher. He wasn’t too bad.

Wow, if that’s not my son I don’t know what is. Looks just like him, only bigger. :lol: Even the hand separation is the same. Thanks for the gif. I’ll show my boy this video tonight and tell him to keep doing what he does. :wink:

This helps me sometimes:

bad coach…above

Hey dm59;

Do you know the name of that pitcher you posted?

A couple days ago I was ready to completely redo my sons pitching form but after the comments here I decided to just let him throw and he was nailing strike after strike tonight so I’m not going to do a thing. I’m hoping his speed will pick up as he gets older and stronger.

His name would be…Hall of Famer Jim Palmer from the Baltimore Orioles and a slinger for real. :wink:

And an underwear model…hey, we all had our moments! lol.

Shut up right now. Coach Joe Fletcher was a DI pitching coach for years. He turned around numerous careers. One of his top pitchers ever beat Mark Prior in K/9 in 2002 I believe. You have no right to judge this coach who just because he goes against Chris O’Leary’s bulls*** doesn’t mean he is wrong.