9 year old mechanics? (pics)

Looking for input on my 9 year old’s mechanics, I see a few things to tweak but looking for input from those more knowledgeable.


This young man has definite prospects in his future. His posture is very good for his age and if he continues to ENJOY the game without the pressures to “do good all the time”, he’ll make a mark in this sport worth remembering.

Below is a simple example of what I would suggest on concentrating on. Nothing over the top, just simple “basics”.

I should note that physical immaturity is common at this age. Even pitchers at the college level have the same posture tones as this young man does now. On the other hand, it doesn’t have to be that way, and stay that way for this youngster. In addition, he’s pitching off a flat surface, which by the way can offer excellent support to developing proper form (mechanics). Why? Because solid form and posture equals strikes! And at this young man’s age, strikes is the most important thing that he has to get use to. So, take care of good form and posture and the strikes will take care of themselves.

Also, be mindful of his pitch count, proper cool down after his appearance (pitching), a good hot shower and relax after an appearance (pitching), and this youngster should develop into a first class performer.

Excellent pictures.

Coach B.

Coach Baker;

Wow, thank you for the response…I printed it out and will show my boy, I’m sure it will make his day and boost his confidence.

He doesn’t get to pitch much on his team as it’s a very good team of 10 year olds and he’s 9 and behind the curve but he keeps trying and working hard and has zero quit in him. He sits a lot and plays right or left field but he doesn’t care he just wants to play and lives for those rare opportunities when he gets to pitch. The smile on his face and the joy he gets from pitching keep him going with unabated anticipation. He’s a perfectionist and worries more about doing everything right then just throwing the ball but it’s all starting to come together and taking shape.

Thank you again for your input and the picture drawings was very helpful.

-John P.

Here’s a short video clip of him pitching the other day with a pretty good pick-off move towards the end.

I might suggest two very well qualified contributors on this site - JDFROMFLA and ROGER.

If you PM them or address them here, they can go well beyond what I’ve posted. Both of these men are so in tuned with youth pitching they can add so much value to that youngster’s baseball experience.

I rarely coach or interact with youngsters in this age group so my input is going to be very, very limited. jdfromfla and Roger on the other hand will help you many times over.

Coach B.

John P,

First, it is important to remember that, as Coach B pointed out, kids this age are physically immature. This means that they may not be able to do everything we ask them to try to do. We need to keep it simple and focus on just the most basic fundamentals. To me, that translates into posture and glove control.

Posture and balance is the foundation of a good, repeatable delivery. I think your son has pretty good posture - at least up to shoulder rotation. Posture is the orientation of the spine. Your son bends his knees and waiste and that athletic position seems to help him stabilize his posture. Many young kids stand straight as an arrow and then adjust into a more athletic position during their delivery (because they don’t have the core strength to maintain that straight position and deliver the ball). That creates unnecessary movement during the delivery in directions other than at the target and it can impact control. Your son is ahead of the game in this respect.

At shoulder rotation, your son does what I call “cartwheeling”. Instead of getting good hip and shoulder separation/rotation, he tilts or “cartheels” to the glove side. That’s when his head moves to the side a bit. This is due partly to his physical immaturity and I wouldn’t get too concerned about it. Just remind him to keep his head upright and online with the target.

Your son also seems to take care of the glove fairly well. I’d just keep an eye on it to make sure he doesn’t start dropping it, swinging it out to the side, or pulling it back. Don’t want to start developing those bad habits.

As your son grows and gets stronger, he will be able to better use his body. For example, your son reaches with his front foot instead of getting his entire center of gravity (think “hips”) moving. Ideally, we want the front hip to lead the way through the early part of the stride. But it takes strength to do this well. You could start pushing your son down this path but don’t expect big improvements for a while.

Baed on the video, your son should be given practice time to work on holding runners closer to the bag. Things like varying his pauses, throwing over to the bag, stepping off, etc. And, being a lefty, he should start working on his pick-off move to 1B.

Thank you Roger, JD and Coach Baker.

Appreciate your help very much and taking the time to give your input.

My boy had a pitching lesson the other day and worked on a higher balance point with his lift knee and keeping his chest over knee as well as everything (ie. head) straight to the catcher. He also worked on techniques for improving speed which seemed to help a lot. ie. using more of his body and momentum instead of just arm.

Thank you again for your time and knowledge.

Based on these pics, he is likely breaking his hands too early. In the 4th photo his arm is already in the high cocked position. At this point his pitching arm should mirror his glove side arm so that his hand and elbow are at shoulder height. As it is now, his arm is hanging up there waiting to throw. Instead he should get his arm involved as late as possible. He needs to get his body moving to the plate first and move it explosively coupled with a later hand break and his timing will improve.