9 year old pitcher-- be honest what does he need to work on


#1

He is having trouble with his control velocity is ok.

Also pitch count is a concern. I have him at 80 pitches max 1x a week.
suggestions

Thanks


#2

My son is 9 yrs old as well and I studied/read up/ordered all the dvds/e-books that I thought were worthwhile over the winter for his first year of live pitching.

You’re son shows alot of the similar traits as my son did when he started to pitch early in the year/indoor training.

Right now I would say your son is more throwing the ball that pitching.

Key things I would work on:

  1. He needs to use his front glove as a stabilizer/aiming guide. Its flying away when he pitches which pulls this pitching arm off target. Work on opposite and equal (pitch arm and glove arm), after landing have his glove stabilize in front of him and have his body/chest move towards his glove.

  2. His stride needs to lengthen (ideally 90-100% of his height) but that’s hard for a 9 year old especially on level ground but a longer stride should help him stabilize himself and help with the next point.

  3. His backfoot is coming off the ground at ball release (I tell me boys that they look like a tea pot at release). Its hard to be consistent with only one foot on the ground. The short stride compounds this as his weight shift/rotation is almost pulling his back foot off.

  4. After landing and when he’s going into rotation, he leads with shoulders. He should lead with his hips and have his shoulders follow. Only 2 boys on our team can get any amount of hip/shoulder separation and others are turning both together. That’s a function of their physical maturity at this age. Some kids get it and some kids just can’t do it yet however it should be reinforced.

Work on the above and then if you can get some views from the 3b side, maybe we can see a little more.

Thanks,
Al


#3

I think he looks pretty good for the most part. One thing that I think would help with accuracy is to limit the big weight shift that occurs on his step back (or to the side in his case). Have him experiment a little with a smaller “rocker step”. There really shouldn’t be any rocking going on so I’m not sure why they call it that. :slight_smile: You want to limit the amount of movement you have that is not directed at the target.

I think the previous poster has some good thoughts as well. I think if your son starts leading with his hips (lower half) instead of his shoulders (upper body) his stride should automatically lengthen some.


#4

Defense,I don’t hear this mentioned enough on any baseball forums. Your son looks allright for his age but I would work on him being in a defensive position after his release.On a few of those pitches,his glove is lazily behind him or at his waist.Remember,once the pitcher releases the ball,he is the second closest defensive player to the batter.

I have sadly seen a couple of young pitchers gets badly injured on line drives because they weren’t taught how to defend or portect themselves.


#5

Tell me about it!!!
I have seen this too many times, at all levels of the game—pitchers getting hurt, often disabled, what have you, because little or no time has been spent on defense. My old pitching coach once told me that when a pitcher steps off the rubber s/he becomes a fifth infielder and has to be able to do all the things that infielders do. That’s why they have pitchers’ fielding practice in the major leagues, and this really needs to be extended to the lower echelons. And one of the most essential things is to be able to handle comebackers—line drives hit right back at the pitcher.
I remember the day when my coach (an active major league pitcher who was an excellent fielder) showed up with a few guys he had rounded up for this, and we spent a whole afternoon on just that—fielding practice in its various ramifications. It was a strenuous workout, and a lot of fun, and I got more out of that one afternoon than most pitchers do in weeks, even months. :slight_smile: 8)


#6

Too many times you hear coaches/dads bragging about their child’s velocity or movement and rightfully so. How many times have you heard a scout talk about how a kid is a prospect because he shows golden glove fielding skills as a pitcher?

There are definitely things that this particular boy could work on but he seems to throw reasonably fine.I hate to tell a kid 100 things to correct and flat out confuse him.Let him throw with what he feels comfortable with and work on a couple of things that need the most attention.

When I catch the younger kids,I keep a ball in my throwing hand and occasionally will throw that ball at the same time I catch the pitch to simulate a hit back at the pitcher.It doesn’t need to be really hard but just so the pitcher is aware that his job is not done after he releases the ball.I don’t expect them to come up with all line drives hit at them but I do want them to AT LEAST protect themselves and put a glove on it.If they also make the play,great.The ocassional accident is inevitable but in my eyes it’s not an accident if we as coaches never taught that child in the first place.

My $.02


#7

I have been watching the LLWS and something that my own kid has worked on since he was 9 and I see in the Japanese pitchers is a very stable post position. I think your son could do a lot with eliminating all the action before the pitch. Get his rock step smaller and then dont swing the leg up but pick the leg up with balance and control, since pitching is about control I think a batter should control his body from step 1 not just control the ball on the pitch. Next I agree with the earlier comment on glove side should pull back and not drow down, once that glove side is where it should be then the arm slot would open up down to his left knee.


#8

At 9 years old, I would keep it simple and focus initially on posture and balance first followed by glove control second. For posture and balance, get him to eliminate all unnecessary head movement - no movement left/right or back towards 2B. No movement up and minimal movement down. Postural stability should contribute to a repeatable delivery which aids control.

Also, 80 pitches is too much for a 9yo, IMHO, even if it is just once a week. I’d hold him to about 60-65.


#9

[quote=“Roger”]At 9 years old, I would keep it simple and focus initially on posture and balance first followed by glove control second. For posture and balance, get him to eliminate all unnecessary head movement - no movement left/right or back towards 2B. No movement up and minimal movement down. Postural stability should contribute to a repeatable delivery which aids control.

Also, 80 pitches is too much for a 9yo, IMHO, even if it is just once a week. I’d hold him to about 60-65.[/quote]

80 pitches does seem high. During Fall, I do a 40 pitch once a week bullpen routine for my 10U age son that incorporates every pitch he throws. Each pitch is charted, and credit is given for strikes and hitting the target. It’s based off of Bullpen Routines in Chapter 5 of Practice Perfect Baseball, an ABCA book edited by Bob Bennett. The pitching chapter is done by Dave Serrano, manager of Cal State Fullerton. I chose 40 pitches with a purpose since it is what Dave Serrano recommends for his pitchers. I’ve seen the pitchers in Fall Ball really concentrate on their pitches knowing they only get one or two chances for each type of pitch.

Right now, he only pitches from the stretch. He feels he’s worked hard after completing 40 pitches. The other pitchers in Fall Ball pitch from the wind-up, so they do 20 pitches from the wind-up and 20 pitches from the stretch. The basics are FB down the middle, inside FB, outside FB, FB under the hand and FB elevated: Change up and breaking pitches for strikes, and change up and breaking pitches with count advantage.

For a 9 yo, FB down the middle and a few inside and outside should suffice. This would teach him early about the importance of location.

What we found out by doing this is my son hit 100% of the inside target, about 50% down the middle, and had trouble hitting the target on the outside.