This is my first post so I’m sure that this has all been covered before but here goes. Background on my son is as follows. He turned 9 in September 2015 and is the 4th grade. He is one of the younger kids in his class because his mother started him in school early. (step son) He has played baseball for 3 seasons and this will be his 1st player pitch season. He is about 65 pounds but what he lacks in size he makes up for in inelegance and maturity. He has played 4 years of football and is the starting QB and has helped win 3 championships, he just seems to grasp the concept of offense and defense better then everyone else. I myself am a High School Football coach and former Arena League player, but I know very little about baseball. We need help. He seems to grasp the concept of pitching less and less as we practice. I will be taking videos today to try and give you guys more insight on him until then are there any pointers on getting him to “go back to the basics”. At this point i feel we should start over and just try step by step from STEP 1. Thank you all in advance…
I’m not sure if this applies to you or not, but I’ll throw it out there because I see it often.
As a pitching coach the best advice I can give to any dad out there is to be his catcher. Do not try and be his pitching coach. You want your son to look forward to playing catch with you. Just let him throw. Teach him to be natural, don’t think, just let it rip. Teach him that if he makes a bad pitch to forget about it and move on to the next one. Encourage him just like a catcher would do. He is probably very low on confidence right now. The best thing you can work on is that. This may be the first time in sports he has struggled. Too many times I see dads trying to critique their kids after any bad throw. Trying to coach them up. Typically this leads to frustration for both of you that only makes things worse and worse. Does he get down on himself pretty quick when he is pitching? How is his body language? Does he still look forward to pitching?
Being that he is only 9 and 65 lbs there are going to be strength and mechanical deficiencies that are inevitable. Let him use his athleticism, get his body moving fast and throw hard. Use your experience as a coach and athlete to build his confidence and teach him to have a short memory. That may do a lot more than any mechanical advice we could give. Good luck!
Would love to help provide feedback, so please post some video when available. There are a lot of really talented coaches, players and instructors on this site who can help answer any and all of your questions as it pertains to developing your son. Look forward to continuing the discussion with you on the forum.
He and I have spent the last 2 weeks starting over and relearning “how to pitch”. After researching for 8 hrs a day for a week I decided I would teach him in steps of 3. 1.Leg Up, 2. Glide To The Catcher, 3. Throw The Ball (he’s had decent form throwing “playing catch” since we started baseball) … I broke down and explained what each step was… (VERY SIMPLY) I used analogies that he could relate 2 and made sure that he was only thinking about those three steps. Here is a video of him last night in his first game start. We won 16 to 2. He pitched a no hitter through 3 full innings. Gave up 2 hits 2 runs 0 walks. Took the other team till end of 3rd inning to get through the 9 batter lineup… struck out 8 of 1st 9 batters with 12 k’s total… Pitched a 4 inning complete game in 54 pitches.Thanks in advance guys…
Any suggestions from all will be greatly appreciated! Thanks again everyone!!!
In keeping with what you are teaching him, I would suggest a couple small things. Spread his feet a little bit in his set position. If he starts with his feet too close together his balance will be off. That will put him in a more athletic start position. He could start “gliding towards the catcher” sooner. He lifts his knee, stops, then starts moving towards the plate. He loses any momentum created from the knee lift with the stop at the top.
Lastly, his glove looks really big. I always suggest for youth pitchers to use a smaller, lighter glove. A bigger glove will pull their front side open because they don’t have the strength to keep it up and firm.
He looks good for his age. I hope he has continued success.
Thank you, great to hear you suggest the “sooner movement” we have been working on that this week as our new “tweek”. makes me feel like we’re on the right track! He is getting better. I will post video soon to show improvement. His glove is a 12 inch I believe. Is that 2 big? I’m gonna add the foot position to my notebook and we address it soon. He came to me about 12 hours after my original post and told me that he wanted to be “GREAT”. That he wanted to “put in extra effort and extra work to do more then just getting the job done”. I was so proud because he has been hearing me coach my high school players. That he’s not just been listening to me talk he is actually hearing me! It is a good thing!!!
Get him a light youth glove with a closed pocket. Remember he should be having fun. Good luck