Coach Baker just posted this…it’s so profound and complete that I’m asking Steven to make it a sticky on the Youth Pitching Forum…
We are blessed to have such wisdom freely given…thank you Coach;
[i][b]I really appreciate the info coach… Though it’s a bit discouraging because I just don’t know where to start with fixing his mechanics.
Somehow, you were told that at eight years old your son has bad mechanics. Ain’t gonna happen. He’s eight, physically he’s forming and changing every day of his life. The biggest mistake that any parent can make is to assume, or have someone assume for you, that your son - athletically, is off the beaten path and just not cutting it.
Your son has a long, no make that a very long way to go, before he has the what-for-ever to control his motion in a way that signals any kind of baseline, by which you or anyone else can pass judgement on. Trust me on this one.
On the other hand … I do know of a product called “good times”. And it works like this:
Get the youngster out there, without the pressure to perform and let him enjoy the time he has as a youngster. Laugh with him, ice cream all around for everyone, dad’s a super guy!!
Competitive instruction at eight is an adults way of preening and clipping a bush even before the roots have taken hold, in my opinion. Again, I’m not a youth coach, so my views are a bit slanted. So, as far as a pitching coach is concerned, I only suggested that so as to give you an alternate approach if you were all that serious about directing your son in the demands of pitching. A professional YOUTH pitching coach knows things that’ll avoid harmful elections in movement and performance on the field, that would go unnoticed by others less skilled in the profession.
… I was hoping I found something that would help him nail down at least one important aspect…
The only aspect that he has to nail down is the fun side of this equation that you’re trying to calculate. When your boy is having a whopping good time, believe me, everything will fall into place at its proper time and place. In that regard, he’ll be more receptive to coaching - if that’s his thing, and he’ll have a learning curve that’ll have baselines that he can associate and draw some conclusions from.
How many pitches is ok for 8yrs old?
I am not a youth coach, never have been, nor do I pretend to have the professional skills to qualify in that regard. But, I do know that every human being has “days” when he or she has peaks and valleys of strength and endurance, a focus that’s with-it that day, better some days then others, and so on.
Pitch counts are vital, in my opinion, to every pitcher at every level. I’m not going to elaborate on that from the competitive side, but rather from the physical side. Take a gander at a web site that shows the detail makeup of the human arm. Notice how frail it is. Also, consider the other parts of the human body with muscles that are much larger and specifically designed to carry loads of stress. Legs, pelvic, abdominal, back muscles and so on. Concentrate on solid eating habits, reasonable “fun” exercises for a youngster that age and you’ll do wonders for your son and his growth and development. As he grows and gets stronger, so will his acceptance of formal training methods.
With respect to addressing your question directly - at eight years old I would suggest the following when he is rested, well nourished, without injury: 50 pitches max, tempered up or down based on the youngster’s frailty and tolerance for physical activity. I would also suggest
four days of non-pitching activity, again, tempered up or down based on the youngster’s frailty and tolerance for physical activity.
Let’s go back to my using the word “pitching”. If you and your son are tossing the ball then I wouldn’t be so detailed with a number count. Tossing the ball around and asking your son to hit the glove can be just as functional and deliberate. The key to developing a good arm is using it. Toss out in the backyard often, after dinner, anytime. Nice and easy does it will work well at that age.
He’s couple times early this spring he told me his arm hurt (it was after long toss one time), and we called it quits when he did.
Congratulations dad! You are your son’s biggest advocate. Keep that kind of concern going and your son will have a baseball experience that he’ll thank you for later on.
Are you familiar with strikeout strips?
Are you referring to Strikeout Strippz? This is a product with a video that compliments the device and its use. I am not familiar with it nor do I know a coach(s) or player in the upper ranks of this sport that has used it. Perhaps someone else on this web site or others can help you in your fact-finding.
Any products or videos you can suggest?
The products and videos that I have been accustomed to have been either promotional endorsements and similar “sales” type ventures. However, I would like to suggest going to the top of this web site and “clicking” on ORDER . There you will find an outstanding collection of professional publications that I recommend highly. For his improvement and enjoyment as he gets older - definitely.
Also, I’d like to add that I have no financial or business interest in this or any other web site, publication house, printed or video for sale, player endorsements, etc. I don’t swing that way - frankly, I have no use for such promotions.[/b][/i]