Advice for son learning to pitch

Hi new to the board and looking for advice. Son is 11 - always played centerfield - now discovered he can pitch! Pitched in his LL play off game - went all 6 innings striking out 7 and did it in 74 something pitches. So now he will be 12 next spring and will be in the “rotation”. He would like to learn more now and work over the fall/winter. We live in the northeast so as weather turns colder he can work in our basement. Many questions but looking for easy to follow advice (looking for the basics) and want to keep him injury free.

Also looked at some screens to pitch into - any advice on any equipment, books dvd etc.

thanks in advance!

You might want to check out the
http://www.nationalpitching.net/]National Pitching Association (NPA) website
. They have a series of videos. I’d also highly recommend their book [u]The Art and Science of Pitching[/u.

“Ball Four” by Jim Bouton is a great book for pitchers.

Also, if he ever feels like he wants to learn a knuckleball I would recommend “The Knucklebook” by Dave Clark.

I will also reccomend to not bother with a knuckleball.

Oh, because people don’t like to take time to master it and very few people understand it? Or is it because “There aren’t very many pro knuckleballers” it’s because it’s difficult to throw, how many people throw 96 MPH +? If he ever feels like he wants to learn and is willing to take time into it, it can be the most effective pitch there is, otherwise Wakefield, ZInk, Barre, Fernandez, Ferrerr, (Lance) Niekro and Gannon couldn’t throw that pitch every time (or close to it) and get outs at the professional level.

The knuckleball can be especially effective in those younger leagues as they don’t know what it is or what’s going on. It could be a valuable breaking pitch for somebody.

Knuckleballs are the most effective pitch when thrown properly and I feel more people should take time to learn it, I suggest you educate yourself a bit on the knuckleball before you make another statement like that.

For the most part a knuckleball is a gimmick pitch, any developing pitcher would be much better served to learn how to master the straight change…which can / should be used at all levels of the game.

A gimmick pitch, what do you mean by that?

It can be very effective if someone can throw it, I ain’t saying he should learn it, not alot of people can do it nor do they have the patience for it, I ain’t saying he shouldn’t at least give it a go though. Let the kid do what he wants either way though (except all the screwball and slider stuff).

I don’t get why all you guys are so against the knuckleball.

i’m not i think the knuckleball is the best pitch and hardest to hit

but any way its your son’s choice if he wants to throw a knuckleball sit down and talk to him about it

The assumption here is that young pitchers are trying to get to the next level.

A really effective knuckleball is difficult to learn to control. It takes a lot of practice to be effective. As a result becoming a good knuckleballer generally means giving up proper development of the basic pitches and arm strength.

Coaches and scouts in general are looking for strong arms and mental toughness. You don’t build a strong arm throwing a knuckleball. Generally speaking throwing a knuckleball is an admission that you simply don’t have good enough stuff to succeed at the level you’re at unless you go to a gimmick pitch.

If you don’t have good enough stuff and you don’t expect to ever have good enough stuff then fine, go ahead and develop a knuckleball as it is your only, albeit slim, chance.

[quote=“CADad”]Generally speaking throwing a knuckleball is an admission that you simply don’t have good enough stuff to succeed at the level you’re at unless you go to a gimmick pitch.
[/quote]

Exactly. I’m pretty sure the reason why Wakefield throws one is because he hurt his arm while in the minors and couldn’t get his arm strength back so he started experimenting with it. Someone correct me if I’m wrong.

Wakefield was a first basemen and the AA pitching coach discovered he could throw a knuckleball, they almost released him but, after his success on the mound they used him.

The knuckleball doesn’t mean that you can’t succeed with normal stuff, Phil Niekro got scouted on his slider and curveball originally and then he threw a k-ball and a coach told him to keep throwing that. Charlie Hough is the only person I can think of in the MLB who threw it because of arm troubles.

I’m sure a higher percentage of the knuckleballers at tryouts get scouted than conventionals because, there aren’t many knuckleballers and almost everyone is a conventional pitcher.

Charlie Haeger and CHarlie ZInk were scouted on 92 MPH fastballs and they just picked up the knuckler, now Haeger’s at the big league level, now though both of them have about low 80’s fastballs but, the knuckler works for them.

if you are setting up a basement to throw, get a bucket of 50 baseballs and an atec pitcher’s target and frame (about $99). if you can build or get a small indoor mound that would be great. set the target up 20 to 30 ft from him and let him throw. the first 50 i would use a running start or “crow hop” and throw into the target. then move to the mound or use a wind up for 50 pitches, then use the stretch for the last 50. you may need to stop at 100 for a week or two if he’s getting too sore. make sure he is throwing at about 70% maximum until he builds some arm strength, then turn it up.

do this 3 times per week under close adult supervision and you will be surprised how effective he can be.

[quote=“CADad”]The assumption here is that young pitchers are trying to get to the next level.

A really effective knuckleball is difficult to learn to control. It takes a lot of practice to be effective. As a result becoming a good knuckleballer generally means giving up proper development of the basic pitches and arm strength.

Coaches and scouts in general are looking for strong arms and mental toughness. You don’t build a strong arm throwing a knuckleball. Generally speaking throwing a knuckleball is an admission that you simply don’t have good enough stuff to succeed at the level you’re at unless you go to a gimmick pitch.

If you don’t have good enough stuff and you don’t expect to ever have good enough stuff then fine, go ahead and develop a knuckleball as it is your only, albeit slim, chance.[/quote]

Also, the knuckleball is hard and it is just as good as normal stuff. Just like if you throw just a fastball and change-up you ocviously can’t suceed with a curve or knuckleball. Look, everyone has their own way to success. He may not be a knuckleballer but, all I said is if he wanted to try it, correct?