My 12 year old son has developed extreme control problems since he broke his pitching thumb last year. He has always had occasional problems but never anywhere near the extent he has this year. He has pitched 4 innings in 2 games and stuck out 10 but walked 14. He is a lefty and seems to always miss outside to right-handed batters. He has very good stuff but just can’t seem to find the plate. Anyone got any ideas on what I can try to get him straightened out?
Frankly it could be a number of things. If he is missing high and away it could be that he is “rushing” or “dragging his arm”. In both cases what could be happening is then his front foot lands and he is beginning to release the ball his arm is having to catch up because it is behind. One way to possibly correct this is to have him slow himself down especially his lower half. Next time he pitches watch his wind-up and see if he is smooth. One way i see this problem corrected is through slowing the leg lift down to give your arm time to catch up so you can get down through the release.
As im sure other people will comment, if you have any videos or pictures we could better understand what he may be doing incorrectly if anything.
Hopefully this will help I know there are quite a few people on here who could give you other pointers.
I’ll try to get some video or pics. He doesn’t miss high very often. Usually low and away or just away.
Some things to maybe try if he does not miss high and away all that often. I’m not a 100% on this but he could be landing closed meaning if you were standing behind the plate his front foot is landing more to the first base side of the rubber then where his pivot foot is located.
As alanshadow22 noted, landing closed can cause this. My son, a 16 year old lefty, had this same problem last year and landing closed was a big issue. He’s always had control issues. People on this board are probably getting tired of me saying this but the best thing I did for his location was to build a mound in my back yard and hang a net at the correct distance, with a strike zone on it. He practiced a lot at hitting the corners while throwing at game intensity. All after an appropriate full body warmup, of course. Within a week to 2 week period, he showed remarkable improvement. All of the flat ground practice we had been doing paled in comparison to this when it came to improving his ability to hit locations.
If he’s missing away all the time he could be pulling to much to the side with his glove hand instead of driving down and pulling through. When I’m consistently away I try and concentrate on staying straight up and down and not spinning or over rotating.
There are lots of possible causes - post up some video and we should be able to identify the actual cause.
If the upper half is too slow, I think it would be preferable to speed up the upper half instead of slowing down the lower half.
Your probably right Roger, my mental image was just of the type of kids that a real “herky jerky” with their lower half and drag their arms really bad. Thanks for the correction.
Some video on my son:
[quote=“rwd59”]Some video on my son:
He flies open with his glove rather than bringing it back into his chest.
Since he seems to always miss outside, he may also be focusing on the batter rather than the glove. He needs to ignore the batter and just focus on the glove.
[quote=“Chris O’Leary”]He flies open with his glove rather than bringing it back into his chest.[/quote]I agree. OK Chris. Don’t be too shocked. He tends to extend it out and sweep it at a relatively low level, while turning it over. He doesn’t quite point at the target with the glove, which most know I detest, but it’s close.
He has an exceedingly short stride which can be either the cause or effect of a lack of momentum. It would be the cause if someone is recommending it be that short. It would be the effect if that’s not what he’s been taught but he’s just not been taught to develop momentum during the stride.
My recommendation is that increasing momentum, for a longer period of time in the stride will have the effect of increasing the length of the stride, without that being a specific goal, and it just might help with his ability to locate the ball.
The last thing is that he lands closed.
As Chris noted, you son does fly open with his glove. As he extends the glove arm toward the catcher, he also sweeps it around so that it ends up on the 3B side of him. This can openup the shoulders early and cause the throwing arm to drag. Try to get him to extend it toward the catcher and leave it out there bring the chest to the glove. The elbow will tuck and the glove will turn over as the shoulders rotate. But he should be firming up the glove arm to help give the throwing arm a stable base to throw against.
Also, your son strides a bit towards his throwing arm side. That can also affect his accuracy. You can try moving him to the right side of the rubber so he doesn’t have to turn as big of a corner to square up to the target. Otherwise, you need to get him to stride directly toward the target.
I agree with dm59’s comment about the lack of momentum. Get the hips moving toward the target a bit sooner and a bit faster.
Your son appears to have good posture and balance.