Another 9-year-old video

My son is 9 - finishing up fall ball, so I want to get a sense of where to begin when he starts throwing again in a few months. He’s got good velocity and very good control for his age.

BTW he’s messing around here some but his game concentration is excellent.

Thanks for any suggestions.

I would have him focus on managing the glove arm better (not letting it drop) and maintaining good posture (keeping his head upright).

quaff,

Roger’s comments are spot-on, as usual.

Your son’s glove side looks ‘soft’. Many kids can pitch okay at the 9 - 10 yo level with that flaw; however, they will not fare as well by the time they are 11 - 12 years old. After about 13 yo, you basically won’t find any successful pitchers who let their glove flop loosely to the side before release of the baseball. “Pulling the glove into the body” is also not the answer…the majority of elite pitchers swivel their glove into place somewhere over the stride foot during launch of the baseball, and they bring their chest forward to meet the glove as they release the ball. This helps to direct all of the the pitcher’s momentum forward–toward the target, where it should be.

It takes lots of correct repetitions to replace a bad old habit with a new good habit. Especially with the glove-side mechanics, kids who have ingrained a flaw for years will feel very uncomfortable when (if) they are coached to do the right thing.

The earlier you start your son doing the right thing with his glove-side, the easier it will be for him. If you procrastinate, or simply think “he will probably grow out of it”, or if you think “a Little League coach will teach him the right way” then it may become difficult for your son to keep pitching effectively within a few years.

I agree that your son and Vlad4040’s son both look pretty good compared to typical 9 yo pitchers but, unfortunately, that is not really saying too much of value–most 9 yo pitchers are not very good and can’t throw strikes consistently from 46’ away. If your son does throw strikes pretty consistently, it’s going to make him look good among his 9 yo peers. Hopefully, you can enjoy his 9 yo successes without becoming complacent about working toward better things to come…

See also: My comments for vlad4040 in the “My 9 yo son Take 2” thread.

Laflippin,

Do you have a link to a youtube vid or other site that shows how to properly control the glove placement (for quaff & myself)?

Thanks.
Craig

Thanks, Roger and Laflippen, for the help. Laflippen, obviously you’ve worked with kids. It’s so true that they resist change when something feels “right” even when it’s totally wrong. I’ve been trying to work on his glove side but haven’t wanted to push too hard until we get through 2 tournaments to finish the season - I figure when he starts practicing for spring in 2-3 months he’ll be more open to coaching, esp. if I can convince him that correct mechanics will give him what all 9-y-o pitchers want - more speed!

I had seen your reply to Vlad before I posted this and had made a mental note to search YouTube to see if anybody had posted videos of Tom House working with kids on that.

BTW - no, trusting a LL coach to help your kid is too hit or miss. I’ve done plenty of it myself so I know how many of us don’t have any idea what we’re talking about. One of his current coaches barely speaks to me ever since I asked him to stop telling my son “elbow up” when batting.

[quote=“laflippin”]Roger is a certified NPA pitching coach so he knows all about this, and some other admins at LTP have independently confirmed that they know about this feature of pitching mechanics…DM59 comes to mind, for example.[/quote]Thanks, la. In my experience coaching kids, one of the most common things I see when I “inherit” kids from other coaches, is a glove side that flies around and causes real problems with the front side opening early. Then there’s my pet peave, the ever-annoying “point your glove at the target” cue (which this kid does not exhibit). That cue kills me.

My thoughts on that:

  1. High level pitchers just don’t do it (the closest I’ve seen is Randy Johnson and he “sweeps” it rather than points it)
  2. I always ask “when” and “for how long” but get no response from those who advocate this
  3. Younger kids can’t really control that weight (glove) swinging out at the end of a long lever (the straightened out arm) and, 99 times out of 100, let it drop like a stone, pulling the shoulders open with it.

Roger and laflippin can give excellent accounts of what Tom House/NPA recommends the front side do. I typically recommend that people take a really close look for themselves at pro videos with the front side as a focus. Then, after getting a good eyeful of that, come back and we can have a really good discussion about what can work for a particular kid. I believe this is much better in the long run for the kid/dad/coach than for us simply to describe our thoughts on it. The discussion then becomes more of a dialog than preaching by us.