Balls in the dirt when pitching

My 14 year old son has been struggling with balls going in the dirt/ coming up short in front of the plate when pitching. Can you give any fees back to what could be causing this. Never had an issues before until the last 2 games pitching. Tried to use video and it states Not Authorized . Please help

Same side of the plate or to both sides?

Both sides. Tried to post a few video clips but I have not been successful.

Besides issues with his mechanics, injuries and sprains, lack of sleep and/or health issues, here are three reasons that can go under the radar with youngsters his age.

The first, is a placement of the stride leg/foot that goes too far (open) to the glove side. This picture below is for a right-handed pitcher. Strides that are either too closed on landing or too open can present all kids of control issues. As the picture below indicates, up and down issues as well as side-to-side issue may be caused by the stride leg/foot’s ending position.

The second, is the condition of the pitching surface that the youngster is working off of. Holes in front of the rubber and those holes down the slope of the mound can cause all kinds of posture issues that really do nothing to promote any kind correction with respect to location issues, pitch selection and evaluation, and so forth. The picture below is such an example of a mound with surface issues.

The third, can be the result of his catcher being too far back, in relation to the batter and the plate. Some young catchers are “gun shy” of getting too close to a swinging bat ( I don’t blame them), but when they do, they usually go so far back in the catcher’s area behind home plate, that they end up presenting a PERCEPTION problem for the pitcher with respect to distance-and-target. Examine the picture below and the relationships presented, then check and see if your son’s catcher is in the proper relationship. Notice that each distance has a direct effect on the perception of parties involved - the pitcher, the catcher, and the umpire.
When a catcher is too far back, that position looks something like this, where A is where the catcher should be, B is where the catcher is way too far back, and C is where the umpire is trying to call balls and strikes…


Thank you for your help. I will look to see if any of these stand out

Put your video on utube and copy a link. Does that work?

Good points about foot placement, mound conditions, and catcher distance behind the plate. I am constantly adjusting catchers as both a coach and an umpire. The reason I asked about missing to one side or the other is that pitchers who miss down and to their throwing side usually have a sequencing problem with a slower lower half and a faster upper half. Generally they won’t miss low to both sides, but to one side predominantly. I usually correct this by having the pitcher increase his lower half speed to match the upper half speed. If the upper half is slower then usually the pitcher misses up and in and we work on delaying hand break but accelerating it’s speed.

In addition to what’s been mentioned, there are other things that are more common to this age group 12-15.

Growing spurts are an awkward thing to experience within this age group of 12-15 year olds. Awkwardness with coordination and sometimes even the simplest of motions that adults take for granted. Watch the young man and see if he’s like … all thumbs and feet sometimes, even clumsy at the dinner table, holding on to stuff, you know things like that.

Another thing to look for is when a youngster is pitching .from a greater distance than the year before. Moving up in age brackets may have the distance from the pitcher’s rubber to home plate a bit longer that the youngster is use to.

Learning a new pitch is common to pitching in the dirt, even over the catcher’s head sometimes. See if his grip has changed, either by direction or on his own. Possibly, he’s trying to do something that everyone around him is unaware of.

Never looked at it that way. He’s defiantly been quite clumsy. Maybe trying to adjust to his size 12 feet😉!!
All of this is great information to know!
Thank you !

Your video is marked private. Will have to make public for others to view.

Did I read this correctly? Your son is 14 years old and his shoe size is a size 12!

If that’s the case I have some observations, assuming physiques and other matter to relate to you.

Yes that is correct. He’s not standing tall yet. Only 5’6 . Looks a little clownish. Hopefully you can help!

Here’s something that I’d like you and your son to watch.
Your son’s proportions suggest that he is going to have some issues with progressive motion Vs. balance motion. This video clip shows in slow motion, then in real time, CJ Wilson dealing with progressive motion while managing balance motion.
Note: I use the phase balance motion here only because it’s simpler for getting my point across. In the professional coaching circles it called something else, and even that varies with the particulars of the pitcher.

Watch how Wilson moves and how he concetrates his body’s progress forward, by anticipating his body’s shifting weight – his arms comes up his glove arm extends, then his arms come in slightly as he completes his throw. NOTICE how he completely rotates his shoulders- exchanging his glove side shoulder with his pitching side shoulder. See how balanced he is after his release of the ball. From beginning to end – this is what we call a “Pitching Cycle” – BUT, in an abstract form to compliment a long toss exercise.

Have a game of catch with your boy and have him try and duplicate Wilson’s long toss. Now don’t allow your son to howitzer the ball trying to impress you on how hard or how far he can toss. Go slow and easy to allow him the luxury of feeling the exercise at his own pace.

See if this routine doesn’t give your son a better tempo with his body’s control. Also, and I almost forgot, stay within about 70-80 feet from him. Remember to, a proper warm up session is mandatory prior to tossing.

If you need suggestions on warm ups techniques, you’ll find plenty of suggestions by going to the information subjects at the very top of this web page. “click” on ATRICLES, then scroll down the page that your brought to and select the title(s) that suit you best.

At your son’s age, the learning experience can be difficult at times. This stuff is not for everyone. But then again, if one doesn’t try, …

Are you going to fix the youtube video?

I tried and haven’t had any luck. I’m gonna get my daughter to help me.
Sorry it’s taking so long.

Trying again

I see some rhythem between the lower and upper body. The rear hip is still closed, locked, when the arm is going forward. Now im not saying to open the hip. Its just locked in place and the arm has to fight through it.