Have consistency issues with 12 year old pitcher. Better than average pitcher when “on”. Not only from one day to the next but one inning to the next. Worked with pitching instructor, issues identified and kid recogonizes what he’s doing without being told but can’t seem to correct. When mechanics break down he doesn’t stay back and on top of the ball, like he’s trying to drag arm across body. End result is loss of velocity and control, many balls in the dirt. Can come out for an inning very sharp and go in the next completely changed. Began in fall with catching, gave up the catching and still have same issues. Don’t know if it’s mostly mental or how to help him throw consistently. At a loss, any advice will be greatly appreciated.
It’s not enough time doing the propper mechnics, he needs to do the right mechanics many many times, it will take reps and time, not just a week but months to develop the mechanics so that they stay put.
Been pitching for several years, pretty good mechanics. Worked with instructor for three months once a week and continue when we can now that season is here. Made some minor tweaks including getting arm up more.
I wonder if it’s a conditioning issue or an issue of not staying warm between innings? When good mechanics break down, there’s either a strength component that needs to be addressed or a flexibility and body warmup issue that could be changed to produce more consistent results.
Don’t think it would be the issue. He is a very lean kid with lots of stamina, does lots of running and strength and conditioning. We haven’t had issues with cold, practice days move into facility and we’ve had good luck on tournament weekends. Gets me to wondering about the minor adjustments; instructor has had him work on getting arm up more. He previously had a lower delivery (not sidearm). Wants a “see saw” action in his shoulders and strong pull with glove hand on finish. Really like the results when he’s on, more downward trajectory, better movement, and more velocity. Read about changing arm slot, not sure that this would qualify. Do you think its better to “stay the course” even if it means a rough year pitching? Thanks for your input.
Give him some more time and observe his pitching mechanics. Inconsistencies in pitching motion will result in velocity variation and wildness. Identify which aspect of his motion is different from pitch to pitch and work on that aspect. Take a video of several pitches/innings and study them to see what is different.
Whatever you do, don’t change his arm slot—this is definitely not the solution and could only lead to trouble. My pitching coach—a wise and wonderful major league pitcher—firmly believed that every pitcher pitcher has a natural motion, and what he did was work with that pitcher to maximize his/her capabilities. So l would suggest that you leave the arm slot alone and concentrate on other elements of whatever the mechanical difficulties might be. 8)
Know this is probably a dumb question, but is getting the arm up higher changing the arm slot? He’s never been a sidewinder or 3/4 pitcher, has lower delivery. Pitching instructor has been working on getting his arm up for downward trajectory. Appreciate the advice from everyone. I think I may have misunderstood one of Steven’s points about staying warmed up. Was thinking more weather wise rather than staying loose. Could be an issue, he hasn’t stayed loose between innings some of which last for a while.
I would recommend video tape. I would find out what the most critical area that he is struggling with and focus on that one thing during games. Once he can get consistent with that move to the next. It is difficult for a 12 yr old to focus on a lot of things at once and games situations make it even more difficult.
I would also recommend he throw some every day. I would have him throw a good solid bullpen ~50 pitches or game 3 days a week and the days in between shorter distances at 75% really focusing on mechanics. He will get it but it is a process and takes time.