Feedback wanted on my 11 year old son pitching


#21

Could you describe the “step over” move?

The step over move is an attempt to describe what high-level players do to unload their hips as they go into foot plant.

It’s difficult to describe with words. It is sometimes described as stepping over a low fence or log as one goes into foot plant.

I believe Dr. John Bagonzi refers to it in his book “The Act Of Pitching”.


#22

Thank you for your candor.

Please suggest a few solutions to “pushing the ball” instead of throwing it. If this guy wanted to pitch for you how would you help him reach his physical potential?


#23

… and for most players virtually impossible to make changes at this point in their “pitching life”.

If this guy wanted to pitch for you how would you help him reach his physical potential?

How does one teach someone else to throw the ball? Not very easy to do especially if that someone else has ingrained movement patterns especially if:

Unfortunately he has pitched for three teams the last two years plus an All Star tournament and it leaves very little time. I’ve tried to encourage him to cut out one team without success. I’d like to find something in February 2007 so that he has time to condition his arm prior to the clinic.

Competition (the need to win) will force him to go back to what he knows how to do best

How many times did you seen a player who throws the ball exceptionally well from the shortstop position look like a totally different person when they are put on the mound (decrease in velocity)?

Is virtually useless (not only a waste of time but also dangerous/unfair) to attempt to give any type of specific advice on a forum as words can be interpreted in so many different ways.

All I can say to you is that from my perspective, your son does not know how to throw the ball off the pitching mound. He may not a pitch but he doesn’t know how to throw effectively. So now you and your son must now go on a quest to learn what it means to throw the ball effectively from the mound.


#24

The problem isn’t with the angle of his foot as he strides. Instead, the problem is with where his foot lands.

Put a pitcher in the set position and draw a line from their heels to home plate. In most cases, their Glove Side foot should land pretty much on this line with their toe pointed at the target.

That’s what Sandy Koufax is doing in this photo…

In the video I saw, the pitcher’s GS foot was landing significantly to the 1B side of this line.


#25

The problem isn’t with the angle of his foot as he strides. Instead, the problem is with where his foot lands.

Says who??

In most cases, their Glove Side foot should land pretty much on this line with their toe pointed at the target.

And exceptional pitchers are NOT “most cases”…

In the video I saw, the pitcher’s GS foot was landing significantly to the 1B side of this line.

And exactly how does this compromise this players throwing the ball?? As I said previously there are a many players who land quite open. And some extremely open and yet a very successful. Where the players foot lands is of secondary importance as compared to what the hips ( Pelvic region) is actually doing which includes movement of the center of the body’s mass, hips versus shoulder differential with respect to time, arm action, etc., etc., etc…

Here’s a clip of Nolan Ryan.

Where does his front foot land with respect to a line drawn from his posting foot to home plate? “I see” Ryan’s front foot landing quite far to the 1st base side of that line.

And please do not play the “injury card”. Neither you or anyone else has the ability to predict with any type of certainty who will will not sustain an arm injury.

The problem that "I"have with your (and others who do the same thing) is that you have little or no understanding of how the body actually works to optimally throw the ball. All I see is the repeating the pitching belief system of your your favorite pitching guru along with whatever pictures you can find to support your opinion.

When it comes to the human body Especially those actions producing ballistic type of movements, it is impossible to know exactly what all the muscles and connective tissue are doing other than to “infer” from what you “think” you “see”.

The delivery must be taken as an entire package. attempting to break it down into its component parts without taking into account the whole is an exercise in futility.

And If nothing else I can guarantee you know two pitching gurus see the same thing.

Every player at the major-league level got there because they just went out and “did it”. And for 98% of the players, no “pitching instruction” is better than any instruction, especially pitching instruction given on a forum well-meaning but woefully lacking in understanding of what it takes to really produce a high-level player.

You and everyone else who states with such assuredness what amounts nothing more than someone else’s opinions packaged to fit your particular beliefs, i.e. what you think you see, are in my opinion dangerous and potentially very destructive to the unknowing and unsuspecting parent and or player.


#26

This is a ridiculous statement.

In most cases, pitchers like Greg Maddux and Nolan Ryan are examples of what perfect mechanics look like, and their mechanics should be emulated.

It causes problems with the sequencing of the muscle patterns. The hips open up too early which limits how much they can pull the shoulders around.

Also, it is far more common for pitchers to land slightly closed rather than very open.

How do you know that?

I have spent hundreds of hours studying the physiology and kinesiology of baseball pitching. I have now gotten to the point where a major league team thinks I know what I’m talking about.

Also, I have tons of examples of pitchers who land in line with the target…

To say that where the GS foot lands doesn’t matter is simply wrong.


#27

I have upon reflection, gone back and deleted my own post. I did this for 2 reasons, 1st coachxj did in fact present his bona fides in another thread and so my question was inpertainent. 2nd upon reading and re-reading this thread it would seem reasonable for him to question the assertions made by Chris. He also raises interesting points as to who is or isn’t considered “expert” within the realm of pitching and for that matter baseball in general.
I apologize to the forum and coachxj for my hasty retort.
jd :oops:


#28

The Ryan video looks like his foot is landing opposite his back heel. As long as a pitcher is landing at some point between is posting heel and toe, I would consider this striding to the plate, not open or closed. Once they get outside of the posting foot, they are either “too open” or “throwing across their body.” I think most of the comments about the young pitcher who was the focus of this thread were that he was striding to the left of his posting foot heel and therefore too open and toward 1st base.


#29

In most cases, pitchers like Greg Maddux and Nolan Ryan are examples of what perfect mechanics look like, and their mechanics should be emulated.

Who and or what “defines” perfect mechanics? You? Me? Mike Marshall? Dick Mills? Tom House? Dr John Bagonnzi? The major league pitching coach of the Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, …?.. ??? and exactly what is to be emulated? Are you going to emulate their Rate of Force Development Capabilities? Are you going to emulate their flexibility capabilities? Are you going to emulate the number of hours that they throw a baseball? Or are you going to emulate the static pictures that you love the post which have little value unless they are taken into the context of the entire delivery, my opinion.

It causes problems with the sequencing of the muscle patterns. The hips open up too early which limits how much they can pull the shoulders around.

Where the foot land is a result of what the hips are doing as opposed to the cause of. Basic motor learning/movement/kinematic/kinetics/physiology/physics/biomechanics. As if you are treating symptoms and not the cause.

Also, it is far more common for pitchers to land slightly closed rather than very open.

If you take the entire major league pitching population it’s 50-50 based on your definition of open and closed.

[i]I have spent hundreds of hours studying the physiology and kinesiology of baseball pitching. I have now gotten to the point where a major league team thinks I know what I’m talking about.

Also, I have tons of examples of pitchers who land in line with the target… [/i]

In my opinion a good example of the lethal (to those who listen to you) of combination of arrogance and ignorance…


#30

[quote=“coachxj”]Here’s a clip of Nolan Ryan.

Where does his front foot land with respect to a line drawn from his posting foot to home plate? “I see” Ryan’s front foot landing quite far to the 1st base side of that line.[/quote]

I disagree.

His GS foot appears to land approximately 1-2 inches to the right of the imaginary line that we are discussing.

You can verify this by doing pixel counts of the first and last images in the sequences. In the first image in the sequence, the back of his PAS foot is 260 pixels across the frame. In the last image in the sequence, the back of his GS foot is roughly 263 pixels across the frame.

In contrast, the GS foot of the boy in question landed roughly 1 foot to the right of that line.


#31

Well Lee, I didn’t read everything the other guys wrote but I read bits and pieces. I liked the videos of your son. Looks like he throws a pretty decent velocity for his age. Mabey close to 50mph. Hard to tell. But velocity isn’t everything ofcourse when you are a young pitcher. I am really not one to give advice on mechanics, so I will say this: I would try and get him to work on a change-up while he is still young and a confident pitcher. The older you get (confidence wise) it is a harder pitch for some to learn. It looks like your son has pretty good command also, that is one of the other things you need to help a youngster on while they are still young. And then lastly, I would be concerned about velocity. At 11yrs old, he looks like he has a pretty good shot at future baseball, however far he may want to go with it. But the important thing is to correct his mistakes while he is young and before it becomes a habit.

One problem I had when I was about 15 or so was that I never had anyone to teach me how to throw a proper curve ball. I regret that and now the consequence is a “slurve” that I cannot correct, just try to improve. But anyways, I would just get him comfortable with a fastball, and a change-up untill he is old enough to throw anything that breaks.

I myself was taught to throw solely a 2-seam fastball and a change-up untill I was 13yrs old. I did pretty good with it to. When you are young, the best way to upset batting is timing in my opinion so breaking pitches at a young age are not only bad for their arm but unnecessary. At 12 I think I was throwing around 60-61 from a 46ft mound. So thats around what I think your son will be throwing around that age. He looks kinda like myself at that age. Then towards my 13-14yr old season, since I was still to young to throw any breaking balls, He wanted me to throw a knuckle ball. I practiced it for a few months during the off-season and I threw it in games at around 40-45mph. Every now and then I would get a good break on it but at that speed it’s hard to do. More than not I would just use it after a fastball like I would a change-up and it would just act as that if it was flat and didn’t move. And at that level you don’t have to really worry all that much about getting rocked with a pitch like that. Later on I developed a newer pitch and I rarely use the knuckleball.

But I don’t mean to get off topic, just brings back memories. One thing I noticed in that 3rd video you posted, looks like that pitch throw had some movement of a 2-seamer on it. Looks good at the level he is pitching. And ofcourse at his age he will not have “pro perfect” pitching mechanics, but he looks good for where he is at and how old he is.

Keep up the good work and goodluck. :wink:

WhiteSox101


#32

I don’t think any of those guys, or Paul Nyman, seem to have the answer.

That’s why I’m searching for my own answer.

That search has taken me in the direction of advocating the mechanics of guys like Greg Maddux, Nolan Ryan, and Roger Clemens who had long, relatively injury-free careers.

Lethal?

You honestly think that people will DIE if they follow my advice?

ROTFLMAO


#33

To those of you who care, I just learned from reading the Weighted Balls thread that coachxj is Paul Nyman, which explains why he and I disagree so vehemently.

In many cases I believe that what he advocates, such as the Inverted M, is destroying pitchers’ arms.

He also seems to despise me since I have said a few nice things about Mike Marshall.

Chris O’Leary (aka Chris O’Leary)

P.S. It would make life a lot easier if people just posted things under their real names.


#34

I agree.


#35

Well, My name is Keenan Braisher. I am 17yrs old born 12/13/89. Born in: Prince William County, Manassas Virginia. I currently am a junior in highschool, where I play Varsity ball. Pitcher an SS. Is that everything? Also I am 6’0 170lbs. 9lbs 11oz. at birth. :slight_smile:


#36

I mostly agree.

If the hips open up too soon, then the GS foot may land to the 1B side of the ideal.


#37

" It would make life a lot easier if people just posted things under their real names. "

Unless you are an adult that has a personal stake or philosophy in which you are vesting a career DO NOT FOLLOW THIS ADVICE!!!
Nicknames on forums such as this are for the SAFTY of the posters and it is I am sure something that Paul and Chris would back me on.
Unless you are a guru or have some need in which folks need your name it is not in your best interests to give detailed information such as WhiteSox did. It is no joke and I think Chris was a bit into the moment when he made this comment.


#38

[quote=“jdfromfla”]" It would make life a lot easier if people just posted things under their real names. "

Unless you are an adult that has a personal stake or philosophy in which you are vesting a career DO NOT FOLLOW THIS ADVICE!!!
Nicknames on forums such as this are for the SAFTY of the posters and it is I am sure something that Paul and Chris would back me on.
Unless you are a guru or have some need in which folks need your name it is not in your best interests to give detailed information such as WhiteSox did. It is no joke and I think Chris was a bit into the moment when he made this comment.[/quote]

Well put, JD.

Anyone under the age of 18 (at least) should obscure their identity.

My frustration is with gurus who have different handles, other than their own names, on different web sites.

Sorry for any confusion.


#39

coachxj said

I disagree with your reasoning. Words are the essence of a forum. Words with illustration to supplement your opinion are worth the time or you wouldn’t be posting. As to the fairness or danger aspect… No one knows for sure where the advice comes from. It’s food for thought. For all I know you might be a very articulate 15 year old who never picked up a baseball or you might be Paul Nyman.

Similar to a sick person going to a medical doctor. He tells you you’re sick but sends you away on a “quest” for a medical cure. Thanks doc.


#40

Words are the essence of a forum

Thank you for making my point.

Words with illustration to supplement your opinion are worth the time…

Not necessarily true especially when it comes to how the body swings that throws. As I said previously no two gurus can agree as to what they see.

…or you wouldn’t be posting.

My reason for posting on this particular thread (11-year-old player) is because it is my opinion poor (bad) information being posted by well-meaning individuals. Every player, and I repeat every player, that I have worked with that has followed the Tom House “keep your head on a straight line” has compromised a throwing abilities. Arbitrarily applying “dictums” such as "He strides much open. Much too much to the 1B side of the plate. He should stride directly at the plate and land with the toe of his Glove Side foot pointing at the plate. " without understanding or taking into consideration the entire context of the delivery.

No one knows for sure where the advice comes from. It’s food for thought. For all I know you might be a very articulate 15 year old who never picked up a baseball or you might be Paul Nyman.

Thank you for making my point, i.e. caveat emptor.

Similar to a sick person going to a medical doctor. He tells you you’re sick but sends you away on a “quest” for a medical cure. Thanks doc.

Not sure what the relevance of the statement is other than to reinforce the futility of forums in terms of offering specific advice. I know that if I go to medical doctor, I’ve done some homework, and in most cases he has to have gone to medical school as well as internship, i.e. demonstrated credibility. No such requirement ( Formal training, credentials, etc.) exists here.

I have no desire to engage in ego debates, been there done that. My main reason for posting is that I saw an 11-year-old player (and this one is doing a pretty good job of throwing the ball) and still has a good chance of developing effective throwing mechanics. But I can almost guarantee you he wouldn’t if he listened to what was being promoted as “good pitching mechanics” (there is no such thing).

And hate to see this happen to any young player.

As I said in my previous post regarding the use of weighted balls, I found this forum it while I was doing research for "My Top 10 List of Internet “Wannabe Baseball Instructional Gurus”… ", i.e. people who post on every and any forum attempting to show how much they know and in the process showing how little they know.

http://www.setpro.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8659

Enough said… :mrgreen: