Front arm for 9U

I am curious about preferences for instruction on glove hand action for youth pitchers. Our league is instructing leading with the elbow rather than the glove as a way to stabilize the kids initial experiences as pitchers.

It seems to make it difficult to instruct the equal and opposite arm action as the glove arm is alread tucking before full back extension of the throwing arm. (My prefences is full extension of glove and ball in the equal and opposite with the glove tucking as the more that goes in a line towards the plate the better.)

Thoughts as I am very curious about others successes and failures with this method.

I always recommend teaching the correct way 1st.
Adding a “cheat” to make it easier may lead to a bad habit that is difficult to break later, I say stick with what you know.

Great advice JD

I’d say the only reason to allow leading with the elbow is when they don’t have the physical strength to hold the glove out front. It might be better for them mechanically to go elbow first so that the glove doesn’t pull their front side down causing all sorts of balance issues.

Agree with JD. Teach 'em the right way now so down the road they’re good at it instead of battling it along the way and then having to change it.

Just a question.

If a pitcher is taught to lead with the elbow, why would he ever need to change it? It seems like that could be part of his mechanics throughout his time playing.

I often see kids lead with the elbow. I look at their acromial line being on the target line. If they are on target and do not have accuracy issues, don’t open their hips too early, and if they don’t get their throwing hand up too early, I won’t worry about it.

I do prefer that the glove gets out over the front knee or as far out as the plant foot, and I prefer that the elbows break together, but if all else is OK, I’m not really obsessed about the front glove position if it’s not causing other delivery flaws.

Thanks for the answers.

I see the arms up to early with the glove leading. Would Hershiser drills be the best way to help teach the kids to not break their hands too early? My sense is something like it is necessary as the equal and opposite action of leading with the glove elbow doesn’t get the ball hand back as naturally.

Hershiser is more of a hip drill. Technically one doesn’t need a leg lift to break the hands on time. Break the hands explosively when the lift thigh is parallel to the ground. Work on the timing and feel of that.

[quote=“Turn 22”]Just a question.

If a pitcher is taught to lead with the elbow, why would he ever need to change it? It seems like that could be part of his mechanics throughout his time playing.[/quote]
A short front side is often too quick leading to early shoulder rotation. The time it takes to extend the glove arm out front is time that the shoulders get to stay closed.

[quote=“Roger”]
A short front side is often too quick leading to early shoulder rotation. The time it takes to extend the glove arm out front is time that the shoulders get to stay closed.[/quote]

This is exactly what I have observed and what spurred my question. This morning a fill-in coach asked what happened to one of the kids since summer. Other photos showed a different equal and opposite at a time when the kid was more effective.

Fortunately, this hasn’t been going on for long and the kids arm strength is much better than it had been the prior season. We will work with him and the others to extend the glove arm further out.

Coincidentally, the kid who throws the hardest doesn’t even bother listening to the coaching and sends the glove out to full extension before bringing it back in

Be careful with that. Ideally the glove extends out front to the appropriate “equal and opposite” position to mirror the throwing arm and then it stays there while the torso moves towards it. The glove will turn over while the elbow drops but it stabilizes somewhere roughly above the front foot.