Genreal pitching- High school & 10-under kids


#1

I coach high school summer ball and 10-under kids. I’m trying to get my younger kids to get into rhythm while pitching. I have them doing fundamental 9 step windup. Is that too much for them to understand because it only seems to be sinking in for very few. I know they’re just kids and have a million things going through their head. Just wondering if I’m asking too much?

And my older boys just cant seem to bend that back rubber leg before the push off… and drills to help with that?


#2

I like having the younger guys pitch from the stretch- fewer moving parts, fewer balance issues, etc. Focusing on lifting the stride leg nice and high (with good posture), keeping the head moving straight to the target, and stabilizing the glove is about all I can think you can ask of a 10yo. Done all together those three things may even be too much for some.

Once they learn basic mechanics from the stretch they can then move to the windup but that doesn’t need to happen for quite awhile IMO.


#3

One thing you need to be careful of is that high leg kick with a runner, or runners, on base—a runner, seeing that, can get a very good jump on the pitcher and has a good chance of stealing a base. I would advise going to the slide-step in that situation. And, young or older, it would be a good idea to work with the pitchers on holding runners on. 8)


#4

With older kids in leagues that allow leads this can be good advice. However my comments were made asuming this was a fairly new group of 10U players. Unless this is a travel ball situation there are usually no leads at 10U so pitchers don’t have to worry about high leg kick. Getting the leg up starts to build the foundation for a longer stride and generating momentum to the target. Plenty of time to learn a slide step once good habits are formed.


#5

With young pitchers, I keep it pretty simple - posture & balance and taking care of the glove.

The foundation of every delivery is posture and balance. And that starts with the pitcher’s starting position. Pitchers need to adopt an athletic position. Many young kids want to stand straight up and down. But that usually leads to head movement towards either 1B or 3B. Put a bend in the waist and knees and he engages muscles in the core to help stabilize posture. Then take the head towards the target.

Taking care of the glove boils down to not pulling it, not dropping it and not flying open with it. Nip these bad habits in the bud. Make the transition from where the glove is first extended out front to a stabilized position in font of the chest through shoulder rotation and into release.

If you can get the young guys to get these things down, you will have set them up with a solid foundation to build on as they get older.