Going from 40 feet to 46 feet


#1

So I need some advice on what to do with my son and a few players as we move up. My son the last 2 seasons has pitched from 40 feet in what our league calls AA. It’s first year kid pitch basically he will move to AAA next spring which is Baseball 9s and 10s where they must pitch from 46 feet away. So basically my son has gotten a lot better but still is a bit off. I’d say if he threw 100 pitches from 40 feet of say 60-65 of them would be strikes. But in the backyard I’ve tried to get him to throw 46 feet and he’s missing everything. He has the arm strength but I feel like he’s trying to hard now and is missing badly in all directions. What could I do to improve his accuracy and possibly a little more arm strength? He doesn’t turn 8 till this November but he will be a “baseball” 9 in Spring 2016 even though he will only be 8, kinda unfortunate. Also what advice could I give my other kids on the team that are all moving up on how to adjust to throwing from 46 feet now. Thanks for the help


#2

One thing I did when my son moved from 40’ to 46’ is take him out and have him warm up throwing from the grass behind the mound, with you standing behind home plate where the catcher would be. Then, when he’s good and warm, he moves up to the mound to pitch, you get down to catch, and now that 46’ distance doesn’t look that far anymore! Once he conquers the visual aspect of the added distance, his accuracy will improve.


#3

Throwing at distances greater than the pitching distance help with accuracy. A small alignment error is magnified with increased distance. If he works on accuracy at 50-55 feet playing catch, his accuracy at 46 will be improved.


#4

Ever watch the Grand Prize Game on the Bozo the clown show? Toss the ping pong balls into the three buckets, one near, one in the middle and one further away and win the game. This is like the “Goldilocks” theory- too small, too large, just right. Our brains and bodies learn “just right” by comparing it with too close, too far and adjusting the amount of effort required. Have your players throw from a shorter distance, then step it out to a longer distance. I go short, long, 46’, but you can do a little trial and error to see what works best for you and yours. At every distance, he should be throwing as hard as he can.

This has worked for me- I’m interested to hear what else you people have tried.

Another thing I’ve done is put kids on a mound or a hill so they can feel the downhill movement. A natural tendency I’ve observed with 9’s and 10’s is keeping the weight above the pitching rubber rather than getting downhill. This exaggeration has helped my son feel that movement, and then we were able to work on how to create it from flat ground.