Good #2 and #3 pitches for eleven year old? My kid just doesn’t have much velocity. I am looking for pitches for him that give little elbow and shoulder stress. Any tips?
Pitch #2 - change-up
Pitch #3 - work on pitch #2
Babe Ruth, who knew a thing or two about pitching, once said that “a good changeup will cause batters more grief than just about anything else”, and I agree. Now is a very good time for the kid to work on developing a good changeup. I recommend the palm ball—this was the first changeup I picked up at the age of 12—because you throw it with the same arm speed and the same arm motion as a fast ball, so it puts no additional strain on the arm and shoulder. It’s all in the grip; the one thing you have to remember is not to grip the ball too tightly because you don’t want to squeeze the juice out of it!
With a fast ball—such as it is—and a good change the kid, at this stage of the game, has all he needs. Later on he can think about adding a curve ball or some such pitch to the mix. The important thing for him to concentrate on is location—what in my day we called “control”, which means simply getting the ball to go where you want it to go. When you have that you can make opposing hitters look very stupid. 8)
Pitching is like real estate - Location, location, location.
Pitch #1 - - Inside corner
Pitch #2 – Outside Corner
Pitch #3 – Either corner at the knees
Pitch #4 – Fastball up in the letters.
Once he can hit his spots 2/3rds of the time, work on a good change up. Or better yet, work on getting movement on the fastball. A fastball that moves into the hitter or starts inside and moves across the plate is very effective.
Does he have a moving 2 seam fastball? Put a little extra pressure on the index finger and throw the inside half of the ball. It will move a few inches into a right handed batter for a righty. Not a huge amount of movement, but enough to keep it off the fat part of the bat.
Awesome advice by everyone so far.
Only thing I would add is to make sure when he is learning the change-up to stress the importance of locating it. It might go without saying, but I see young pitchers aim to throw it right down the middle all the time.
And that’s exactly what the hitters are looking for—something right down the pipe that they can drive out of the ballpark.
I remember what Ed Lopat told me once: “Move the ball around—high, low, inside, outside, and change speeds—and stay away from the middle of the plate.” He said he often had to tell pitchers this more than once, because they didn’t listen the first time. 8)
hes eleven. he only needs one pitch. but if you must just learn a changeup. and a 2 seamer. and dont forget the other pitch. location
Execllent post by shoshonte…11-13 year olds should really listen.
Thanks. We do a bullpen session once a week during the Fall, which consist of 35 FB type pitches (2 & 4-seam, slider and cutter; inside, outside, etc) and 5 breaking balls (3 for strikes and 2 with a count advantage). Location is charted, as well as strikes and number of times he hits his spot. In the three sessions this Fall, he’s at 68% strikes with the FB and 46% with the breaking balls. The benefit I’m seeing is good movement and location during games as he’s thinking about being a pitcher and not a thrower.
The other pitchers on his Fall team throw 2/3 FB and 1/3 change-up & breaking pitches during their bullpen session, since they rely more on their off speed pitches to set up the FB. Yet, they need to have confidence in the FB to be successful and keep the pitch count down.
Note: Breaking pitch is the knuckle curve.
I guess we really shouldn’t really have that 11yr old curveball discussion again…should we!
I agree with shoshonte that you should work on location and control. I will add that you should also work on arm strength as a change up is only really effective if located and followed by and above average fastball.I think we have all seen a change-up hung get taken very deep.
I try to work on location at a shorter then full distance to begin a bullpen session.