Help After a Rough Season

Hello! This is my first post here, so Im not entirely sure if this question is suitable for this forum.

I just came off of my 14u travel team this July, pitching roughly 5-8 innings per tournament. (one tournament every weekend for 5 weeks. We won state, by the way:) ) Before travel ball I played in a little league season, pitching about 25 innings in 12 weeks. I’m a lefty, so I have that going for me. But just turning 15 in the last month, I feel my velocity and control are not where they should be. I had a low ERA in both seasons, but gave up many unearned runs, mainly due to walks. The most hits I gave up in a single outing was 3 during the little league season. But I averaged 4 Walks per start, giving me a 1.40 WHIP. Many of these walks would come in four or five pitches.

I live in a small town in western Colorado, where coaching and instruction is minimal, and I don’t have a lot of money being 15. (definitely not enough to fly somewhere to get a 1v1 lesson or go to a pitching camp.)

I’m going to be entering high school, and hope to pitch for their JV team (or even varsity) next spring. The main things I worry about are:

Control - I tend to walk WAY to many people than I should, increasing my WHIP and allowing many unearned runs.

Velocity - Right now I touch 70, maybe 71 from flat ground. From the mound I throw roughly 65mph. This month I’ve been watching the little leaguers in the LLWS, and see them throwing 70-75 as 5’5 12 year olds. Im 6’0 and weigh 135ib. I feel I have more in me, just don’t know how to bring it out. As I said, coaching is minimal so I don’t have anybody to help me with velocity. (or control) The only thing keeping me effective with strikeouts and groundouts in the fact that the teams I face are not well coached either, especially against lefties.

Consistency - Despite my velocity and control struggles, I do have a few good outings. I threw a four inning, one hitter in relief during little league, striking out 6 and walking 1 on 72 pitches. I also had a few ‘quality’ starts. But both of these outings were quickly followed by short, high walk outings. What can I do to help increase my consistency on the hill?

Thanks so much for your help! Anything you can think of to help with my velocity, consistency, and/or control, plus anything else would be GREATLY appreciated. I used to be the ace on my team, and I’m slowly losing that roll. Living in Colorado, we play at most 4 months of the year due to the long, snowy winters. Offseason workouts during the remaining 2 sunny months would be great! Maybe even a nice curveball grip :slight_smile:

Thanks again!

So you game every weekend, how often do u bullpen?

From what I’ve seen, you’re at an age where your growth and coordination can be a bit awkward. A growth cycle can play all kinds of coordination influxes with you and the performances that you are expecting.

Coaching can help some, but it can be a frustrating ordeal at times. Most young men grow out of this awkwardness into their late teens , oh say about 16-17. You may be a bit late in doing this, but in any event, you will out grow it.

Some youngsters are early with their development, so at 14-15 they seem to be perking right along. Others like yourself, just need a bit more time.

There’s another side to youth pitching that so many neglect to consider, and that is the surface conditions that you’re pitching off of. If your “trying” to pitch of a mound of dirt with holes in front of the rubber and holes in front of the mound, you done before you even begin. There’s no way you’re going to get any control or even a break with velocity with those conditions. I’ve been to your state and the fields that I’ve seen are not good, and I’m talking colleges and the like. Very dry conditions and little field maintenance to coop with the conditions. Now I’m sure there are exceptions, but I haven’t seen many.

So, be patient with yourself and give yourself time to grow and develop more physically. It’ll come around, just be patient.

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Thank you very much. What you said could not be more than true. I pitch off of mounds with holes in front of the rubber, and uneven surfaces where my stride foot lands. I’ll work on staying focused this offseason, and trust that I will come out of this slump.

Thanks again!

Throwing faster on flat ground than on the mound tells me something is wrong. Either you lack the functional strength to harness and use the extra energy you can get from striding downhill or you have a significant mechanical issue that shows itself on the mound.

Post some video of yourself (in the Mechanics forum) so we can give you a critique.

Roger has a considerable amount of expertise that will benefit you tremendously. I would do as he suggests and post video, if you can, and let him critique.