Help for my little Guy!


#1

All,

I have a 10 year old son who started pitching last year in the minor little league division. He loves to pitch, but he is really short, most the kids his age have about 6 to 12 inches on him, so he does not throw nearly as hard as most of the kids in his league. I started working him on techniques that you all have offered here at the forum and through the site. He really increased his velocity quite nicley. However, he started getting elbow pain. I told his coach he was to pitch no more then 50 pitches a game, and I would ice him right after. All the parents thought I had lost my marbles. However, I really don’t want him to ruin his arm. I am asking for some advice to help him grow as a great pitcher, we have about 4 months before the skills comp and I would really love for him to go in there and blow there minds. Any advice you have would very much be appreciated.

Thanks

Sell


#2

Does he throw a palm-ball? Getting him started on the importance of fooling hitters rather than overpowering them.

Be very concerned about his health, is he overthrowing? Is he able to differentiate between being sore and being injured?

The 3 things I’d do if I were you…

1)Make sure he is having fun
2)Teach him the palm-ball and how important it is for a pitcher
3)Monitor his health


#3

I am not certain what a palm ball is. When it comes to monitoring his health and having fun, I am all over that one. Please fill me in on the palm ball though.

Thanks


#4

A palm-ball or choke change is youngsters version of a changeup, I assume your son has smaller hands, so instead of starting him off with a circle-change, teach him the palm-ball which acts as change without the sharp downward movement of a circle change.

I’m not sure it is listed on this site as far as how to throw it, but I’m sure there are diagrams that illustrate it.

You basically keep the same motion as the FB which gives it the deception. You change 4 things compare to a 4 seam FB: 1)It’s pushed back further in the hand, closer to the palm. 2)The pressure points are not in the fingertips, they are on the first joints of the finger and thumb, this gives it movement. 3)This correlates with 2, when throwing the fingertips are completely off the ball. 4)Unlike the FB, where you keep the wrist loose, you must keep the wrist straight which drops the speed of the pitch and creates top spin to give it movemnt.


#5

Thanks for the information, I am sure he will be very happy to hear it, it hard to get it through there head that 2-4 seam fastballs are all they get to throw.

Sell


#6

I think my concern comes from your stated desire to “blow their minds”. That sounds more like you’re having him pitch for YOUR benefit than his. If he’s that small, that will not happen. What you should do is to have him work on a consistent motion that allows him to put the ball where he wants it each time. At his age level, it will not be speed that succeeds, but the ability to keep the ball low and outside, where a lot of hitters have trouble hitting it. And, the palm ball or just a slower pitch would help throw the better hitters off balance.

And, it just may be that, at this point, he doesn’t have the physical gifts to pitch effectively. Pushing him to do so will just place him in a high-profile situation where he is likely to fail. There’s a lot more to enjoy about baseball without pushing him into a position that will just stress him. He’s got lots of time left to develop into a pitcher.

As for his elbow problem, he should not be pitching at all through pain at this age. Has he seen an orthopedist? Also, he’s likely either throwing too much or using an improper motion.


#7

I used to get elbow pain, expecially early in highschool due from growth spurts and mostly likely incorrect arm position. Make sure he is throwing correctly and not letting his elbow drop, that tore my elbow up for half a season.


#8

If your son has elbow pain then there is something wrong with his mechanics. A 10 yr old should not be icing his elbow after 50 pitches? He is definitely doing something wrong. This website may be the best thing you have done and having these guys help you along the way will benefit you and your son. Take videos of your son and check on the checkpoints. Is he dipping his elbow below the shoulder? Is he throwing the ball like a pie?

Hopefully he will throw pain free after you and him get on a good program and get his mechanics straight. 8)


#9

This is the problem with trying to get kids younger than 16 to throw harder.

The harder they throw, the more stress they place on their body and the more likely they are to experience problems (regardless of their mechanics).

That is why velocity is the LAST thing I emphasize with my son and my other pitchers. Instead, I have them focus on control and changing speeds.


#10

Unfortunately, these are contradictory statements, unless you mean that you want your son’s control to blow people’s minds. If you focus on velocity as your primary benchmark, then you will significantly increase the likelihood that he will experience problems.

If I were you, I would rethink your approach and focus on location, control, and changing speeds rather than on velocity.


#11

Not necessarily.

He is probably just throwing harder than his body can handle.


#12

Sell wrote:
I have a 10 year old son who started pitching last year in the minor little league division. He loves to pitch, but he is really short, most the kids his age have about 6 to 12 inches on him, so he does not throw nearly as hard as most of the kids in his league. I started working him on techniques that you all have offered here at the forum and through the site. He really increased his velocity quite nicley. However, he started getting elbow pain.

Umm… I’m 13 and I have a pretty good knuckleball. Try and have him work on that. I also know a site that can help. http://www.thecompletepitcher.com