Help with control - 9yr old


#1

My son is a 9 year old lefty and began pitching last fall. We had a few lessons with a reputable pitching coach in the area which helped a lot. He throws very hard for his age, so I’m told, getting into the low 50’s. His main problem is control. He is very wild. Compounded by the fact that most of the kids don’t swing and have a lot of trouble hitting him when they do, it makes for some very long innings and a lot of walks.

He is all over the place but lately I’ve noticed he mostly misses to the outside when facing righties. From what I can tell his form looks good and matches what the pitching coach told us except for his actual delivery. He doesn’t throw sidearm but he does come over the top and then throws across his body and the ball always has a 45 degree spin to it. I’m wondering if the control issues are with his release point and maybe he’s not following through all the way.

I know it’s hard to tell without video, but does anyone have any ideas on what could be causing the wildness in general? And, specifically, what drills are good for teaching proper deliver, release, and follow through?

Thanks,
Jason


#2

Without video it is hard to diagnose but there is one thing that I could suggest, I can imagine by what you wrote that his arm comes over the top and ends up under his left armpit (if he is a righty). You could try and get him to get his right wrist to end just above his left knee (with his thumb down) after release. This would help no only get a good 1 - 7 (from pitchr) arm swing, but also helps getting a flat/flatter back which could also be the issue.

Getting some video would even be better though.


#3

Yeah, I think that’s what he needs to do, and I tell him but is there anyway to correct what he’s doing with drills or any tricks or anything? I don’t know if it’s just his age or him or both, but he has trouble just listening and watching me and correcting his motion.


#4

My son had typical issues and his problem was he was “getting around” the ball and not staying on top. You mentioned a 45 degree spin on the ball. That is typical of a pitcher who is rotating his hand on the ball during delivery. I would either put some electical tape around the ball or color 1/2 the ball. Then when he is staying on top/behind the ball he will see the ball rotating as the tape or coloring won’t be wobbling.

The other thing I would look at is to ensure his arm slot doesn’t get too far away from his body, either behind his head or out away from his body. Pitching along a fence can help him reach straight back and come straight forward. Occasionaly kids want to throw hard so they reach way back behind their head but that makes it difficult for them to come straight towards the plate so they have to compensate.


#5

Just to improve on dave78063’s quote, use a sharpie and color 1/2 of 1 baseball then you really see the roll of the ball if your son hold the spilt of the color right between his index and middle fingers.

You want to know how to get a 9 year old to listen to you better? Aren’t asking for much are you, my youngest is 14 and still has a 3 minute attention span before the birds are more interesting than me. Honestly when I got my kids to a professional that they built a relationship with then they listened more, maybe they believed him more, but something was definately different and now all I do is catch bullpens and remind him what his coach was working on.

By the way here is the link to my youngest sons pitching log, look at 9 and then at 14, of course at 9 is when he started going to a pitching instructor…I think it will help you stay motivated about your 9 year old.

Good Luck to him!!!

http://www.letstalkpitching.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=13879&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0


#6

My son is a 9 year old lefty too. Welcome to the club!

From my experience, and granted there is no video of your son so this is pure speculation, but the fact that he is missing outside to right-handed batters suggests to me he may be opening up: glove not firm out front but rather swinging to the right, and his stride leg is landing open, that is, to the right instead of straight at the catcher. These are common problems in youth pitchers and they will cause outside/high balls.

You may also consider changing the side of the rubber he pitches from. When my lefty son was 8 he was wild (par for 8 year olds :lol:) from the left side of the rubber, mostly missing inside on righties. Something told me the “angle” to the batter was taxing him and so I put him on the glove (right) side of the rubber, which makes for a more direct, straight pitch at the catcher. Bingo, his control improved remarkably. Now, he’s 9 and bigger and stronger and recently tried the left side of the rubber again, and prefers it, in fact he just threw his best game from that side.

If nothing else, changing the side of the rubber may be the psychological boost your son needs.


#7

[quote=“south paw”]My son is a 9 year old lefty too. Welcome to the club!

From my experience, and granted there is no video of your son so this is pure speculation, but the fact that he is missing outside to right-handed batters suggests to me he may be opening up: glove not firm out front but rather swinging to the right, and his stride leg is landing open, that is, to the right instead of straight at the catcher. These are common problems in youth pitchers and they will cause outside/high balls.[/quote]
:allgood:
Flying open, dropping or pulling the glove can lead to early shoulder rotation which often results on missing to the throwing arm side.

The shoulders want to square up to the target. When you start on the throwing arm side of the rubber and especially if you sride to the throwing arm side, there’s a good chance that you’ll have to shift your posture (i.e. lean to the glove side) to help square up the shoulders. This late posture change leads to control issues (and a non-repeatable delivery).


#8

Check his step. Stepping out, toward third for a lefty, is the easiest correction.