Help with Pitching Mechanics for Cole

Does anyone have some specific critiques of his pitching? We are at the stage of trying to develop good mechanics and a sound base for injury free pitching over time. Specifically, we are working on a controlled, balanced rocker step, striding out a little more, and glove side control. He has a tendency to let his glove pull him off the mound and lose balance to the left. Also, he hasn’t figured out the “whipping” action of the arm a strong follow through to develop more velocity. Finally, I realize that he is coming off the mound standing up and this is something we will try to correct over time as well. On the other hand, he has great control and most importantly is having fun. Any comments would be great!

[quote=“chadburk”]
Does anyone have some specific critiques of his pitching? We are at the stage of trying to develop good mechanics and a sound base for injury free pitching over time. Specifically, we are working on a controlled, balanced rocker step, striding out a little more, and glove side control. He has a tendency to let his glove pull him off the mound and lose balance to the left. Also, he hasn’t figured out the “whipping” action of the arm a strong follow through to develop more velocity. Finally, I realize that he is coming off the mound standing up and this is something we will try to correct over time as well. On the other hand, he has great control and most importantly is having fun. Any comments would be great![/quote]

Wow. I think the best thing about the clips is that he seems to really enjoy throwing to his dad. Bravo!

I wouldn’t even worry about too much at 9 years old. Some would say he’s too young to be pitching, but if he enjoys it, go for it in my opinion.

That said, I would use the towel drill (yes, again with the towel drill, guys) to develop a feeling for completing the throw in line to the plate. One of the advantages to the towel drill is that he may feel a sense of accomplishment and aggressiveness in trying to “pop” the towel in the hand/glove. It is one of the best drills I know of because it gives immediate tactile and auditory feedback (my son loves the sound of the ball -or in the case of the drill, the towel - smacking the mitt!), and Dad can be involved without being overbearing. Don’t worry about control at this point. Get him to throw with controlled aggression now, and in the next couple of years you can work on fine-tuning the mechanics to facilitate control.

Hose

I have three suggestions for you…

(1) Have him start with a slight bend in the knees and waist. He has a bit of 1st-to-3rd head movement when he lifts his knee. Starting him in a more athletic stance will help him better stabilize his posture while lifting his knee until such time that he has more strength in the core area.

(2) Have him work on keeping his head upright. He tilts it to the glove side and that can cause an inappropriate posture change leading to other problems like opening up early.

(3) Instead of having his extend his glove arm straight toward home plate and point his glove at home plate, have him adjust his glove arm so that it mirrors his throwing arm. That means the elbow and wrist angles are equal though one arm can be up and the other down, one up and the other horizontal, etc. Also, once he extends the glove out front, have him leave it there and bring the chest to the glove. As the shoulders rotate, the glove-side elbow will drop and the glove will turn over. But you want the glove to stay out front somewhere over the front foot. Letting the glove drop or fly out early can lead to opening up early. Opening up early is both a performance issue and a health issue.

I think when kids are this age one of the things that can really help them and make a difference now is to limit how much movement they have on the rock step…keep everything quite. Get him to make small movements to get to the post.