My son is eight years old and playing on a 9u rec team. He has good velocity and control.
I’ve never pitched and don’t know anything about it except what I’ve read and seen with him. I believe that the first objective for a youth pitcher is to throw fastballs for strikes. I think my son has accomplished this: he’s pitched nine innings this year and given up only one walk. Even when he throws a ball, it’s usually close to the strike zone – very few wild pitches.
The next objective, I believe, should be to gain command of the fastball – to learn to hit spots with it instead of just throwing it over the center of the plate. I’ve been working with my son on this, but I feel like I don’t know enough to really teach him.
One thing you hear pros talk about a lot is “keep the ball down”. I think most kid batters have a harder time with a low pitch than a high one, so I advice him to keep it down. But I think there’s a limit to that – at some point you want to give a high hard fastball, right? You want to keep the batter off balance, right?
Is it true that low and away is the best place to throw a strike, generally? What pitches compliment the low and away fastball? When should you pitch inside?
What do you think are the most fundamental truths about pitch location and strategy? What are the first lessons to be taught along these lines?