How can this 8 year old improve?

E-D you posted the YouTube intro page…no 8 yr old in the currently being viewed section…though we can see Mr. Sham-wow do a rap to some chop contraption and Jessica Alba (Whom-ever that is…wow Steven must not like her…the site here actually blocked me writing the name of Je Ssica Al ba :wink: ) got pulled over by the cops…and They have a video showing the origin of swine flu…
Gotta just love YouTube :lol:

The video is private.

But I can answer the question anyway. Practice by throwing 40-50 pitches 3-4 times per week, focus on the target, use the same motion on every pitch, throw the crud out of the ball, and have fun.

[quote=“jdfromfla”]E-D you posted the YouTube intro page…no 8 yr old in the currently being viewed section…though we can see Mr. Sham-wow do a rap to some chop contraption and ***** (Whom-ever that is…wow Steven must not like her…the site here actually blocked me writing the name of Je Ssica Al ba :wink: ) got pulled over by the cops…and They have a video showing the origin of swine flu…
Gotta just love YouTube :lol:[/quote]

haha, yeah, jd: I don’t like jessica a lba. No, actually, her name is used a lot in spam. So I had to block her name a while back before I upgraded LTP’s anti-spam features. :slight_smile:

Boy was I glad you cleared that one up Steven…I was worried you may have had a negative encounter with her posse or something 8) …

He looks to be fundementally sound 8)
AND like he’s having fun…keep tween them lines and he’ll be tough later to beat…
As an 8yr old not much else. More fun means he wants to do it more. :wink:

I agree with JD - nothing really wrong to correct but I’d keep an eye on the glove arm and not let him develop the habit of pulling the glove back. Otherwise, keep it fun and not too serious.

My son is a little older than yours and had developed a very similar arm path. The hand and elbow are extended well above the shoulder and then brought back down before what might be called the high cock position to avoid hyperabduction. I went ahead and modified his path to look more like the Clemen’s arm path seen in the video at the top of the discussion page. The hand goes down and back like your son currently does however the elbow moves into a slight scapular load position and then the hand rotates up into the high cock position. The immediate benefits for my son seem to be improved timing. He now seems to have a much easier time hitting spots.

The young guys have a good bit of laxity in the shoulder joint and I never feared any joint impingement due to his technique. I just wanted to make the change now to limit ingrained muscle memory.

I’m not suggesting you need to change your son’s delivery unless he were to start having discomfort. He looks like a very good ballplayer.

Good luck,


:slight_smile: Thanks for the advice. I will work with my son on getting his elbow below his shoulder and the scapula load. He’s a fast learner. The other thing I notice is that his front foot is “over rotated”; i.e. not pointing directly at home plate. How would that affect location of the ball and anything else?

He loves baseball. Right now he the best hitter, fielder, pitcher on his team. Although he tends to throw high to first base, getting better (mechanics?). Any know of a forum for hitting analysis?

Here’s his latest effort. 4 strikeouts in 1 1/3 innings. More velocity. He figured out on his own how to keep his back foot on the ground longer and fast arm speed. I did not tell him to throw harder.

Wow! Nice improvement in the shoulder rotation department. Lookin’ good. Now, I’m hesitant to try getting this kid doing all sorts of small mechanical things because he’s so young, doing so well and you want him to just enjoy himself. I will suggest though that you just get him to stay sideways longer during his stride. His thought process could be quite simple, which is a goal at this age. Sideways, longer, then fire away. That’s all. Don’t get too complex with details. Everything else is looking really good.

What cute kid :smiley:
I like it all and reiterate to keep having fun…maybe spread the feet to shoulder width…but even that isn’t totally necessary…if his timing gets a little whacked give it a try, then have him bring the knee back to the knee.

jdfromfla and dm59,

Thanks for the feedback and suggestions. He has another game tomorrow. So we’ll see if he can maintain consistency hitting the strike zone. He loves being on the mound and the influnce he can have on the game. He will be a leader somewhere. Don’t mean to pump my son up too much. But I see what I see.

Just wait til you get to this point :lol:

Keep in mind all the k’s are mearly a manifestation of the level of his competition, try hard not to focus too hard on the amounts. It will be difficult…watchin a kid mow em down is a heady thing…leads to all sorts of thoughts and dreams. The point at hand is happy and healthy…you do that and he’ll be really blowin your mind when he gets to where mine was in that link above.

Yep, still lookin’ good. But I’ll re-emphasize my previous point about the glove. Your son does appear to be pulling the glove to the hip. This is something most of the best pitchers in the game don’t do. Rather, once they extend the glove out front, it stays out front and they bring their torso towards the glove. Pulling the glove can lead to timing issues - specifically opening up the shoulders early. That can cost performance and health.

Now, your son is still very young so I wouldn’t get too caught up in these details. But I know how hard it can be changing habits. The older the kid, the harder it is. So I’d nip this one in the bud.

Unfortunately I taught him to pull in the glove. Now I keep talking to him about NOT pulling in the glove when I am catching for him or we are just throwing to each other. It does take a conscious effort not to pull it in even for me. Are there any drills to help this?

Another issue cropped up this last Saturday. He pitched about 1 1/3 inning throwing about 35 pitches. When he walked off the field he was holding his throwing shoulder and complained it was aching in the rear. The next dayhe threw some more at home and did not complain about his shoulder. I don’t know if it is his mechanics or the fact that he throws a baseball everyday for avg 40 minutes per day…becasue he wants to…He loves pitching. Over the next few weeks he will be pitching about twice a week with tournanment and all-stars. So i am concerned he may be burning out his arm. Should he scale back on throwing so much especially the day(s) before and after games? Advise?

I would use the NPA’s knee drill and rocker drill.

For the knee drill, have your son get on his knees with his hips at about a 45 degree angle to his target (you?). Start with the hands together, separate the hands and rotate the shoulders back. At maximum hand separation, the arms should be in an opposite and equal position meaning the angles at the elbows should be about the same. From that position, rotate the shoulders forward and throw. As the shoulders rotate forward, the glove-side elbow should drop down in front of the torso and the glove should turn over. The glove should remain out in front - since you’re on your knees, you can’t take the chest towards the glove so in this drill you should finish with a fair amount of space between the chest and glove.

For the rocker drill, you do pretty much the same thing as in the knee drill except you’re on your feet. Spread your feet apart as if you’ve taken your stride and are at foot plant. Bend the knees, rock (or slide) back and forth a couple times and do what you did in the knee drill. Keep the back foot on the ground.

Once you’ve done these drills, take it to the mound and try to reproduce the upper body mechanics while pitching for real.

These drills allow you to focus on upper body mechanics by taking the lower half out of the equation. The rocker drill offers a transition from the knee drill to full-out pitching. The knee drill in particular force you to exagerate the glove side but that’s ok for a drill. I often have pitchers exagerate what they do in drills so that they end up doing things just the right amount on the mound.

You could also use the towel drill to practice glove side mechanics as that takes away any need to focus on what the throwing arm side is doing or where the ball is going.

Soreness on the backside of the shoulder that goes away the next day is most likely a strength issue in the decelerators. Doing lots of throwing is actually good. Doing lots of pitching is not. THere could be a mechanical issue causing him to overwork the decelerators. Check out his follow-through. If he is stopping it abruptly, that could be the issue.

Great feedback. I do have to remind him to follow though completely. We will work the drills to improve his upper body mechanics

Sometimes I see his throwing hand end up at his chest or otherwwise not completing the follow-through. I know this is some speculation but could it be that he is subconsciously trying to “protect” his shoulder from overextension thus pulling the string on his motion? I suppose this could actually have the opposite effect and result in more stress on the shoulder.

Another thing that I notice occassionally is that it looks like his hand actually hesitates at the power position (Terminology?). Could this also be a subconscious action to reduce the force on his shoulder. I am begnning to think that this and the incomplete followthrough may be his way of avoiding pain. Hope i am not overanalyzing.

If a pitcher is having shoulder issues, he will often “shorten the lever” by keeping the elbow closer to the body. Keeping the weight of the arm closer to the center of the body reduces the stress on the shoulder.

Well, he pitched 2 ininings yesterday, 6 strike-outs…4 looking and 2 swinging. I only mention the stikeouts to point out that he has good control 4-seam fastball. Only one batter went up the ladder with him. All the others were swinging at strikes or watching them go by, mostly at the knees inside and out.

Now the important part. No shoulder pain. Much better extention of the hand after release and follow-through including bending more at the waste. Two things I think helped him:

  1. He did a little less thowing/pitching this week. No throwing on the day before the game nor on game day until he got to the field.

  2. I stressed with him the importance of follow-through for his arm health, and he now knows what his decelerators do.