Incoming HS Freshman

OK, so I’m not too smooth at this just yet. This is my son pitching. He is a HS freshman getting ready to start the season.

The video was shot with intentions of clipping out one or two throws from each angle, and to only upload those. Unfortunately I must be pretty close to retarded, as I can’t do it, so the video is over 5 minutes long. Additionally, I used a shareware version of a video conversion program. Now it has a large “Trial Version” bar splashed across the middle of the screen. I think you can still see the key components, though.

At any, rate, he’d really enjoy some heavy handed critiques that don’t come from Dad.

He’s not very explosive towards the plate, you can tell this from a couple of things, - just by watching, a he isn’t out in front of his plant leg, his stride is about 3 feet, and on his follow through kick he can hold the pose in the air(0.32)ish

now that i watch it again, around (1.03)ish he looks a little more explosive and is out in front of his plant leg. I still think the strides short and that he isnt using his hips enough if he can hold his follow through pose

That is what I saw last night when we were watching it. I measured out 6’ for him and asked him to reach toward that spot on his stride. His explosiveness was greatly improved. He is going to really concentrate on that for the next few days.

he is also working on getting his arm back higher.

not very good, his motion is too slow, his stride is only about 3’ as said, and he can hold his follow through which was also said, also he isnt following through, he’s not getting the flat back, I dont like his mechanics but that doesnt mean they wont work, how tall is he? he looks about 6’2" or so.

i don kno these people are being very critical… hes a hs freshman, and this is not even off of a mound. i’d say he looks good enough to AT LEAST make a team at any school i know granted he could be more explosive, but dont try and bombard him with things he needs to change immideately he looks like hes going in the right direction, only thing that bothered me was that his throwing arm is lower than i would like… but however he is comfortable is best for now hes still young

Here you go:

Not trying to be mean at all. He looks great for an 8th grader going into HS

i see the stride could lengthen. the other thing i see is when he brings his arm up to what most refer to as the high cocked position, i do not see a nice flex in the elbow. his elbow remains extended and when he moves toward the plate his arm has a tough time catching up. i like how close his throwing hand is to his body on the break from the glove and taking the ball down. have him think about bringing the hand up with the shoulder. that should allow him to keep the arm loose and get in a nice powerful position. some folks will say he is short arming but most of the high velocity guys are short in the back to long in the front. i see him a little long in the back and short in the front. simply reverse this and see what happens.

good luck. he looks like a big framed kid for a freshman.

No, no. Nothing mean at all here. He is just looking for impartial eyes to see ways to improve. He didn’t just start pitching recently, he has been pitching for 5 years now. And I don’t just mean for 5 seasons. He is outside throwing and working on his mechanics every single day for the past 5 years, only missing when he is sick or when it is raining (caught him throwing in the rain on more than one occasion :wink: ). He wants to improve and move to the next level in the worst way, so he welcomes criticism at any level!

I do believe, though that his shortened stride length links back to a lot of errors in his mechanics. It seems as though his stride is shortened to prevent himself from falling off on the glove side, as his hip turn is not as powerful, which would keep the shoulders and hips from separating.

Today was just a ‘throw day’ as he puts it, so no ‘pitching’, but tomorrow I’ll ask him how the increased stride length translates to the other issues. I’ll post another video soon (well, when I’ve figured out this dang camcorder thingy).

Thanks for the observations! You guys are great!

Oh, and he is just a shade under 6’. But he is hoping to get another inch or two through High School.

on throw days you might have him do step behinds to get some momentum and his body moving more to throw. this is from nolan ryan’s fastball dvd. it’s pretty good. moght check out dylan’s video- he has a long stride and is short in the back. he is the same age as your guy.

how many innings did he pitch last summer and did he develop any arm problems?

Thanks, I will check that out.

I would guess he threw <50 innings all summer/fall. He has never had any arm problems (knock on wood). The worst that will happen is a little soreness (not pain) when he overdoes a practice session.

Given that your son was throwing on the sidewalk which does have a slope in front of your driveway, he was throwing downhill to some extent. So you would think that he might lengthen his stride due to that. However, the curb isn’t flush with the gutter - there is a raised “lip” there - so it seems plausible that your son may have been shortening his stride to avoid planting on uneven ground. If that is the case, then any judgement of stride length, momentum, and even timing is rather meaningless. But if that’s NOT the case, then I will say that your son needs a bit faster tempo to build more momentum. This will, in turn, lengthen the stride. But I think the focus should be on increasing momentum - not on lengthening the stride itself as that can lead to reaching with the front foot as well as possible postural issues.

By the way, when posting video, make sure we can see the pitcher’s feet. Certain judgements are based on the position of the feet at certain points in the delivery. I would have liked to have been able to see the feet in the rear angle of your video.

Hah, first time I’ve seen that in a mechanical analysis.

Your son will improve quickly. He looks better than I did before freshman tryouts.

Hah, first time I’ve seen that in a mechanical analysis.

Your son will improve quickly. He looks better than I did before freshman tryouts.[/quote]

i agree, i did not look this good in 8th grade.

Most of my huge strides came in my sophmore year.

not exposive towrds the plate

not exposive towrds the plate


My son is an incoming HS freshman, too. Maybe we can compare notes as the season progresses. Here’s a link to a bullpen of him from last summer:

It appears that your boy loses velocity when pitching from the stretch. He might be getting better velocity from a full wind-up because it forces his forward momentum toward the plate.

I think I read somewhere that statisically, 75% of all pitches are from the stretch.