Kershaw style motion for 10u... Thoughts?


We have a new pitching instructor at the academy, he is teaching the kids a different way then they are used to. It really is similar to Kershaw’s motion, with the leg lift, then down pause and then stride. That is all well and good, seems to be generating better power out of all the boys. My question and concern is with the hand placement being lower toward the waste instead of at the chest like we have done previously, it seems to create a little bit of that inverted W when breaking apart and getting that arm into throwing position. What are your thoughts on this? Especially for long term arm health, should we talk to instructor about maybe moving the hands back to the chest level so it doesn’t create that motion? Here is 1 video at full speed so you can see it in regular time then 3 slow-mo videos.


I fail to see any inverted W in any video shown… To be inverted W the elbow would come above the shoulder such that you would notice.
Many pitchers use the lower hand position at start and bring them up and then down with the leg (ie David Price). The theory is that it get’s the upper half in rhythm with the lower half for timing vs having to time the hands to the lower half from them being still (personal preference I never felt good there, but that’s me).
I think their arm action is accurate and thankfully not the down and around and up into 90 to early that is a usually taught.

I am not a balance point guy and to me any stop in motion is a kill for forward momentum, but…it is keeping them properly closed till foot strike and they all certainly seem to have pretty dynamic hip rotation slightly ahead of shoulders (some better than others)…plus I think their tempo and timing is pretty darn good for 10 year old.


A pause in the delivery is a momentum kill for me as well. But rather than slow down one part of the body to let other parts be on time, I prefer to speed up those other parts as that puts more energy into the system. So, while the pause may help keep the shoulders closed longer, moving forward sooner and faster will cause shoulder rotation to be right on time while maintaining momentum. Furthermore, going slower - whether by moving slower or by employing a pause - takes more strength in the body to manage than does moving faster.


Kershaw style and motion for {10 and under} Absolutely {NOT} for that matter {NOT FOR ANY PITCHER,} If you all would stay on this site and go to, {Glove to chest} vs {chest to glove} your pitching questions would be pretty well answered, other than that I would say that pitching starts at the ground level not above the waist with the hands etc. the pitchers body movement is a sideways body position/movement from the rubber to stride foot touch/plant down with no hesitation or stopping in between, although Kershaw is very successful he executes a very funky delivery by collapsing down as his first move then hesitates, then delivers the ball to his catcher, by doing so he is putting a great amount of undue pressure and tension on his arm.
At the lift leg peak, close the knee off at app belly button height and then, {first,} in a sideways body position {move the hips forward} {not the stride foot and leg first,} let the hips first, lead the body’s way, then the stride foot and leg follow the hips. to app {12to14} inches forward {while leaving the stride foot and leg in place,} {Stride foot and leg} {should follow} {hip movement, pitching is about executing body movement as early as possible to initially gain momentum
That stride foot and leg would have much more overall positive effect if it were brought forward instead of stretched out to the side first.
If and when you get into the glove vs chest comments you will find all of your necessary info there.
{Don Ervin}


Kershaw has a unique delivery that he developed over his life. If it were as simple as imitating him, all pitchers would throw like him. Or, all pitchers would imitate Chapman and throw 105 mph. A 10 year old should focus on the time-tested fundamentals of pitching and develop his own unique style.


From personal experience with my son I can tell you, “you either need to buy in %100 to this technique or ditch it”! ,and find a new instructor. My son pitches with a lot of similar mechanics as Max Sherzer, arm slot being the biggest similarity. He was never taught this, it was something he developed on his own. He didn’t mimic as my son was throwing this way before anyone knew who Sherzer was. The problem you will run into if in a few years you decide for what ever reason to change instructors. If the new instructor doesn’t buy into what you’ve been working on it will be starting mechanics from scratch. As in the case of my son with that low 3/4 arm slot, we had to find an instructor that not only bought int the lower arm slot but also understood the technique of it.


Pitching coaches that coach technique(s) come in various instructional levels and exposures. Based on a point or points in time that they themselves were coached and applied said same. So, what a coach will point out, has to do with how he/she found their instruction to be - successful or not.

Now here’s the thing about coaching youngsters in the formation and maturing years of their life - they’ll grow, develop, and mature at different rates and at different times in their life they’ll through all kinds of hormone and other adjustments. So, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to find your son doing something completely different, every two or three years, as the years pile on,

This “momentum” that’s quoted by many on this web site is true and factual, to a large extent. However, try to apply that, along with other suggestions, in the real world that amateurs have to deal with can be a hard sell sometimes. Uneven and deteriorated pitcher mounds can be a nightmare for a youngster trying to emulate coaching, then pile on just for good measure, disappointments from those who are paying for private coaching, and a host of other assorted agendas.

I’m not knocking good advice, nor am I finding fault with … do this… do that. I do have a problem(s) with coaching via this media, trying to tell you …how to…when to… and other pointers for you and your boy to follow, without understanding the ramifications of taking advice from this web site and literally smacking the paid coach/instructor with it, as if YOU KINOW WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT. If you intend on bringing this issue up, just be ready to acquire the label that you’re about to wear and the impact on your son’s playing experience with other coaches during his summer league.

Look, he’s my purpose for posting the above - . your son’s physical ability, his attention span, his paying environment and the conditions that he deals with field integrity/the lack there of, all require hands on - being their. We’re not. Add to this is your agenda(s), you attitudes and expectations, what you expect from opening your checkbook, your observations of others who do things differently and so on. Have you asked this coach why he does what he does? Where did he learn this technique(s), etc.? I admire your concern and wishing the best for your boy. Just be very careful how you go about “managing” your boy. Parents can get the title “control freaks” real quick without realizing it and that label can go well beyond the intended mindset off the playing field.


I wouldn’t recommend it but if it works for him, then do what you think is best. My only advice is with such a pitching motion with stops, just be careful because I personally know umpires that would call a balk.


Ten year olds as well s many other aspiring youngsters of any age need to learn how to simply play a good ole game of throwing and catching, pitching is just an advanced version of plain ole around the horn throwing and catching with of course the necessary added special ingredients pertaining to the certain body movements etc pitchers need to learn to execute.
As far as Kershaw and his terrible ankle,knee and hip collapse along with that body momentum slowing hesitation is concerned which he entered into his body movement repertoire just two seasons ago which has not gained him one bit of body momentum which leaves the majority of his pitching to his arm, his body assistance is at about {50} percent when it should be at no less than {75percent} assistance.
Although Kershaw is having great success he is also making every throwing and body moving mistake in the books as well as many other MLB pitchers are doing and so far some of them are also getting away with doing so, some are not.
I would never recommend that any pitcher of any age copy any part of Kershaw’s delivery, I do recommend that pitchers need to find themselves someone, a pitching coach who has the knowledge to instruct them on how to use their body starting from the rubber {THE FIRST MOVE,} #1. {THE HIPS,} in a sideways body movement to stride foot touch, plant down with {A STRIDE LENGTH OF APP, MATCHING ONE’S BODY HEIGHT to stride foot {TOUCH, PLANT DOWN ,} also to, how and when to execute the three body pivots, #1.THE HIPS, #2.THE COLLAR, #3.THE SHOULDER, which carries the momentum acquired from the rubber to stride foot touch, plant down on up through the kinetic chain, into the arm and out THROUGH the finger tips.
The kinetic chain is a series of sequenced, timed, chain reactive body movements which, when executed properly allows the body’s moving momentum from the rubber to advance/not slow down until ball release and certainly could and has added velocity.
Now is the time to learn proper body movements concerning each individuals game play and individual player skills, Lets do it.
Well if any one out there wants to dig deeper into pitching or any other aspects of the game please contact me at 1-417-882-4734
Great BaseBall-N
[Don Ervin}