Lefty 14 year old at pitching camp

chazman wrote:

I have been noticing the same thing since last summer so it’s funny that you bring that up. Something looks like he’s not getting out everything he has in the “tank” and it has to do with his feet. Also, you mention a similar “tweak” that others (DM59 :slight_smile: ) have mentioned in past posts regarding his stride length and related to hip rotation. We have been apprehensive to start making adjustments in his mechanics for fear that what “fixes” one problem, may cause another and overall mechanically, I think he’s pretty sound. Recently, I have bitten the bullet and have been working on these issues with him. I’ve been reminding him to lead with his front hip and have been encouraging him to focus on rotating his hips before his shoulders as he’s planted his glove side foot. On the video, it looks like both his hips and shoulders are rotating at the same time and that his back foot never really “turns over”. We haven’t been working on “stride length” in and of itself, but it seems to have improved some since working on the other things. I have often wondered why he never trashed the toe of his cleats like a lot of other pitchers do. Probably because his back foot was never really in contact with the ground once his glove side foot landed. He is definately improving and the toe of his shoe is sure getting worn out! I’ll post more video of him soon. Thanks everyone for the input.

Hi Viking7,

The one thing I would work on first is his stride length. The length of a pitchers stride is important since the length of stretched muscles provides energy. For your son at 14 I would make sure he is at least 90%. Put a piece of tape of the floor and measure 90% (measured from the mound to the lead foot toe). I wouldn’t even tell him what you are doing, that way you are not pre-conditioning him and you get a true reading. Or before a bullpen mark a 90% line and then watch. If he is easily hitting 90% then work towards 95%. To me, when your son arrives at foot plant his lead leg is still pretty straight, indicating a short stride. Google Sandy Koufax or any of the greats for that matter and notice at foot plant how stretched out they are.

You can work towards this goal without really effecting any of his mechanics as you expressed. I would be careful however with trying to get him to think about rotating his hips first then his shoulders. In the kinetic chain this will almost occur naturally if he is landing correctly. Thinking about this may actually cause him to try and open up too fast and thus be very counter productive, and it appears to me he already opens a little early (at or just prior to foot plant his belly button is already slightly turned towards home whereas to maximize the rotational forces at foot plant your belt buckle should still be pretty much parallel to your target line).

Honestly, in looking at the clips closely my recommendation would be to focus on two things for now: (1) Stide length and (2) as you noted, driving the hip towards home plate until foot plant so he arrives in a good position. I would rather he think about driving his back hip explosively towards home. If you tell him to drive his lead hip sometimes this will lead to rushing, or getting the head too far out front which you DO NOT want to happen.

Sorry to be so long-winded. I understand you not wanting to mess around with his mechanics but what I have found is it is easier to catch and correct these things while they are younger and while you have more control over his workouts. I think overall your son has pretty good mechanics but if you want to go to the next level and maximize the use of his body, these changes are a must. Good luck.

There are a number of possible causes of that.

Excellent. What you have discovered is that the stride length is a result of other things.

I dont agree that he is falling out either. and i also disagree when ppl say his arm slot is high. it is not. His mechanics are very good for a 14 yr old and he does seem to have good potential.

Might wanna work on his stride length though. Pretty short for his height