Hi, wanted some input and tips for my 14 year old son. He has never had a pitching lessons, just taught by his Dad. Always had a lot of success on the mound, but I would like to make sure his mechanics look ok as we begin to advance. He really reaches back pretty far and I don’t see a lot of other kids with the same motion. Thank you!
There are two things you can do-
Have him stand a few inches from a wall or door as if he is in the stretch position; the side of his body will be closest to the wall/door, not his back, and the foot will be parallel to the wall/door. Then, have him go through his motion slowly without hitting the wall/door behind him. As seen by MLB pitchers, he will get his body moving forward early toward home plate. He may repeatedly hit the wall or door, but don’t let him get discouraged; eventually, he will get it. This one drill will correct many things that are wrong with young pitchers.
Have him stand with his back against a wall in a stretch position; go through his motion repeatedly until he does not hit the wall.
These two drills should help,
Please post a new video in a week or so showing his progress.
Former pitcher and current pitching coach
Thank you! We will try this and let you know how it goes.
any updates on how he is doing?
He just started working with a physical therapist that works with a lot of pitchers. They have made one tweak to his motion this far. When he breaks and goes down with the ball, not rotating the thumb down, so it doesn’t put as much strain on his shoulder. They have a plan to strengthen his shoulder and also his lower half. Seems to be a good start, but will take some time. He threw 68 pitches last weekend with no pain and not much soreness afterwards. Hopefully we are doing the right thing to ensure he stays injury free. Thanks for asking!!
“input and tips for my 14 year old son.”
Your son is Chronologically 14. What is his biological age? Is he an advanced, Equated or delayed maturer?
This is the important question when dealing with ballistic joint articulations like Pitching!
There is up to a 5 year spread in bone development from a 2.5 year delayed maturer and a 2.5 year advanced maturer. All this has nothing to do with their stature. Elbow growth centers solidify in Equated’s at Biologicallyy aged 16 byo/chr. YO
“He has never had a pitching lessons, just taught by his Dad.”
Like most he has developed an intuitive body path that at ballistic attempts is pathomechanical!
“Always had a lot of success on the mound, but I would like to make sure his mechanics look OK as we begin to advance.”
I’m going to explain how “over early counter body and shoulder rotation” is a
“centripetal imperative” creating the conditions for driving the ball off to the side outwards where forearm supination works intuitively.
Unfortunately this has the Elbow crash together ballistically in hyper extension causing a chain of injuries that accumulate with time. The bone injuries are not recoverable from when you loose growth time by premature closure alone.
Mitigation; have him maintain the acromial line (line that runs shoulder tip to tip) and arms above the field driveline (imaginary line between 2nd and home running thru the center of the mound) thru the whole process of dropping in. Have his glove side foot land in it’s walking lane on the glove side of the field driveline. Have him stride short and stay tall thru the whole delivery and recovery where his shoulders will line back up with the field driveline after 180 degrees of useful powerful rotation.
“He really reaches back pretty far and I don’t see a lot of other kids with the same motion.”
This is good if he takes it back to driveline height (the height the ball is driven at above the field driveline) generally top of head high. Here is where what he does taking it back also sets up an intuitive reaction when then driving it forwards. He should take it back by arriving to length inline with the field driveline and with his palm under the ball full supinated so he can the powerfully and from length Forearm pronate all his pitch types so his Elbow pops up during drive letting the Elbow swivel bypass the hyper extension.
He should time his arrival to length with his glove side foot strike foundational signal like we walk trot and run.
Any question simply ask.
Looks pretty good. Don’t over tweak him. Let him learn from trial & error & he’ll be fine.