Mattias Gaines 11YO video analysis (Pitcher)

Mattias is rather new to pitching he’s just starting out for the most part. I don’t know a whole lot about pitching mechanics so I decided to post a video of his last game. He has started taking a couple lessons here and there. Mattias does throw about 75% strikes but it’s his velocity that is lacking. Against strong hitters he tends to get hit a bit. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Scott (Dad)

Very early hand break (His number one problem) is probably leading to reaching with the front leg to maintain his balance His arm is going back early and his front leg is shooting out there as a counterweight. Pitchers never want to reach with their stride. They want that leg to fall into a strong weight-supporting position and not reach out for landing. Table legs support more weight when they remain under the table, do they not? If the foot of the table leg gets outside the table top, the weight of the table will snap it off under load. He should, instead, be leaning forward off the back leg during and through his leg lift and keeping his hands together at the belt keeping his weight over his hips and front leg.

His lift is vertical over the rubber, again I look at hand break as a major contributing factor to this problem as well.

Also due to early hand break, he reaches equal and opposite with his upper half at the halfway point of his stride, so his arm has to stop for his lower half to catch up (rushing). This results in an upper body stop–nullifying momentum.

He throws a lot of strikes because his alignment is great. His weight is too far back at equal and opposite because his lower half hasn’t caught up and gotten far enough forward due to everything I mentioned earlier.

He’s also into nearly full external shoulder rotation and his front foot has not even planted! His weight is still way back and he can’t brace on his front leg because his trunk is too far back and too low at max external rotation. His landing leg is absorbing energy with a very flexed knee instead of being firm and transmitting energy up his leg to his trunk. You would not attempt to pole vault with a collapsible pole, would you?

This kid is the perfect candidate for the Hershiser drill. If he develops that feel for staying together and getting proper hip lift / thrust, and breaking his hands as late as possible, it will get his lower half mechanics timed with his upper half. He won’t have to stop his upper half at multiple points during the delivery, he will be able to brace on the front leg and get his weight to the proper forward position to get himself catapulted over his lower half through release and follow through.


Very nice looking young man and I really like his engagement with the game. He is a good candidate to go ahead and teach to cover or back up on any contact because he has that level of engagement now. He shouldn’t just be watching.

Coach Paul gave you a lot of good stuff.

This is how I would approach implementing his advice.

Only pitch from the stretch.

Both feet firmly on the ground when getting signal or acquiring target if no signals are used. He should have his posting leg knee flexed inward enough (but firm) to feel the body weight on the inside arch of his posting foot. His feet should be a little wider; closer to shoulder width.

His lifted knee should come up (for now just about waist high) and towards the center line of his body. This will close his hips up slightly. His front knee can then start to lower with the side of foot towards the plate or even slightly heel forward. His back hip should then drive his front hip directly toward the mitt. The Hershiser drill will give him a good sense of how this should feel, but you don’t want him to just pop the hip forward. It should be driven forward by the back hip and not from the back knee.

His hands should start to separate just after the lifted knee begins to lower for the stride out.

I like his arm circle up and he is fairly opposite and equal. I prefer he break his hand with the back of his throwing hand toward third.(non teach per some coaches) He currently breaks palm towards third. I would also like to see his glove thumb down as his breaks his hands and then turn over as he extends his chest to throw (or scap loads), as I think it would help his front should stay aligned longer.

Once these changes were made I would let him be for a bit and just have him concentrate on balance and intent without over throwing. By balance I mean dynamic balance where he is able to move smoothly and quickly directly towards the mitt.

I would also use these same principles for developing a little long toss routine for him so that he is throwing with effort. Trying to throw the ball long and loose.

I think this would put him in a pretty good spot to build on.

Good luck,



Great way to work on lower half mechanics!

great advice

force production begins here. do not have too much bend in the posting knee. There should be no real drop. A reason why I don’t like drop and drive instruction.

I would only add forcefully to those other two adverbs.

Coach Paul and Ted 22,

There is a lot of information here, I would like to thank you very much for the great feedback. I will work with him on all of these points one at a time so I don’t overwhelm him.

I do have two questions if you don’t mind…

Should I be worried about his lack of velocity. Is there something I can do to help improve his velocity or will it come as he matures and gets stronger?

From what you have seen do you think Mattias is on the right track to be a good pitcher. I have thought about lessons as Mattias really has the desire to pitch. Does he have to tools to be a great pitcher if he continues to work at it ?

Thanks again for your help. really appreciate it .


The comments above will help your son engage his whole body which will, in turn, help increase his velocity. Right now your son swings his front leg out front without really getting the rest of his body moving.

As Roger says, Mattias is not using his lower body to accelerate his arm. It is not really possible to throw very hard with his current technique. His velocity will increase rapidly if his body can connect to his arm in a synchronized manner. I would look at video clips of professional pitchers to see the movements and get a feel for the tempo and timing. Mariano, Clemens, and Grienke are good.

It is not really possible for me to discern if he can be a great pitcher. Much of that will be determined by his own desire and aptitude. In my view, throwing is largely a developed skill. Those with tremendous athletic talent may find it easier, but pitchers for the most part do not have to be the best athletes. In an average area, most any player can develop into a satisfactory pitcher for their high school. That is enough reason to pursue it some, in my opinion.

If he enjoys pitching and lessons I would do them for that reason and the chance to give him something to work on that requires him to control his body. It also has to fit in with his other goals and the goals of the family. If it does, I would do it, but you know more about it than I do.

Good luck,