Missing high and low

My 7 year old’s 8U team is making the transition to kid pitch baseball. As a hard throwing lefty, they’re looking to him to do some of the pitching. His results are pretty good, rarely gives up hits, but walks too many batters. He’s throwing roughly 50% strikes. The misses are all either high, or less frequently, bounced in front of the plate. Are there any shortcuts to finding a consistent release point? We don’t practice pitching much, due to my reluctance to over work him at this point in life. Probably averaging one 20 pitch bullpen, and 1-2 innings in a game per week. He throws a lot, and is much more accurate in non-pitching situations.

I have a couple videos on my phone, I’ll try to get them uploaded.

Great site!

Edit
http://www.coachseye.com/ob2a

I think this should work. The 2nd and 4th pitches are typical high misses. Couldn’t find video if anything bounced, but those come as he tries to adjust.

I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess that if you watch him very closely anytime he’s playing catch, as in warming up before a game or loosening up, you’ll see the same thing. Its prolly not because his RP is bad, which it obviously is, its because his targeting system isn’t any good because his mechanics aren’t any good. And that will be because no one ever took the time to teach him how to step right toward his target, release the ball and follow thru.

Pitching is absolutely no different other than everything happens much faster, and although the target’s closer there’s someone ready to call every throw a strike(good) or a ball(bad). Have him play catch with a friend and stand behind the friend calling every throw good or bad and see what happens.

Its all about executing basic fundamentals. :wink:

Thanks scorekeeper. Saw your post as I was attempting to add in video. He’s worked hard in throwing fundamentals in the past, but probably not enough recently.

Well that’s pretty much given you a very sound direction to head in. I know many people don’t believe helping a pitcher with his control could be as easy as forcing him to play catch correctly, but isn’t it worth a try? It costs nothing, and almost anyone can call a throw “good” or “bad” if they’re standing being the receiving player.

Good luck with whatever you try.

  1. If taking video with a phone, put it right up against the fence with the camera lens looking through one of the chain link holes. Pushing it against the fence helps stabilize the image, and you lose the distracting fence that the camera tries to keep in focus.

  2. For me personally, if I try to throw REALLY REALLY hard, I will tense up my arm and grip to the point where it messes up my release point. If the arm is just whipping “along for the ride” the grip is lighter and release point will be more consistent.

I like the idea of playing a lot of catch as it will also help smooth out stilted mechanics.

Hard throwing kid. Looks like a loss of balance during leg lift.

For an 7 yr old, he looks pretty good, though I’d like to see a better, closer video. 50% strikes really isn’t all that bad for his age.
It’s hard to tell, but it looks like he might be planting his stride foot too soon (or more towards 1B), which could account for him frequently throwing high. His foot should be landing on a line from his pivot foot to the target. As a lefty, if he’s landing off the line towards 1B, he’s throwing across his body and those pitches will tend to go high. A good way to check is the next time you do a bullpen, draw a 6 foot line (I use duct tape on the mound we have in our driveway) from the center of wherever he puts his pivot foot to the target. Watch were his stride foot is landing and make corrections if necessary.

He does appear to be striding off line and that correction may help his control.

Keep in mind he’s 7. He looks pretty solid for a 7 year old. IMO you should seek out a pitching coach to work with him.

Scorekeeper’s comments reminded me of something I used to do as a little snip of twelve or so. I would get a catcher, and we would set up 60’6" apart with a wooden plank representing home plate—or, if we could get to an unused playing field I would take the mound and he would get behind the plate. And we would play a little game we called “ball and strike”. The catcher would position his mitt high, low, inside, outside, every which way but standing on his head, and I would work on getting all my pitches smack-dab into the pocket of that mitt. The whole purpose of this was to sharpen my control, and it was more than a drill; it was a terrific workout. And what a satisfying feeling it was to hear that resounding “thwack” as the ball hit the pocket. I was a natural, honest-to-gosh sidearmer with a consistent release point, and after I picked up the crossfire I incorporated that into the workout. I worked from the full windup and from the stretch, and we would go at it for an hour or so at a time.
There’s nothing like it to get the location squared away!

Thanks for all of the advice, much appreciated.

I’m just a dad, and its tough to tell from the video - but it almost looks like on followthrough, his throwing arm stays on this throwing arm hip, as opposed to his opposite hip.

At 7, the strike zone is just a theory. The umpires adjust it at will to make the games move along at a tolerable pace.

Don’t get too upset if your kid gets the shaft at the plate. If they can figure a way to call a pitch a strike, it will be called a strike.

That’s why my best advice to young hitters is to SWING THE BAT. You many only see one real strike your entire at-bat. Don’t watch it go sailing by!!!

Missing all over the place continues to happen to most pitchers through 9-10 years old. Also, kids start pitching at any age from 7 through 12 and when they are learning, they are very inconsistent at first.

Some get through it, most do not. The most become the position players :wink: There is certainly nothing wrong with that! Without defense, a pitcher will not have an easy time winning a game :wink: