My 10 year old son


#1

My son had been a catcher for 3 years. He got to pitch for the 1st time this fall. He seems to have a real gift We want to find out how we can foster him in this. http://youtu.be/phQovfyV31I


#2

Make sure he continues to have fun. That is the most important thing you can do right now to foster his development.

Guard against creating expectations over and above enjoying the game.

Soon enough, the game will turn into a competition with real winners and real losers. Resist trying to make him anything…let him become.

Respectfully submitted.


#3

He could stand to improve on some little things. He has good glove turn. Step forward and does not glide. Read my signature below.


#4

Thanks. He has actually started to make the change on the leg kick.[/youtube]


#5

Here is a more recent video from Monday. He is with his dad learning some new pitches. http://youtu.be/vfKhYbcS-hc


#6

He should not stand on top of the pitching rubber, but be in front of it. So he can use it to push himself forward.


#7

Forget all the specialized pitches.

Good luck.


#8

Proud Mom,

What your son is doing is throwing like he thinks he see’s pitchers pitch, it isn’t what truely happens in the act of…he is “stylizing”. It is not a bad thing really, it’s what kids do when they want to emulate a higher athletic movement (I remember as a kid being able to copy the stance of every Cub batter in their line-up :lol: ). Unfortunately, left to his own, he may not be able to “correct” the fundemental flaws in his delivery without a lot of remediation (His very high leg kick very much reminiscent of Bronson Arroyo), which if he has a love and desire for the art, it will impede his progress.
As in catching, there are very basic fundementals that he needs to be doing each throw. Our site has literally thousands of posts which describe those fundemental things…also taking him to group seminars or clinics (At his age personal instruction may not be the answer…either financially or in a practical way) that accenuate fundemental technique could be very beneficial to his development. I recommend college or university camps (Many have end of the year clinics and seminars) because it is in their interest to build a local base of quality instructed players for the future and they tend to want to teach…whereas high school clinics are generally more geared toward fund raising for the school. This is where I’d recommend you and your family go for next steps…continue to gain knowledge and make plans and make sure he concentrates on fun and the joy of playing our wonderful sport.


#9

Dino,

Can you please explain what you said. You make a blanket statement without any reason. He picks up things very easily from what he sees on video. He is self taught. He has only been pitching since Sept and is far above anyone we have seen. I’m curious to your statement.


#10

Dino can speak for himself but I am assuming he is speaking of a kid learning that many pitches. If Im off base Dino feel free to put me in my place.
In reality young kids should really learn to throw, then pitch fastball and change up grips. Outside of that “speciality” pitches should really be learned over time and not when a kid is first learning. Most guys pitching at the high school or college level or even beyond really have three pitches they throw. Some throw more. Usually a guy is better served having three pitches or so that he can really focus on throwing well, with balance and technique, with control and intent.
Just my two cents.


#11
  1. What Dino is saying is to stop working on a bunch of different pitches (curve, slider, splitter, knuck, screwball, and whatever else) and to focus on developing good command and velocity with his fastball. If he doesnt have a good fastball, it doesnt matter what other fancy pitches he has in his repertoire.

  2. I agree completely with JD. Don’t worry about trying to mimic the mechanics of Kershaw, Arroyo, Bumgarner, or whoever happens to be the flavor of the month. Focus on developing safe and efficient movement patterns. There are numerous good resources (this site among them) and also a plethora of bad ones (I can easily go on YouTube and find hundreds of videos giving crap advice), so make sure to take what you hear with a grain of salt.

  3. Like others said, baseball is an amazing game so, above all, make sure he has fun and can experience all the wonders it has to offer


#12

Everybody else did a fine job explaining.

Think of it more in terms of evolution…not a construction project. There’s no beginning you can point to and certainly no known end. So what happens in between has more to do with him and much less to do with you. The game will expose him for what he is …it doesn’t have a conscience. That’s why it is imperative to enjoy the game. The game is the gift.


#13

Kids think it neat to throw different pitches. Keeps their interest. Its cool 8) . Just focus on fastball and change.


#14

Thanks for all of the advice. He does have command of his fastball. We don’t know how fast it is, but we venture it’s in the 60’s. For fall ball his ERA was 0.00. He faced 37 batters, 32 strikeouts. He walked 2 and 3 hits, only 1 was a solid hit. His coach told him to stay with just the fastball during the game, as no one can hit it. He did that for about 99% of time and did throw a sinker for a strike. He doesn’t falter under pressure, but rises to it. He most def is enjoying the game. Our goal is to find a coach for him, so that they can help him.


#15

[quote=“Dino”]Everybody else did a fine job explaining.

Think of it more in terms of evolution…not a construction project. There’s no beginning you can point to and certainly no known end. So what happens in between has more to do with him and much less to do with you. The game will expose him for what he is …it doesn’t have a conscience. That’s why it is imperative to enjoy the game. The game is the gift.[/quote]

Well said Dino.
My son was named Babe Ruth State Tourney MVP, and was named to his All-Region team in high school. What did that mean once he left high school? Nothing.
He had control issues all the way through his successes. As we all know the game is different after high school. He is struggling now to find a roster spot as a pitcher at a small college. It has, as you said, exposed him for what he was…a kid with some talent, but, with some short comings who didnt have to work that hard given the level of competition where he grew up. Driving several hours away to a different state (California) to try and make a college roster…rude awakening.
The game can be cruel, as you said, it has no conscience. It is as it has been for a century. One neat part is that if you really enjoy the game, no matter your level or personal success, you will learn from it. Learning he is not “special”, learning to work hard, learning to be humble when he is successful and determined when he is not. That is what he is getting from baseball now. Long term, to me as a dad, that is worth more than being big man on a small campus.


#16

Well my son does have control of his balls. We are just taking things 1 step at a time. He can be behind on the count 3-0 and strike the batter out. He can aim the pitches for where he wants them. He was a catcher for 3 years and he would tell the pitchers where to throw them. For him only pitching for 3 months, he is far above anyone else. Some kid on the opposing team said to be careful when he was at bat, that he was the best pitcher in the league. Can you tell me of any little league pitcher who has pitched over 15 innings and have a ERA of 0.00.


#17

Proudmama,

Your username certainly fits - you most definitely are one proud mama! And, as most parents tend to get, you seem a bit over-defensive. You came on here for some advice and you have been receiving some excellent responses. I will say, your son has put up some extraordinary numbers, but certainly not unheard-of. Many kids in little league who are ahead of the curve and absolutely dominate on the small fields, will find that things tend to even out once they get onto the big fields. The tips you got pertaining to not stepping on top of the rubber, as well as staying away from all of the specialized pitches, should be heeded. I think you will find that any pitching coach you talk to will recommend the same. Best of luck to your son - I like his attitude and intensity; it should take him a long way!


#18

He’s a pretty good sized kid for 10 so it’s not surprising that he can overpower kids at the plate right now. I agree with everyone else so far in that he needs to focus on one or two pitches while he works on getting his mechanics smoothed out. If it were me, I would suggest that he get rid of the huge step back and the high leg kick for now. It’s not doing anything for him besides throwing his balance off in directions he doesn’t want to go. One of the reasons for him throwing the fastball up and in is what plagues most kids his age - flying open. Stop the video as his stride foot lands and you’ll see that he has already rotated his shoulders a good deal and his hips have basically just come along for the ride. Once you get him in with a qualified pitching coach I’m sure he’ll give you plenty of drills to work on to fix his timing issues. However, just know that until he understands how his body is supposed to work together, what opening his hips feels like, being able to feel the shoulder-hip separation, etc, you’re most likely going to be paying someone to play catch with your son for a half-hour to hour a week.


#19

I was speaking more in terms of baseball in general in my response to Dino. His post showed wisdom as to how the sport tends to work.
Maybe he is the best pitcher in the league. Maybe he is not. The curve of development is going to go the way it goes either way. The advice of focusing on a few pitches and having fun with it is key.
As for another little league player pitching 15 innings and having an era of 0.00…frankly, who cares? It is not an evolved game at that age. That is not to downplay his success. That is always a good thing and I am sure he is enjoying it as well he should. But having early success and having things to work are not inseparable. Along with the reality that the game changes for everyone playing once puberty hits.
Get some lessons if you would like, focus on a couple good pitches, have fun and he will keeping kicking butt I am sure!!


#20

Minimize the leg kick and get more use out of the backside.