My 14 year old son I would like opinions

This is my 14 year old son and I am looking for opinions. I see some things that need work. Whats your opinion?

Slow motion

Video full speed.

Watch what his foot does throughout the delivery. His foot is slightly closed and some pitches he seems to be fighting against. Try landing with his toes pointed straight at homeplate. Other than that I would increase his stride length a bit. It almost seems like he is throwing uphill and not releasing out in front.

3 things.

#1. I like what I see here.

#2. Stride foot lands to soon. I have the same suggestion I had for Tanner in his latest video. The momentum is getting going here but the relatively short stride doesn’t allow it to be fully transferred into the torso. So, keep generating that momentum for a bit longer down the mound.

#3. I’d really focus on turning the hips into landing. I think the real cause here is the back foot. It is staying down at the rubber far too long, inhibiting the rotation of the hips into landing. Look at the clips of the pros on this site. You’ll notice that the back foot has pretty much turned over by the time they land.

Just another idea, or series of them. NPA point of view.

Starts too tall. As he moves into his motion his head drops. Head movement translates into release point. As the head moves it takes away from forward momentum. He has to use energy to drop his head that he could use for forward motion. Think of inertia.

Second. Leg lift. Kinematically inefficient to kick the leg to the side that way. Why not just lift the knee? Kicking to the side causes his forward momentum to start slower. Result is short stride, early rotation.

Just a suggestion… Bend at the waist and at the knees. Lift knee to back armpit. As soon as foot comes off the ground get front hip going forward. Are you familiar with the “Hershiser Drill?” If you can do that stride will lengthen and control and velocity should improve.

Next thing is front side. Keep glove in front of you. Drops to the side too much. Try keeping it in front of chest or chin. Glove dropping affects timing and control.

Just another item for discussion - I know NPA doesn’t care whether the first step is to the side or back. It seems to me that it’s easier to generate forward momentum by stepping back, a la Gibson, Ryan. Especially for younger guys. What do others think?

Cheers;

O

looks very nice until he gets about half way down the hill. i think he goes into rotation very early which causes him to get the stride foot down early to maintain balance and a path toward the plate. if he lengthened the stride and kept the early rotation he would most likely throw the ball in the first base dugout.

if you can find a way to keep the upper body behind the lower body longer and rotate later, i think it would help. easier said than done. place your stride foot on a folding chair about 3/4 of the way to stride foot plant and see if this delays the rotation. if not we’ll try something else.

Here’s my take…

(1) I see a lot of inconsistency in location of front foot plant as well as the angle of the front foot when it plants. This is an indication of inconsistency in other aspects of his mechanics. It should improve as his mechanics and timing improve and become more consistent. So I would focus on other things.

(2) I also see inconsistency in the back foot - some times it drags and some times it lifts off the ground. Most of the top pitchers in the game drag their back foot until ball release. Doing so is an indication of the head and shoulders staying stacked upright into release (as opposed to getting out front too soon/too far) and the result is shoulder rotation around an upright spine.

(3) I see too much side-to-side head movement. He starts off standing tall and then adjusts into a more athletic posture by leaning forward (toward 3B) at the start of his stride. But as he strides he leans back (toward 1B). This movement represents wasted energy and it contributes to incosistent foot plant as well as inconsistent release point.

(4) I see a lack of momentum which, when coupled with the head movement toward 1B, results in the early foot plant and short stride others have noted.

(5) I see the glove arm dropping too soon leading to early shoulder rotation. Ideally, the glove is still up in front of the torso at front foot plant. Building more momentum will make that easier to do by adjusting the timing of the event.

My recommendations would be as follows:

(1) Start in a more athletic posture to reduce head movement and improve consistency. Bend the knees slightly and bend forward at the waist. Try to keep the head moving only toward the target.

(2) Get the hips moving toward the target (sideways) sooner and faster. Start with small adjustments. I think the kick toward 3B in the knee lift makes the knee lift slower so I would eliminate the kick. Make sure not to sacrifice the height of the knee lift.

(3) See what having a faster tempo does to the glove arm. If it is still up in front at foot plant, you’re good.

Thanks for the input. I saw some of the same things that were noted and missed some of the others.

I didn’t notice the short stride.

I noticed the top half was out in front, I have been stressing staying back for a while.

Also the front foot landing slightly closed, sometimes more than others.

One thing I have a question about is the glove hand position. I think it is too far towards 3rd base I like it towards home am I right? Also his glove side leg moves out towards 3rd and around towards home kind of looping to the plant. I like it to come heel to the mound and straight towards home does this sound right.

looks solid. But I’m no mech expert

Alot of suggestions, but try not to lose sight of the fact that there is alot of good here…while mechanics are important, you still need to make an athletic move … which I do see here.

Consider picking out one key teaching point to start with…as Roger stated very well below, this would be my #1 :

  1. Get the hips moving toward the target (sideways) sooner and faster. Start with small adjustments. I think the kick toward 3B in the knee lift makes the knee lift slower so I would eliminate the kick. Make sure not to sacrifice the height of the knee lift.
    *key on lifting the knee, rather than the foot.

Your son has some counter-rotation of the shoulders which places the glove out to the 3B side. But I don’t really see anything wrong with it. Some pitchers do this and as long as it’s not causing some other problem, I say don’t worry about it.

Many pitchers sweep the leg around to the front. Again, as long as it doesn’t cause any other problems, don’t worry about it. However, in your son’s case, since I think he needs to start the hips forward sooner and faster, I don’t think he’ll have the time to kick the foot out towards 3B. But I would focus on getting the hips going sooner/faster and see if he adjusts the knee lift on his own.

everyone else has made many of the suggestions that i would. one thing that i don’t personally like is your follow through. it is very reminiscent of the mike marshall delivery. while dr. marshall is very knowledgeable in regards to arm care and arm action, i think his philosophy on lower body mechanics is not sound at all. if you notice, most major leaguers only rotate their hips about 90 degrees or so(as opposed to you almost rotating a full 180) and then it is their shoulders that continue the rotation. the follow through should be a result of the momentum of this rotation, not something necessarily done or “forced” by the legs and hips.

I have been looking at the original video. I noticed the pitch he throws at 50 sec on the full speed video is a curve. I can tell by the audio of me telling him to throw a curve. Does anyone see any differences in form?

Does anyone else not like to follow through of finishing pitching side leg towards home?

I disagree.

First, you see a lot of variability in terms of what the pros do.

Second, keeping the hips rotating helps you pull the shoulders around more powerfully.

Third, keeping the hips and shoulders rotating lengthens the deceleration path, which can lower the stress on the shoulder.

I like it.

How’s his velocity?

I see some things that make me think he’s not that efficient; that’s he’s not throwing with his entire body.

Definitely agree with comments about starting posture–this pitcher should start from a balanced posture of course, but he should put enough bend in his knees so that his head does not drop down abruptly at beginning of stride.

Is his favorite MLB pitcher Bronson Arroyo by any chance? That is a very difficult leg lift to control, as others have pointed out. Kicking 20 % of his body mass toward 3rd base must make his torso cantilever somewhat toward 1st base to compensate, no?

Agree also with comments by others about generating momentum to the plate early…as he starts his leg lift, and I’d consider changing his current one, he should get the front hip moving to the target.

A (relatively) minor new suggestion: You might consider getting this young man a smaller, lighter glove. Big mismatch between ball weight and weight of his current glove I’d guess. Whether he knows it or not, he has to do something in his delivery to compensate for that weight mismatch. The more little compensatory adjustments he has to make, the more chance he has for missing his release point from pitch to pitch to pitch.

[quote="Chris O’Leary
I see some things that make me think he’s not that efficient; that’s he’s not throwing with his entire body.[/quote]

His velocity in late August was mid 70’s topped out at 78. That was pitching to a batter in travel league tryouts. Last time he was on the radar he was 11. His 2 seam has good movement and is his main pitch, his 4 seam is faster and little movement.

What things do you see that could use improvement?

[quote=“laflippin”]Definitely agree with comments about starting posture–this pitcher should start from a balanced posture of course, but he should put enough bend in his knees so that his head does not drop down abruptly at beginning of stride.

Is his favorite MLB pitcher Bronson Arroyo by any chance? That is a very difficult leg lift to control, as others have pointed out. Kicking 20 % of his body mass toward 3rd base must make his torso cantilever somewhat toward 1st base to compensate, no?

Agree also with comments by others about generating momentum to the plate early…as he starts his leg lift, and I’d consider changing his current one, he should get the front hip moving to the target.

A (relatively) minor new suggestion: You might consider getting this young man a smaller, lighter glove. Big mismatch between ball weight and weight of his current glove I’d guess. Whether he knows it or not, he has to do something in his delivery to compensate for that weight mismatch. The more little compensatory adjustments he has to make, the more chance he has for missing his release point from pitch to pitch to pitch.[/quote]

He got a new mitt for Christmas and it is smaller and lighter.

He was taught the leg kick from an instructor. He likes it I will ask him why, because I forgot what he told me the last time.

re: “He was taught the leg kick from an instructor. He likes it I will ask him why, because I forgot what he told me the last time.”

—Caveat emptor. Maybe your son’s current instructor is completely competent, experienced, and knowledgeable…or maybe not. Whether you’re comfortable with his advice, good or bad, is yet another question. If you are paying for the coaching, you should certainly understand the reasoning behind what your son’s coach is teaching–understand it enough to be completely comfortable with it.

Developing a competent set of personal litmus tests for deciding whose advice to consider seriously, and whose advice you might want to question deeply and/or discard, is a must for all of us.