My six year old just finished playing all stars. He played pitcher during the regular season and into all stars. He currently plays coach pitch, but after watching MLB games lately, a fire has been lit in him to learn to pitch. What should he begin working on to transition to kid pitch?
If I could do it over I would not have started pitching until I was about 14. The cleanest/most efficient arm patterns are usually a product of being a good athlete at a young age. Have him practice at short stop and I recommend not taking him to a pitching coach since that will just result in making his actions robotic. The best instruction a kid at that age can have is to just throw and swing as hard as he can.
Thanks you for the reply and advice. I was unsure if I should start him now since kid pitch starts at 9 years old. He can play any position, but because he is light on his feet and fields ground balls well they usually put him at pitcher.
My son is 14 and entering high school in the fall. I started teaching him to pitch at 8. While he pitched very well this past 2016 season (his best season ever), in hindsight, there was no need really to start him so young, 8. Mariano Rivera started pitching at 20!
I would focus your son on proper throwing mechanics and proper batting mechanics, and fielding. I would start teaching him to pitch at perhaps 10, and always follow very carefully the MLB Pitch Smart guidelines for youth pitchers, click here, as he grows and matures.
Importantly, protect your son. Do not listen to all the “advice” you will hear about the need to play baseball year round, to pitch in multiple games on weekends, etc. No one out there is going to protect your son’s arm; it’s going to be your job. I myself am getting ready for potential conflict with my son’s high school coach next year, as my state has only a ridiculous “14 innings per week” pitch limit, which basically means my son can pitch two complete 7-inning games each week regardless of pitches thrown or days rest! The coach is old school and I’m not sure how he’s going to take to the MLB Pitch Smart guidelines I want my son to follow.
I use a formula of for each pitch thrown, earns one hour of rest. it works pretty well. 48 pitches get you two days off.
You’re going to be pulled. As a coach of an elite player you have to weigh the value of adding a player to your team. Can he pitch? If he can then he might be on the team. If he can’t, he had better bring the boom with the bat. See, if your son is going to be good, he will want to play travel ball. The challenge there is are you going to have enough pitching to get through the weekend. If a kid won’t pitch then he serves little value as the rest of the parents don’t want their kid throwing a whole bunch either. Work with your son on simple mechanics. Use the slide step. That should help the most. Have him simply hit spots on command. That should take some work but over time the kids will get it. Good luck to you and your son!
Very similar to everyone else hear. Wait till he is more developed. The body is simply not developed enough to have proper low stress pitching mechanics until at least 10-12 depending on the kid. Just focus on building athleticism (playing different sports) and making baseball fun. When kids start to pitch young they compensate for there lack of leg strength and drive by either over using the front leg or arm which leads to bad mechanics later on in career and extra stress on arm.
Very interesting pitch count rule, I definitely want to use this!
I tend to agree with Bx, as a travel ball coach it is rare we accept a player who cannot pitch. Just like Bx pointed out the first time you go to a 12 team double elimination tourney your will find out quickly how important pitching is with tournament limitations. Also not every kids throws hard, it’s Good coaches don’t want to over pitch their kids, in order to achieve that you need almost every kid able to pitch so the workload can be balanced.
The simple fact is at 9 & up you really don’t find coach or machine pitch leagues or tournaments, our league started kid pitch at 8. So if your kid is good and is going to want to play something a little more challenging than his local rec league he will probably need to know how to pitch. 6 might be a little young but a few things we did with our boys that don’t require them to throw top velocity is work backwards and don’t over do it. Start at the base of the mound and start with the hard already behind the head in throwing position, just slide step and throw, the point of all of these is to throw a strike NOT to throw as hard as possible. Each one should be 5-8 throws no more than 10, move to the rubber and repeat side step, the start at the balance point, front leg up at 90 degrees hand already extended behind head in throwing position, start from there hold for a couple seconds in balance position then throw. This will develop his balance and develop more of a concentration on throwing a accurate pitch rather than top speed. As he gets older and gets accuracy down he can work to start throwing harder. This is our typical bullpen warm up session, bout a 20 throw warm up.