My son just turned 14 please take a look at him pitch

Please take a look at my son pitching. This is from a game this weekend. He throws pretty hard reaching the low seventies on a good day. He mostly throws fastballs but will sprinkle in a pretty good curve too. Do you guys think he’s striding enough? What else do you think he needs to work on? Thanks for your input![/youtube]

Also he’s 5’10 160 lbs

Looks like he’s got a strong arm. But I think he needs to learn to better use his body. Right now, from peak of knee lift, he immediately opens the front leg and steps forward. Instead, at peak of knee lift, his hips/butt (i.e. center of gravity) should start moving forward while the front leg stays closed off for a moment longer. This will lead to better hip and shoulder separation which, in turn, leads to better velocity, a release point that is further out front, better movement on breaking pitches, etc.

Check out the Hershiser drill on YouTube.

Roger, I will check out the Hersheiser training for sure and thank you for your input. I was thinking the same thing about him needing to use his body more when he pitches. I will get more video up soon.

The “Hershiser” drill is a good place to start, as it aims at getting the hips fully involved—and therein lies a key to what I call “The Secret”. I learned this many moons ago from watching how the Yankees’ Big Three pitchers did it; they drove off the lower half of the body, using the legs, the hips and the torso in one continuous motion to generate more power behind their pitches and, in the process, take a lot of pressure off the arm and the shoulder so that those two were just going along for the ride. The important thing is to get the whole body involved in the process of pitching—windup, delivery and follow-through. In doing this one can throw harder and faster with less effort, and that was what I did; I made a note of it and started working on it on my own, and while practicing this essential element of good mechanics I found that I was doing the same thing those guys were—and because I was an honest-to-gosh sidearmer with a consistent release point I was getting more snap and sizzle into my delivery! 8) :slight_smile: :baseballpitcher:

It may be that he’s actually over striding. He seems to be collapsing the back knee to get the front foot out a bit further. The stride should only be as long as his flexibility allows without a collapse of the back knee. In my opinion, too many people focus on stride length without thinking about how that extra length is accomplished. The stride should just happen and should not be forced. Instead focus on back leg drive and lower half flexibility instead of stride length and lower half strength.

He also seems to land severely on his left heel. While landing on the heel isn’t a bad thing, he’s really toes-up to the sky when that heel touches. He seems to be able to get up over that front knee pretty well, but he may be able to release a bit further out in front and really be able to incorporate some improved trunk flexion into his finish if he doesn’t reach out with the stride and allows his back leg to dictate his stride length.

I would work on two things with him:

  1. improve back leg drive by eliminating the back knee collapse
    (he may ultimately be able to still land in the same spot via back leg push rather than front leg reach)
  2. see how much he can comfortably reduce the severity of the heel-first landing. Try to keep the left foot more toward parallel with the ground and lead with the outside of the left ankle for as long as possible to delay hip rotation for as long as possible.

Is that his throwing hand dangling to his side during the leg lift?
I’m convinced that hand separation speed is directly related to arm speed. Delaying the hand break forces the arm to move quickly through the remainder of the delivery. Keep those hands together through the top of the lift and the arm speed will increase to catch up with the body.

I see a lot of room for increased mph. He’s got the frame to add some gas.

Zita and Coach Paul thank you for responding? Coach I was wondering if maybe he might be overstriding too. His PC his very big about him getting his drive out to 5 feet. What you’re saying makes sense. Yes that is his hand dangling in the back his PC also taught him that. He was also taught to have his grip facing 3rd base while he sticks the ball back there. I also like what you said about him getting more push off the back leg to increase velocity and that he may actually continue to drive the same distance as a result. I also think he has a lot more gas in the tank too. I’m going to get some video up of him in the stretch too. Thanks guys!

I like the wind up and stretch to be as similar as possible. Set position calls for the hands to be together and stop somewhere above the waist. Therefore, he will have to alter his delivery as he switches back and forth from wind up and stretch. That’s just inviting inconsistency, in my opinion. Hand break is a key moment for initiating speed down the mound. Starting from a separated position robs him of an opportunity to get out of the blocks faster–again, my opinion. In general, if the pitcher accelerates the body, he’ll accelerate the ball.

About the toes up thing. How fast we transition from linear (down the hill) momentum to rotational (around the trunk) momentum is key to converting as much potential energy (from the leg drive) into kinetic energy (what makes it to release). In my opinion, landing on the heel is not as effective at arresting momentum as landing simultaneously on all the stride foot spikes would be. It’s the same idea as ensuring the stride knee does not continue to drift toward home after foot plant. We don’t want to bleed energy forward when, at that point, we want it traveling up the body.

Thanks for all the insight Coach! My son is a 3 sport athlete football, basketball and baseball. He is in the middle of football right now but I want to continue with his pitching too throughout. What would you recommend as a minimum he should do to keep his arm strength and pitching mechanics polished? He’s in great shape so his cardio and strength have really never been an issue.

His arm strength will be fine even if he doesn’t think about baseball until basketball is over. Playing football and basketball should suffice. Let him have a break and he’ll be alive and energentic in February when basketball is finished and baseball starts.

My son turned 14 in July and does golf, basketball and baseball. Golf mentally lets him chill, then he starts running and getting in basketball shape from Sept to Nov. Basketball runs from Thanksgiving to February. By the end of basketball season, he’s running sideline to sideline, grabbing rebounds and hustling on the fast break to the other end to get the shot. He’s in great shape because of basketball and when spring ball starts, he’s throwing harder and better than the previous year. I imagine next year when the football coach sees him, he may be pursuaded to play football (6’ 192# and throws a football farther than 50 yards) instead of golf. But he likes golf. :slight_smile:

I think Roger pretty much hit the nail on head. Staying closed off i.e. show the back pocket-show the sole of your stride foot to the batter-then step over the log to open the hips. The whole secret is developed rotational momentum with the body. You have to wind unwind i.e. with the front leg backwards as you go forwards and then unwind everything into foot plant.

A long stride will kill rotation.

Here he is from the stretch. Please take a look and tell me what you think.

He needs to stay tall through the stride. He hunches way over to 3B side and doesn’t get upright again until foot plant. He looks like he’s going to throw side arm until the last instant when he’s upright.

He’s not really able to get out over his front leg and he has no torso flex because he’s a bit too far back with his upper body.

His overall delivery looks like he needs to work on his flexibility and extension throughout his body. It should add some fluidity to his delivery.

not lovin the whole hunched over thing there. he’ll be able to get much better down angle and velo on it if he stays upright and tall through his entire delivery. As for everything else CoachPaul knows what he’s talkin about

You guys are right he gets really low when you loads up from the stretch. He started that when his PC taught him how to load from the stretch. I think you’re right he needs to be more on top and stand taller from the stretch.

Looking for opinions regarding weather I should start having my son practice/bullpen from 60’6 or 54 ft? He’s an 8th grader now so he’ll be pitching from 54’ again this spring, however, he’s totally ready to throw from 60’6. He has a strong arm and has very few issues with soreness or overuse. It would seem that practicing from 60’6 would only help him. Any opinions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

My kid started throwing bullpens at 60.6 in off seasons starting at age 13. Team was able to get into a few tournaments on bigger fields & all the kids loved it. Moving back to 54 ft was not a major ordeal. Normally moved back a month before season. Had more difficulty adjusting to off speed pitches at shorter distance, fastball was no problem.

Here is my son pitching from a 14u tournament a few weeks ago. Any constructive analysis would be much appreciated. One question I have is do you think he’s using his lower half enough? Thanks for your help and I hope you’re all having a great season.

Also he’s 5’11.5 190 lbs[/url]

It would help to have a better video

Hi everybody. Turns out my son didn’t like baseball as much as I thought. He quit his senior year and joined his high school lacrosse team. He liked it very much and was offered and accepted a athletic scholarship from an NAIA school up here in Michigan for lacrosse.

I will always relish the days on the field watching him throw. Good luck to everybody and I hope you all have a great season!