New 12yr old girl pitching

Hi, new here
This is my daughter’s 2nd time playing Little League, first was last spring as 1st baseman.
Trying pitching now, videos are of the first few innings ever pitched, but she seems to like it.
Any help greatly appreciated.


Like many young kids, he needs to learn to use her body more effectively. Right now, she swings her stride leg out and around while her center of gravity remains relatively still. Then she throws using just her arm. Teach her to get her total body moving towards home plate to create some momentum. In a well-sequenced and well-timed delivery, momentum (energy) transfers up through the body and into the ball to help maximize velocity.

I’ve mentioned “The Secret” many times, and now is the time for her to learn it—the way I did, many moons ago, when I was about that age. This is where a good pitching coach—perhaps a former major leaguer—could help. I’m glad to see that another of our species has gotten into pitching; good for her! 8)

I agree with Roger, right now she throws will all arm, develop some momentum with her legs would be the first thing. Then I would work a little on pulling the ball down and giving more whip with her wrist, good luck.

Agreed. She definitely needs some momentum toward the plate.

 On a side note I think it's great for her to be playing LL with the boys. I love when I see a kid who isn't afraid to play the game that they want to play. Who knows she could be the next Zita Carno :D    
 Good luck to you and your daughter.

Hi there, turn22.
If you look elsewhere in this section—I addressed the concerns of another pitcher, 6’2" 190, who wanted to know how to get more power and accuracy into his pitching. The same would apply to our twelve-year-old girl; she can do the same things, and when she learns to get her whole body into the action she’ll find that she can do things with less effort because the shoulder and arm will be just going along for the ride. More power, less effort, and no sore arm or shore shoulder or sore anything else. 8)

  I couldn't agree more. Drive with a strong lower half and core equates to less arm stress and more velocity. Ironically, this is the same thing my son was working on last night with his pitching coach. While he has good momentum to the plate, he worked on getting to a much stronger front side following foot strike.

I wouldn’t say “ironically” in this case. Your son happens to have a good pitching coach who knows about this—the guy may have had experience in the majors or high minor leagues. Quite a few pitchers have learned “The Secret” and put it to good use. :slight_smile:

In a word, Yes. My son is lucky enough to have a really knowledgable pitching coach who was a D1 all american pitcher, then played professional ball reaching AAA. He finished up his career playing in a mexican league, playing for Monclovia. This coach uses inventive methods to teach the body to feel their mechanics, coupling that with really dynamic warm ups and cool downs.

   That being said, I feel it's important for parents whose kids are serious about pitching to find a quality coach. In my opinion, some may disagree, I think its really hard for kids today to excel without outside instruction. Who knows how far our OP could go with proper instruction. I pitched in HS and JuCo, but I'm not qualified to provide the kind of instruction needed to succeed at those levels and higher.

How well I know, turn 22! I was very fortunate to find a pitching coach who knew his onions and then some. You may remember him: Ed Lopat, a key member of the Yankees’ pitching rotation from 1948 to the middle of 1955. He also doubled as an extra pitching coach for the team—and for others who sought him out for advice and assistance. He said he would work with anyone who was interested, who really wanted to know, and who was willing to learn and work at it. The day I asked him about the slider—a pitch I was really curious about—his response was to draw me aside and show me how to throw a good one. (He had a very good slider indeed.) This led to his becoming my pitching coach for almost four years, and what I learned from him was nothing short of priceless. He took me in hand, worked with me, and helped me become a better pitcher than I had been before, and for that I will remember him forever.
Anyone who finds a pitching coach like that, I can only say, once you have found him, never let him go. 8) :slight_smile: :baseballpitcher:

I believe the key is finding a coach who knows pitching and knows how to teach pitching, not just knows how to pitch.

   There are plenty of ex ballplayers out there claiming to be pitchiing or hitting coaches to make a buck. Problem is, they know one way to pitch or hit and that's the way they did it. In my opinion you can't carbon copy pitchers or hitters. Sure there are similarities, but each player is different. I've seen "coaches" try to change a kids arm slot simply because that's the way the coach throws. 

    A few years ago, when my son was playing 12U a pitching/hitting coach at a tournament to watch other kids, commented to a parent on my son's team that my kid would never make it cause "he throws too side arm". He actually throws 3/4. I confronted him about his comments. He insisted that my son threw sidearm at a young age and he was going to have "serious arm problems". I, in turn, showed him the video I had just taken, showing a 3/4 slot on every pitch. This "coach" walked away without a word. 

   The point I'm making is that parents need to investigate who they are sending their sons/daughters to for instruction. A stellar resume' is not enough information.

A few years ago I did a presentation for the Cleveland, Ohio regional chapter of SABR about pitching coaches. One thing I did was divide them into four categories, viz., namely and to wit: Category one—those who not only could pitch but who also coach and teach pitching; those who were not very good pitchers but who knew how to teach; those who could pitch up a storm but who couldn 't coach or teach it; and the ones who couldn’t pitch their way out of a paper bag and couldn’t coach or teach. Not to mention a couple of oddballs.
Ed Lopat was definitely a Category One. From his time in the minor leagues, up through his days with the White Sox and then those eight years with the Yankees, he had made an exhaustive study of pitching and pitchers. He had a basic premise—that every pitcher has a natural motion; what he would do was determine what that natural motion was and then work with that pitcher to show him or her how to take full advantage of it. He would not change it. When I was familiarizing myself with the slider he watched me and made some mental notes—about, among other things, the fact that I was a natural sidearmer with a consistent release point I had picked up the crossfire on my own, and he helped me refine it. I was using the slide-step all the time, because I had found that doing this gave me more momentun in my delivery, thus making up for my lack of speed, and he showed me how to use the short-arm delivery in addition to the long-arm one I was already using. Stuff like that. And when he was working with me on holding runners on base he taught me a snap-throw that quickly evolved into a very good pickoff move (and remember, I was righthanded!) It was no wonder that many pitchers in the American League who were having problems sought him out for advice and help.
I remember when Whitey Ford first came up to the Yankees. He started one game, and immediately the opposition went after him, turning every pitch he threw into line-drive extra-base hits. Ouch! He had to be taken out of the game. The next day Lopat and regular pitching coach Jim Turner took Ford into the bullpen and had him throw from the stretch, because that was when the problem was occurring. Lopat spotted the problem immediately—he had this eerie way of being able to zero in on something that wasn’t right. Ford, all unawares. was telegraphing his pitches; he was positioning his glove one way for a fast ball and another way for a curve, and because he was a southpaw the opposing first-base coach had no trouble pickong up on it and relaying that information to the hitters. Lopat took Ford aside, told him what he was doing wrong, and worked with him to correct the problem in that bullpen session. End of problem—and in that first year Ford went 9-1 and became perhaps the greatest pitcher in Yankees history.
About the kid who found that throwing 3/4 overhand was easier on him and his arm: Lopat certainly would have advised him to stick with the arm slot that was comfortable for him. I for one can’t understand—never could understand—why some coaches try to change a pitcher’s arn angle just because it displeases them, or because they have the idea that if throwing one way did it for them it should do the same for the kids they’re working with. ‘Tain’t so.
And in my presentation I told the SABR group a real horror story. There was a pitcher once, a guy named Fred Sanford who toiled for the ole St. Louis Browns. He wasn’t a bad pitcher, even though he pitched for perhaps the lousiest team in creation. The Yankees saw something in him and acquired him in a trade—but then the trouble began. Sanford had a motion best described as herlk-jerky, and never mind that he was getting the batters out; Yankee pitching coach didn’t like it. Neither did third-base coach (and how did he get mixed up in this?) Frank Crosetti. Sanford’s motion, it seems, offended the esthetic sensibilities of both coaches, and so they started futzing around with him. They wanted him to have a nice smooth Spalding Guide Guide-perfect motion. And in the end they destroyed him. Sanford became so confused he lost his effectiveness and just wasn’t a good pitcher any more, and at the end of the 1950 season he was traded!
Q.E.D. One does not mess with a pitcher’s natural motion. One works to maximize that pitcher’s capabilities. 8) :slight_smile:

All I can say is Wow. What a phenomonal experience that must have been to be in the presence of such great ball players and to also have the great Ed Lopat as a pitching coach.

I’ve actually been a Yankee fan all of my life, beginning with the Chairman of the Board.

I really hope that the OP is reading your comments. You definitely have great advice and are able to give first hand knowledge of some of the greatest to play the game.

Many thanks to everyone for the excellent replies.
Sorry for not having replied sooner but, computer crash and lost site login info etc.

We have left the natural motion alone and tried to work with accuracy. I made up a strike zone out of an old aluminum sign and wire it to the chainlink fence at the field and had her practice accuracy first. Can’t miss the sound when the ball hits. :smiley:
We are also working on the lower strength, stride and body rotation.

A little off topic, but we finished our last All star game this morning and after a little searching, found that this is quite a widespread problem that we will have to deal with in coming years. The dreaded Daddy ball.
Daughter (T) was picked for the all star team. The winning league coach, his father and her former coach from first spring were the new coaches.
T has only played 3 sessions of baseball, spring ball one year ago, last fall ball and then this last spring ball.

Her first spring ball coach had only T and one other player rotate on the bench all season, despite the fact she was better than most of the team. T played first base.Coach obviously favored his son over much better players.
Ironically enough, they won the championship game because she drove in the winning home run (the only home run of her team that season)

When fall ball (this was a trial league) came around, she had new coaches and they were the ones that realized her potential and started her on pitching. She really enjoyed this session at pitching and first base.

This last spring ball, she didn’t want to have to go back to the first coach automatically (Little League rules) so she went in the draft. She was #1 draft choice and ended up with the coaches from the fall that she liked playing with. 1st season coach was clearly upset and even called her during the draft. She had a great season, switched between pitching and first base (her first love), could count her errors on one hand and scored the winning runs in a couple of the games. BTW, unfortunately, when I was pitching to her one Sunday afternoon practicing batting, she kept wanting me to throw faster and faster, but at 60 years old, with a plate in my throwing shoulder and after about 200 throws, they got pretty wild and I hit her breaking her middle finger on her glove hand. Being a little trooper and loving the game, she didn’t miss a beat and played with a splint on her finger until healed. :roll:
Team ended up in 2nd place for the season and she was picked for the all stars.

Ironically enough, one of the all star coaches was the coach she didn’t like from her first season, but the manager seemed like a pretty good guy, great as a coaching instructor, his dad was the 3rd coach.
Manager told all the kids they would have to earn their positions etc. T brought up the fact that the father laughed at her for her 3/4 pitch style (only player he laughed at).
Manager talked to the wife on the phone and told her T would probably be playing outfield and possibly first or pitching. Told her she didn’t have enough knowledge or experience of baseball and should watch more baseball on tv.
Wife told me to not react to that and just have T enjoy the All stars as much as possible.
First All star game, T played one inning in left field and batted twice (was still the only one to get a base hit). Coaches son from 1st season walked 9 consecutive batters and he still stayed in the game.
Oddly enough the wife was the one that got really upset.
Second game, T started at first base, played 2 innings, batted once (min LL requirement), and was called out on 2nd after the father coach told her to run after the catcher already had the ball in his hand. 2nd baseman caught the ball when T was 4 foot from the bag, no time to go back.

The coaches kept their kids and favorites in for both entire games, they all made serious errors costing runs. The coach’s son from the first spring season made 6 errors while playing 3rd, costing runs.
One player left during the first game, because he didn’t get to play, coaches didn’t even know it, another didn’t show up for the 2nd game for the same reason. Guess that just made it easier for the coaches to play their own.
Our team got absolutely slaughtered 12-5 and 13-3.

During the season, we had every opposing coach come up after the games and tell us how great a player T is and how much they enjoyed watching her play. She is the only girl in the league BTW. Being 1st pick and with her stats, T was clearly blindsided by the Daddy Ball thing.
Almost all the parents were complaining amongst themselves about the coaching.
The saddest part is that ever since T started baseball, she never missed a practice, was always the one to bug me to go play catch and practice batting etc on our own and was always ready to go to a game or practice 45 minutes before she was supposed to be there.
This last game morning when i woke her up, she said she really didn’t care if she went or not.
And BTW, we are not “Babe Ruth” parents.:wink:

It amazes me that these coaches aren’t even bright enough to be embarrassed.

Sorry for the rant, but LL wasn’t like this in the 60s.

Become more involved with your local Little League program. Get on the board. Make sure you get on committees to expand the program. Coach a team. Make things better for everyone. Coach an All Star team yourself.