Pitch Movement


#1

Hello everyone, I was a great hitter growing up through college and beyond, needless to say I was given a blessing in the form of an 11 year old pitcher. Talk about needing patience! So heres my dilema - I have been reading for about a month about movement because he doesn’t seem to get any. He is 11 years old and throw a 4 seam fastball near 60-63. A 2 seam between 55-60 and I am trying to show him a circle change. We are on a pitching schedule that I helped set-up and no I don’t push him - he pushes me to do it.
Movement - how fast does one need to throw a ball to make it cut or veer? Also, I see how to hold the ball and have told him to use his finger pads more with no luck. We do the 7 pre-warm up drills, such as holding the elbow and such. He has good rotation - about as much as people 2-3 years older. We are both getting a little frustrated so if there are any suggestions, tips, or knowledge I would appreciate it. He is a right handed pitcher with about 11 - 5 delivery.
Thanks — Andrew


#2

[quote=“ajmoroder”]I have been reading for about a month about movement because he doesn’t seem to get any. He is 11 years old and throw a 4 seam fastball near 60-63. A 2 seam between 55-60 and I am trying to show him a circle change. We are on a pitching schedule that I helped set-up and no I don’t push him - he pushes me to do it.
Movement - how fast does one need to throw a ball to make it cut or veer? [/quote]

I wouldn’t worry about movement at 11 years old. Really, just work on spotting the fastball up, down, in and out. As your son matures, grows stronger, grows bigger hands, develops more control over his pitches, movement will happen. I’ve more or less not seen kids younger than 14 or 15 be able to “purposely” make a baseball cut or sink simply because they don’t have the size/strength/touch on the baseball.

Instead of getting a ball to move, see how “true” you can make the four seam fastball spin. In other words, work on developing perfect spin every time your son throws the baseball. And throw a lot. Really use this time to develop arm strength by throwing 90% four seam (straight) fastballs in games and throwing daily for at least 10 minutes.

Those things will enable your son to have a long and successful baseball career so that, when he’s in high school, you can start introducing pitches that move.


#3

Thank you for an efficient answer. We sat and read it before school today and he was relieved (as was I) to here that he shouldn’t worry about the movement. All we here while we are watching Baseball on TV is how movement is so important and it became important to him. After reading your answer we talked a little more about changing eye levels and where to pitch the ball. His morale seemed to be picked up. Thanks again – Andrew


#4

While I agree with Steven’s comments, I’m concerned that they may be a bit of an understatement. It’s more than just young kids not needing to have movement. Rather, young kids shouldn’t be trying to get movement if that means they are trying to throw certain pitches (e.g. cutters, curves, sliders) and supinating their hand/wrist in the process. Supination during forward acceleration of the arm is very stressful to the elbow and can lead to injury.


#5

The thing I have learned with younger pitchers, is that it is more important to preach proper mechanics and location before velocity and movement.


#6

Austin is 11, right handed and I was under the assumption that movement could be achieved by putting more pressure on a seem. I realize the twist involved with curves, sliders and such and would not think about teaching him that that’s okay until he is a junior in high school and possibly a senior. Obviously since he’s throwing at a high level I have been pretty consistantly teaching him a fastball and I suppose was hoping that creating movement would not be harmful. If you do have to use the wrist/elbow to cause it then I agree it is not worth it.
He consistantly pitches 8 out of 10 pitches for strikes and I sometimes have to tell him to pitch a ball now and then so the hitter doesn’t always know he’s getting a strike. I was hoping to help him more but after hearing everyones comments (which I am appreciative of) I will wait for this also.

Thanks again,

Andrew