Pitching workouts

My 9u travel team is moving up from machine pitch to kids pitch. Problem is I have NO clue on what to do about workouts for my pitchers. I have been coaching my oldest son now for 4 years T-ball - Machine so we haven’t even been exposed to pitching. I have a parent that was a college pitcher so he teaches mechanics and form. We will be playing on weekends (tourneys) and practice on M/W. If possible please tell me some drills or how many pitches to throw each day. I have some kids that really can be competitive pitchers and I don’t want to mess them up.

Kids at your age group love to PLAY ball – period. They don’t keep stats and they don’t take the game half as serious as their adult counterparts. Oh – that’s not saying they don’t care about wining and losing!
But when it comes right down to it, most programs that fail have a common denominator to them. And that is they’re too STRUCTURED AS A TRAINING REGIMENT. Kids at this age group have a very, very, very limited attention span – not to mention other things in orbit that’ll sidetrack your coaching in a heartbeat. ( I’m sure you’ve been there by now.)
Now it’s been many moons since I’ve coached that age group so I’m suggesting things here from memory. But I do remember that those coaches that had the greatest success oriented their clubs around a real fun environment. They didn’t get the kids doing long toss for an hour, then jog around the field, then back to proper mechanics - memorized from a video or some “get your kid to the big leagues” promotion.
Basically, your pitchers want to be as accurate as possible with no fancy stuff. Right down the pike with control. When the ball is hit, let everybody in on the action – instead of just standing in the hot sun. Besides, your biggest problem as these kids get older and stronger will be to retain decent catchers- not pitchers. Try to groom at least two respectable catchers. And if you’re like most dads, you’re not going to be staying with the age group that you’re now coaching – your gong to move along up the ladder with your son(s). So, the kids that you and your son bring along will more than likely be your club – pro facto.
Again, a little ground work on grooming a couple of good catchers will make the job of survivability for your pitchers later on.
With respect to training your pitchers - encourage eating right, especially breakfast, reasonable bed times, and addressing priorities like school work, family, and the like. You’d be amazed at the extra baggage kid’s drag to the field at the fifteen(15) and older when they lack this discipline. And by the way, you and your son will be there sooner than you think.
Notice I didn’t mention anything about toughing up their arms, or off season exercises and the like. The age group that you’re now coaching won’t do it – so don’t look for it. Heck, I’ve had my hands full just trying to keep some of my guys in line and I hate to tell ya how old these pre-madonnas were!!!
So, I suggest every once in a while encourage them to take a tennis ball and play catch – a lot. Nothing fancy or as an exercise drill – just play catch. The more they throw the stronger they’ll get. In fact, there use to be a game (a long time ago) in school yards when ball was king, called “pick a brick”. Guys would bring tennis balls to school and at recess and after school, they’d gather by a wall and someone would take a piece of chalk and outline a brick or two. Then every kid would take a turn seeing how close they could hit the mark – from about fifty(50) feet away. I can remember that every guy I faced in Legion ball when I was a kid – who was really outstand, was one of those kids in that yard who was dead-on with that game.
With repect to drills for your pitchers one of the best that I’ve seen for your age group has been the “pitch five - step back five”.
Basically here how that works:

start by a pitcher standing twenty feet from another player/catcher.
pitch five pitches.
if strikes, move back five(5) paces.
pitch five pitches.
if strikes move back five(5) paces.
if not, move forward five paces to the last spot.
repeat the drill until the player/pitcher has reached the regulation
distance for his age, and has delivered five strikes in a row.
It’s a very good drill for impressing upon a youngster at the beginning how important it is to throw strikes. Besides, it lets the prospective pitcher realize that his counter part to the battery is squating down in the hot dirt during game time while he’s not throwing strikes!!
With respect to pitch counts - there was an excellent posting here a few months ago about pitch counts and it had some darn good advice. I can’t remember just where but if you scroll through the topic’s history I’m sur you’ll find it very helpful.
Best wishes Skipper.

Coach B.

[quote=“Coach Baker”]Kids at your age group love to PLAY ball – period. They don’t keep stats and they don’t take the game half as serious as their adult counterparts. Oh – that’s not saying they don’t care about wining and losing!
But when it comes right down to it, most programs that fail have a common denominator to them. And that is they’re too STRUCTURED AS A TRAINING REGIMENT. Kids at this age group have a very, very, very limited attention span – not to mention other things in orbit that’ll sidetrack your coaching in a heartbeat. ( I’m sure you’ve been there by now.)
Now it’s been many moons since I’ve coached that age group so I’m suggesting things here from memory. But I do remember that those coaches that had the greatest success oriented their clubs around a real fun environment. They didn’t get the kids doing long toss for an hour, then jog around the field, then back to proper mechanics - memorized from a video or some “get your kid to the big leagues” promotion.
Basically, your pitchers want to be as accurate as possible with no fancy stuff. Right down the pike with control. When the ball is hit, let everybody in on the action – instead of just standing in the hot sun. Besides, your biggest problem as these kids get older and stronger will be to retain decent catchers- not pitchers. Try to groom at least two respectable catchers. And if you’re like most dads, you’re not going to be staying with the age group that you’re now coaching – your gong to move along up the ladder with your son(s). So, the kids that you and your son bring along will more than likely be your club – pro facto.
Again, a little ground work on grooming a couple of good catchers will make the job of survivability for your pitchers later on.
With respect to training your pitchers - encourage eating right, especially breakfast, reasonable bed times, and addressing priorities like school work, family, and the like. You’d be amazed at the extra baggage kid’s drag to the field at the fifteen(15) and older when they lack this discipline. And by the way, you and your son will be there sooner than you think.
Notice I didn’t mention anything about toughing up their arms, or off season exercises and the like. The age group that you’re now coaching won’t do it – so don’t look for it. Heck, I’ve had my hands full just trying to keep some of my guys in line and I hate to tell ya how old these pre-madonnas were!!!
So, I suggest every once in a while encourage them to take a tennis ball and play catch – a lot. Nothing fancy or as an exercise drill – just play catch. The more they throw the stronger they’ll get. In fact, there use to be a game (a long time ago) in school yards when ball was king, called “pick a brick”. Guys would bring tennis balls to school and at recess and after school, they’d gather by a wall and someone would take a piece of chalk and outline a brick or two. Then every kid would take a turn seeing how close they could hit the mark – from about fifty(50) feet away. I can remember that every guy I faced in Legion ball when I was a kid – who was really outstand, was one of those kids in that yard who was dead-on with that game.
With repect to drills for your pitchers one of the best that I’ve seen for your age group has been the “pitch five - step back five”.
Basically here how that works:

start by a pitcher standing twenty feet from another player/catcher.
pitch five pitches.
if strikes, move back five(5) paces.
pitch five pitches.
if strikes move back five(5) paces.
if not, move forward five paces to the last spot.
repeat the drill until the player/pitcher has reached the regulation
distance for his age, and has delivered five strikes in a row.
It’s a very good drill for impressing upon a youngster at the beginning how important it is to throw strikes. Besides, it lets the prospective pitcher realize that his counter part to the battery is squating down in the hot dirt during game time while he’s not throwing strikes!!
With respect to pitch counts - there was an excellent posting here a few months ago about pitch counts and it had some darn good advice. I can’t remember just where but if you scroll through the topic’s history I’m sur you’ll find it very helpful.
Best wishes Skipper.

Coach B.[/quote]

Thanks for a great read and some helpful info. I remember the brick game when i was smaller also. I have a feeling my kids will playing this game this week.

[quote=“Coach Baker”]Kids at your age group love to PLAY ball – period. They don’t keep stats and they don’t take the game half as serious as their adult counterparts. Oh – that’s not saying they don’t care about wining and losing!
But when it comes right down to it, most programs that fail have a common denominator to them. And that is they’re too STRUCTURED AS A TRAINING REGIMENT. Kids at this age group have a very, very, very limited attention span – not to mention other things in orbit that’ll sidetrack your coaching in a heartbeat. ( I’m sure you’ve been there by now.)
Now it’s been many moons since I’ve coached that age group so I’m suggesting things here from memory. But I do remember that those coaches that had the greatest success oriented their clubs around a real fun environment. They didn’t get the kids doing long toss for an hour, then jog around the field, then back to proper mechanics - memorized from a video or some “get your kid to the big leagues” promotion.
Basically, your pitchers want to be as accurate as possible with no fancy stuff. Right down the pike with control. When the ball is hit, let everybody in on the action – instead of just standing in the hot sun. Besides, your biggest problem as these kids get older and stronger will be to retain decent catchers- not pitchers. Try to groom at least two respectable catchers. And if you’re like most dads, you’re not going to be staying with the age group that you’re now coaching – your gong to move along up the ladder with your son(s). So, the kids that you and your son bring along will more than likely be your club – pro facto.
Again, a little ground work on grooming a couple of good catchers will make the job of survivability for your pitchers later on.
With respect to training your pitchers - encourage eating right, especially breakfast, reasonable bed times, and addressing priorities like school work, family, and the like. You’d be amazed at the extra baggage kid’s drag to the field at the fifteen(15) and older when they lack this discipline. And by the way, you and your son will be there sooner than you think.
Notice I didn’t mention anything about toughing up their arms, or off season exercises and the like. The age group that you’re now coaching won’t do it – so don’t look for it. Heck, I’ve had my hands full just trying to keep some of my guys in line and I hate to tell ya how old these pre-madonnas were!!!
So, I suggest every once in a while encourage them to take a tennis ball and play catch – a lot. Nothing fancy or as an exercise drill – just play catch. The more they throw the stronger they’ll get. In fact, there use to be a game (a long time ago) in school yards when ball was king, called “pick a brick”. Guys would bring tennis balls to school and at recess and after school, they’d gather by a wall and someone would take a piece of chalk and outline a brick or two. Then every kid would take a turn seeing how close they could hit the mark – from about fifty(50) feet away. I can remember that every guy I faced in Legion ball when I was a kid – who was really outstand, was one of those kids in that yard who was dead-on with that game.
With repect to drills for your pitchers one of the best that I’ve seen for your age group has been the “pitch five - step back five”.
Basically here how that works:

start by a pitcher standing twenty feet from another player/catcher.
pitch five pitches.
if strikes, move back five(5) paces.
pitch five pitches.
if strikes move back five(5) paces.
if not, move forward five paces to the last spot.
repeat the drill until the player/pitcher has reached the regulation
distance for his age, and has delivered five strikes in a row.
It’s a very good drill for impressing upon a youngster at the beginning how important it is to throw strikes. Besides, it lets the prospective pitcher realize that his counter part to the battery is squating down in the hot dirt during game time while he’s not throwing strikes!!
With respect to pitch counts - there was an excellent posting here a few months ago about pitch counts and it had some darn good advice. I can’t remember just where but if you scroll through the topic’s history I’m sur you’ll find it very helpful.
Best wishes Skipper.

Coach B.[/quote]

Thanks for a great read and some helpful info. I remember the brick game when i was smaller also. I have a feeling my kids will playing this game this week.