Progress report on my boy: new video


#1

My 9 year old son got to pitch the other day in our County Tournament and here’s video footage if you guys would like to comment, I’d sure appreciate it if you did. I’d like to know how to get him to throw harder and get his big long arms whipping that ball down the field instead of looking like he’s throwing darts. I think he worried about throwing strikes instead of speed. Any thoughts?


#2

I think his mechanics look pretty good. If I were in your place I would try my best to not be concerned about his speed right now. Try to see beyond 9 yo glory (or 10 yo, 11 yo, or 12 yo glory for that matter). If your boy continues to pitch and throw at the speeds that his mechanics and his functional strength will support, he will develop very nicely and his FB speed will increase as his mechs improve and as he gains strength.

I know this is very hard for many parents to accept: Your kid is pitching competitively at 9 yo and it is almost always going to look like some other kid, a teammate or an opponent (or both) is pitching faster than my kid. Having been through the Little League years, one observation stands out to me: Many (or, perhaps ‘most’ would be accurate) of the kids who were dominant pitchers in LL are now position players, if they are still playing ball in HS.

Chronic overuse at a young age (and nothing invites overuse like a dominant FB) appears to be the single factor that strongly correlates to injury rates among youth pitchers. This is supported by ASMI research, and I think it is supported by empirical observations of many of the experienced coaches at LTP.

If you and your son can be patient enough to continue along with his good mechanics, do isometric stuff during the off-season, and let puberty/testosterone/weight-training for pitchers kick in a bunch of extra strength after about 13 yo…well, you and your son are most likely going to enjoy a ride such as Disney never dreamed of, as my friend jdfromfla likes to say.


#3

Thanks laf;

You pretty much nailed it. He’s 9 and playing up at the top level of 10 year olds and they all seem to throw faster. What I’m trying to do know is take the long slow road and build on a solid foundation of mechanics and form and hoping the speed will come. I don’t think he’ll be the best pitcher anytime soon but if he sticks with it he will be good down the road. Being a long and lengthy lefty he presents a different view for most batters and he ends up striking them out because they don’t swing. He also has a tendency to keep pitches low so they don’t crank any big bombs off him.

It’s been fun watching him grow and improve this season and we’ll keep working a little at a time, thanks for your input.

-JP


#4

Amen brother Flippin amen :applaud:

Spike if I could pay you to “drop yer drawers and take a slide on the ice” (As Col. Potter from MAS*H famously said), I would…I swear I’d love to set up a fund for dads who really see a spark and want to fan it early…trust my 25+ yrs of coaching…it will burn fast and bright…he really wants to show you and his mom how good he can do it (Along with personally liking and even loving it) but unless…no it is so rare that I can truely say statistically it will happen…he will also burn out early. Now La and I aren’t saying don’t plan to win…or help him acheive…just understand that there are phases in how to develop in a healthy physical and mental way. At his point…encouraging the learning of fundementals and helping him understand what a wonderous and fun world our sport is where you should be…honestly throwing one or two mph faster than little Timmy from the Marlins is so meaningless that I really wish you’d print this and in 9 years when he’s a senior look at it and get back with us here. If hes accurate he’ll win so many more games anyway and love it just as much.
You would and will do a ton more for him right now if you get as many neigbhorhood kids to come over and get some informal game playing going on every stinkin day if you can…wanna talk about a way to hone a fastball :shock: …I’d bet my Golden Retriever (Maddux :greengrin: ) that this is where you came up with your love for the game…I know it’s where I did…right in the friggin street…at 608 Lynn Ave. Lockport Il. wanting to be a Cub…sooooo bad I could feel it when I woke up in the morning and couldn’t wait to get outside to play some form of the game…You give him a base to develop that kind of love…it will all take care of itself.
As far as his mechs…not bad…still head…thats great. His arm action can be improved…doing that will improve his velocity…without focusing unduely on getting fast…if I’d say, think, work, cue on anything it would be arm action and keeping the head as still, with the front arm getting out front and stable. You will be amazed at how spiffy the velo will pick up with a more fundementally sound motion.
We sound preachy about it because we know…we’ve been there…it’s a trap to hunt the highest mountain at this time…
Have fun…and fundementals first…


#5

[quote=“laflippin”]I think his mechanics look pretty good. If I were in your place I would try my best to not be concerned about his speed right now. Try to see beyond 9 yo glory (or 10 yo, 11 yo, or 12 yo glory for that matter). If your boy continues to pitch and throw at the speeds that his mechanics and his functional strength will support, he will develop very nicely and his FB speed will increase as his mechs improve and as he gains strength.

I know this is very hard for many parents to accept: Your kid is pitching competitively at 9 yo and it is almost always going to look like some other kid, a teammate or an opponent (or both) is pitching faster than my kid. Having been through the Little League years, one observation stands out to me: Many (or, perhaps ‘most’ would be accurate) of the kids who were dominant pitchers in LL are now position players, if they are still playing ball in HS.[/quote]

We’re a year ahead of you in figuring out Little League, but I would second what has been said. Stay focused on mechanics and keeping the game fun. Backyard baseball is a wonderful alternative to travel team baseball at this age.

My son is the hard throwing strike-out pitcher that others are constantly compared to. In the 10 games of LL District and Sectional games these past few weeks, he started five games and pitched an inning of relief in another - for a total of 13 innings, 5 measly hits, no runs and 30 Ks. After his last start, I was talking with one of the umpires (who also does Williamsport) and he mentioned that he hasn’t seen a kid at this level (10U) with such control, ball movement and speed. That being said, he still only pitched 13 innings in 10 games (he left his games early with large leads), and didn’t get to pitch in either of the teams losses.

Our pitching practice is primarily about proper mechanics. But more often than not, we just throw the baseball and talk about the game.

It won’t be long before basketball season is here and he forgets about baseball for a few months.