Seeking Feedback on 11 year old pitcher

Looking for feedback and recommendations for my 11 year-old son. He’ll be 12 in January and we’re looking to make a splash in spring ball next year. This is a 2-seam fastball that (by my calculations) is around 60 - it’s a tad more than 17 frames at 30 frames per sec. He also uses a 4 seam FB and a circle change that is very effective.


Overall I think he looks really good. The main thing I see is that he is leading with his front foot and not his hip. The hips need to be the trigger mechanism when starting your foward movement. While leading with his front hip make sure he stays closed until his front foot is about to land. By doing this it will also help lengthen his stride. Keep up the good work!

It always good to get a live clip, but to help with breaking him down we could use a look from the third base side.
What I see from this clip I see that his stride is a little short. Everybody has there own opinion on the proper distance but I use any were from 95 to 100% of your height. So mess around on here and to get an ideas on how to tackle this.
The other is the hand break not sure what it is…but something doesn’t look rite the other angle would tell. Mabe it’s just me.
Like Keepitfun said you need to get those hips going befor that foot insted of reaching with that foot lead with those hips. Some people are using the Hershiser drill to help. I use 2 drills called the stride length drill and the chair drill to get those hips going.
What are you looking to make a splash with? Velocity, offspeed.

What’s the stride length drill?

While velocity is always nice he really likes Cliff Lee so we are looking for consistency with pitch location which, to my mind, boils down to mechanics. Also, to make sure that we aren’t doing anything that could lead to an injury.

Like to get a side look but at least from the front the only thing I could see to work on right away is getting the throwing hand down a little more to the knee, it will help for a flatter back and more snap to the fastball.

I will post the 2 drills i was talking about.

  1. The Stride length drill the set up is measure your player to get his height, next put down a piece of tape to simulate the rubber and the other the distance of his height. Next get his feet shoulder width appart. Next get the elbows level with the shoulders hands hanging at a 90deg as the video shows. next the player lifts and drives out to his height mark.
  2. The Chair Drill is the same but the player will have a chair about half way down from his height make with the toe on the edge of the chair. next the coach will hold the chair until the player gives a little nudge to get his weight to his post leg and finishes the pitch.

If you observe high level pitchers such as Maddux, Oswalt. Johnson, Lincecum, Halladay, etc. you will see movement to home plate begin before the stride leg reaches maximum height- both from the windup and the stretch. This is one aspect of generating maximum momentum which helps lengthen the stride.

IMO these drills do nothing to promote generating the early momentum necessary to maximize stride length. In these drills movement to the target doesn’t begin until well after the stride leg reaches maximum height and the leg starts forward.

Furthermore the initial movement away from the target requires a stop and redirection of momentum, while standing on one foot, to get everything moving in the proper direction.

If your going to say these don’t work the at least offer The poster a solution…all these drills do is get the position of the hip leading.
But of course one would have to lift into this position but I guess I took it for granted that the poster could figure this out.
This was really for gettingthere since he ask what they were, and also they worked well for us…

IMO…you also would have to include the push and drive from the back side to achieve the stride length. Which I included in the instructions.


Fair enough. IMO the NPA Hershiser drill, narrow stance drill, and crossover drill are more effective in teaching both to lead with the hip and initiate movement toward the targer prior to maximum leg lift.

The Hershiser drill is fairly easy to find on the web. The narrow stance drill is just that- start in the stretch position with the feet together, lift the leg and go from there. The crossover drill involves taking the feet-together stance and then crossing the stride foot over the pivot foot and resting it on the rubber. The pitcher pauses slightly in this position and then initiates the delivery. In order to do these drills correctly the pitcher must start in an athletic stance with the knees bent slightly and a slight lean forward at the waist.

In all of these drills the foot position eliminates movement away from the target and at the same time promotes movement toward the target prior to maximum leg lift. With too wide of a stance the pitcher’s center of gravity must move away from the target to maintain balance.

The Hershiser drill is good I agree the only thing it ends when the hips hit the wall.
You may have seen a few post on here by Dusty Delso he is the one that started these drills for us 3 years ago, if you do a search you can find him.

I think the jury is still out on the back leg drive. Opinions vary from just a nudge with the inside of the leg to tip the center of gravity toward the target to a full-blown push-and-drive. 5 different instructors can look at the same video/pictures and draw different conclusions. That’s probably a topic for another thread.

What I do feel safe in saying though is that a pitcher whose initial move is away from the target, or at least not toward it, will feel and need more engagement in the back leg. The back leg is the only thing that can stop the rearward momentum and begin the redirection to the target.

I personally would rather see drills that encourage the hips to move toward the target as the leg is coming up rather than the distinct pause or vertical “posting” that these drills seem to encourage.

I will say tough I do like what the kid in the drills is doing with his stride leg. Driving the knee toward 2nd base as the leg comes up puts the hips in a powerful position for the move to the target. If that is a result of these drills then that is a positive outcome.

I think with a little tweaking of the drills though the initial movement away from the target could be eliminated. In the video on the left the rearward movement could be eliminated just by starting with his feet closer together inside the width of the shoulders. This would essentially be the same as the narrow stance drill I mentioned above.

In the drill on the right I’d experiment with the position of the chair to see if I couldn’t find a location that encouraged the same leg/hip movement but didn’t require the initial move away from the target to maintain balance.

In getting back to the OP I agree that better engagement of the hips such as shown in these drills would be a good place to start.

My instructions for initiation of the delivery are the following:

  1. From the stretch, start with feet close together with the weight shifted back over the rubber onto the rear leg/foot.

  2. The first movement begins with a sideways shifting of the hips - think of a little man standing behind you, pushing your back hip toward the target.

  3. Do a sideways lunge by attempting to “leap over a creek” - not by reaching with the front leg, but by driving with the back leg to “make it across without falling into the water”. Use tape or marker on the ground at 100% of the pitcher’s height as the target distance.

  4. Keep the feet perpendicular to the target and in line with each other as long as possible - in other words, stay in a straight line; no swinging the foot out - the outside of the ankle bone is directed straight at the target until the back leg has reached full extension (completed the “leap over the creek” and ready to touch down on “the other side”)

Notice there is no balance point or even a leg lift. I don’t teach the leg lift initially; I just like the kids to move explosively to the plate and to get them to understand that pitching is a sideways moving activity. Many young pitchers do too many things with the leg lift that adds too many variables - some kids don’t have the functional strength yet, some over-rotate, some swing the leg, and many move too slow.

So, I don’t really like most pitching “drills”, per se. I just like to use cues that kids can understand and begin to implement right away into their deliveries.

I’m concerned about his arm action, it looks like he’s going straight to the power position (More like a catcher), I’d like to see a 3rd base look if you have one.
I think, if this is a you created mech, that you have good ideas going on…keep it simple and smooth (Integrating hip explosiveness isn’t excluded from this either). I believe that pre-puberty is where I like to see heavy emphasis on fundemental correctness and mech development. I also want as much non-structured (Throwing with dad, brother, mother, sister…just throwing and having fun) throwing as you can get away with (This sort of thing allows the development of free and easy throwing techniques). I definately see positives in the drill work mentioned here…just make it a tangent not the focus. My experience has led me to kids this age learning more from a clinic type atmosphere say from 6-13 and waiting until puberty or after to concentrate on a personal coach (Though Dusty is a great baseball man and most certainly made it meaningful for Tmc…but there aren’t a ton of Dusty’s out there…most just like that hourly fee). The clinics my teams and kids have attended helped all of them learn and develop those body motor functions that higher level players use and it really has immediate impact at very low physical demand (Of course the same warning goes about clinics…caveat emptor fer sur dude! :wink: ).

Aman Jd on the drills I’m with you have fun with it and throw as much as you can, it is time well spent.
I knew I seen something with the hand break but couldn’t put my finger on it.

He is not going to straight to the power position it’s just hidden behind his hip at this angle. I’ll try to get the 3rd base angle so you can see it better.