Seeking input - Pitching breakdown of 9u

So, I’m a cautious new Dad and have learned a lot trying to get lay down a good base for my son. We’ve been working since he’s been 5 and he handles mechanical changes really good. We have mostly been working on batting since he’s been 5, and not so much throwing. But now he’s entering kid pitch, and will be asked to throw some. Our number one goal is for him to stay healthy, throughout his career, whether that be till 12, 18 or beyond. I am a video nerd of a research crazed Dad, and of course, there’s so many different opinions out there on the correct way to pitch. We are having a hard time figuring out which pitching philosophy is “correct.”

I have lately been researching Austin Wasserman throwing philosophy, but he doesn’t really go in depth with pitching, just throwing. We’ve looked at tons of articles with driveline, rebellion, o’leary, house, dr yeager, blewitt, and all the regurgitated stuff on youtube…and basically want to see what you guys think of his mechanics and if there’s anything for us to change?

I understand he’s only 9, but its important for us to lay a good foundation and to really set up his muscle memory and to develop some good throwing habits now. He is very capable of high level mechanical changes, and i’ve tried not to tinker with much. Basically nudging him here and there, and then letting his body figure out the best way to complete it. I’ve found that naturally, his body will figure out the best way and most efficient way to execute a mechanical action, like swinging and throwing given enough repetitions and some guidance. We’ve seen some local former MLB and Minor league pitching coaches, but they are too cookie cutter, wanting to mold/change the throw to what they see as correct from their days. 90% are just not open to the listening to new data or methodology and really take offense when you bring that stuff up. So it looks like, Dad is on his own for a few more years…I also understand he’s 9 chronologically, but 8 biologically (bone scan), so we definitely dont want to apply high level throwing/pitching at him now…if unapplicable. We don’t do weighted balls, we do long toss, and some bands, and just throw.

I’m also very interested in the biomechanics and would love to visit and get some results of course, but he may be too young at this point. What got me to post was reading some stuff on Driveline and preventing UCL tears. They attribute a factor to be early scap loading, which is basically what Austin Wasserman kinda teaches. He suggest (in my understanding) to basically get into that scap load early (i could be wrong/right?). Also, holding that scap load during pitching could be bad as the elbow is stationary and the forced to move as the body moves to pitch? Trying to clarify some stuff and get more opinions…please let us know if we’re on the right track? Does his mechanics look safe for now to just let him go, or do we need to slightly adjust somethings?

I’m not a total geek on mechanics and I’m not really here to answer your question but…
it sounds like you guys are pretty serious about baseball. That is a great thing! If I had to give one piece of advice non mechanics related, it would be to play multiple sports. Or something that helps your son to continue to be athletic. It will really help him be better a baseball.

I also feel that especially as a pitcher, if he wants to pitch as he gets older you have to limit his throwing. It will help soooooo much with his arm strength (but continue to workout). I wouldn’t lift weights until he’s older, and has stopped growing, but that is your choice as a dad to make.

Here are just some main ideas. there are more in-depth things online.

One last thing. When he gets older and really understands that good mechanics is really helpful. Show him the videos of himself to compare to MLB swings/pitches. By watching himself, it really helps to actually see what may be wrong with his swings/pitches. This is an observation i made myself when i tried to fixed my great (horrible) mechanics (:

Good luck!

Thanks for the advice. Yes, he does play football and boxes. He hits lefty and throws righty, and we have him box shouthpaw to develop that side of his rotational balance, as he does everything else righty, and we’ve seen improvement with his left hand swing. I’ve also sat him down to watch the videos of himself, but I don’t force him, he’s not quite mentally there yet to see himself.

Regarding the throwing, we are so on the fence with taking a break (2-3 months of no throwing) versus, light tossing/playing catch every few days. I’m always asking how his arm is doing and performing Valgus test on his lower elbow to see if there’s any pain…so I try to monitor it really close. I’ve had and read too many friends/stories on getting their elbow hurt in the process. Is it up to fate? Is it use? Is it mechanics? Is it how each person’s physical build is?

But the reality is he’s probably going to be a positional player, but it doesn’t hurt to be able to pitch and also correctly throw, and have velocity if his goal is to compete at the highest level his talents can take him. Thanks so much for the input!

You are all he needs to become as good as he can be.

Learn the scientific steps to first mitigate Force application pathologies. Do no harm!

I have prepared 100’s of youth pitchers and throwers in over 40 years of private practice and there is only one source that has an actual researcher in Child development, motor skill and exercise physiology running the . He happens to hold the first Cy Young award to a reliever.

All information is free at DrMikeMarshall.com and is in depth with a solid life long pedagogy to follow. You will learn how biological age should be used to dole out increases in training timeline stress and why. You will learn how the 2 ( inside of vertical or outside of vertical) ways to drive the ball with your Humerus and Forearm maximally without ballistic bone crash.

When you read there, have an exit and return strategy or the wife will not be happy.

Focus on the top half because the superior bottom half is not being allowed to achieve.

Any questions, don’t hesitate.

Thanks Dirtberry, I’m wondering does Mr Marshall take in virtual kid clients? He’s not ready to be housed yet. Marshall’s stuff is quite extraordinary and and the amount of information he has is ever daunting. We have looked at his work and I’m just starting to grasp some of his basics. Not quite ready to start or make any changes with my son yet until fully realizing the consequences. I could do some of his drills but that seems like nonsense without actually knowing the reasoning behind those drills, so I’ve kinda left that to reinvestigate at a later time.

Where to start for us is the key? Or better yet, where do we go from here to stabilize our momentum.

When mine was a little younger (he’s eleven now), I would always hear people say “just let them have fun.” I would scoff at them and think their kid must not be very good. That was the old me. Nothing matters until puberty when it comes to baseball. I can’t stress this enough…emphasize the fun of it. That’s it. There is your magic formula. His mechanics are normal for a nine year old. They aren’t great, but they certainly aren’t bad. The velocity is not very good. Oh well!!! Who cares? It’s around average or so. There isn’t a lot you can do as a parent to help him with baseball right now. Can you clean his swing up? Maybe. Can you make him throw harder? Maybe. The young spirit is so fragile. I would encourage you to be very careful in what you do with your little man and only worry about having fun. To answer your question though…he is not going to get hurt throwing the ball right now. Keep in fun. Don’t worry a whole bunch about pitch counts until he is throwing max effort. Just let him have fun. The kids that injure themselves tend to be the very high velocity throwers. That’s what I’ve seen. Good luck to you and your son. Enjoy the ride.

Also, check out Lantz Wheeler. I believe he has the best information out there. Just my opinion. Always worth getting new info, right?

Yaajer,

“ I’m wondering does Mr Marshall take in virtual kid clients? “

Dr. Marshall has hung em up. He is in his 80’s now and done with his extended research that culminated in his free web service.

“ Marshall’s stuff is quite extraordinary and and the amount of information he has is ever daunting.”

This is why you need to slowly absorb it all with patience and only start with the main tenets like alignments and timings.

“We have looked at his work and I’m just starting to grasp some of his basics.”

there are only a few things his age group needs at this time but keep plowing thru it. The question and answer files are a must and some great reading.

“Not quite ready to start or make any changes with my son yet until fully realizing the consequences.”

Just realize that the traditional way has been diagnosed by an actual expert and said to be a pathomechanical nightmare that most coaches refuse to take part in, yet you see many of the tenets now being produced and talked about.

“ I could do some of his drills but that seems like nonsense without actually knowing the reasoning behind those drills, so I’ve kinda left that to reinvestigate at a later time.”

Learn those drills, they are predicated on the principles of backwards chaining. They are also used to “sport specifically” overload train and underload train that your son will be doing later when he’s matured more

“Where to start for us is the key?”

Start with simply walking forwards to throw. When he starts forwards, have his ball arm side leg (true Crow step) go first. When he throws he should rotate 180 degrees to recover with his ball arm elbow up and out in front.

“Or better yet, where do we go from here to stabilize our momentum.”

Don’t worry about momentum, he will build very small amounts of it if he gets both legs involved when he learns to stay tall and rotate.

There is virtually no momentum used in the traditional approach, all early momentum from pushing off the rubber is stopped after the first kinetic chain (lengthening chain) because the Humerus is not ready to throw yet, this approach creates a late Humeral/Forearm transition timing that destroys the Elbow and other things.

The drills are a great way to warm up also.

Til next time, have fun