My son has pitched from the set the first half of the season. Of late he has lost the speed and velocity on his fastball. We have started working on the windup and left the set. He says he feels better pitching from the windup but he has pitched for two years in the set. The kids cannot steal in his league since they are 9 yr olds. Is it a good idea to switch to this. He is 2-1 for the season. He has a 3 finger and 2 finger fastball and changeup. What do you recommend if the windup is not the way to go?
If your son had better velocity previously from the set and now his velocity has dropped off, then he has changed something about his mechanics (assuming there is no health issue involved). That should be correctable without having to resort to the wind-up. The trick is to figure out what changed.
On the other hand, your son is only 9 and if he wants to pitch from the wind-up, let him. Let him have fun. Just don’t let him completely abandon the set since he’s already use to pitching from the set. He will eventually have to use it.
Velocity from the windup and stretch should be the same since by the time you are in the post position you are the same. Drop in velocity is cretainly because of some change in technique, is he tired, maybe over pitched are you monitoring his pitch counts etc.
I think at 9 it really doesn’t matter what position he starts in…let him do whatever feels most comfortable and that he can throw “strikes” from.
When Don Larsen pitched his perfect game in the 1956 World Series he didn’t even use a windup, let alone the set position. And he pitched the game of his life. Maybe your kid would want to experiment with this no-windup delivery and see what happens. 8)
I have always taught my son the stretch or set position because I knew that pitchers must be comfortable from that position to be successful. Unless you are a strikeout machine and never walk anyone, the set must become your friend. To this day, he pitches 100% from the stretch because he doesn’t like the wind-up. When a coach asks him to work from the windup, what is comfortable for him is a 45 degree back/side step, then he comes forward into his lift with his hips forward and his legs leaning significantly toward the target.
Velocities should be similar from both the windup and the set–especially if the first step from the wind up is a side step instead of a step backward.
If your first step is backward, a pitcher should be able to generate more forward momentum and velocity from the windup, provided that he doesn’t kill the benefit through counter-rotation or coming to the dreaded vertical lift balance position.
Watched Yu Darvish pitch last night. He pitched from the stretch the whole game. The commentators said that’s what he does. Not a bad pitcher, either.