Son's mechanics....control issues

Here is a link to my nine year old pitching. Any comments welcome. To me his front and rear knees seem to be collapsing too much.

He REALLY tilts his torso. That may be a habit or it may be due to lack of strength, which goes along with your idea of collapsing knees. He also lets his glove flop and he opens the hips and the shoulders VERY early.

What exactly do you mean by tilts his torso?

Thanks for commenting

The more I look the more i think he is not finishing with any balance at all.

Look at his body position at the 6 sec point.

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There’s a timing issue here. Before his front foot is down his arm is already up into the high cocked position and then rotating to throw. In essence his upper body is ahead of his lower body.


Agree with Slider97. Definitely has a timing issue which is keeping him from having good hip/shoulder separation. Hips should open first followed by upper-body. Look at a few slow-motion clips on youtube and you will definitely see the difference. One of the coaching points that is working with my son is to be patient with hand break. Check out this clip for more detail. FYI…I am not endorsing the creator of vid nor do I use his services just think it is a good example of late hand break and how it improves timing. hip shoulder timing

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I see it thanks. Upper body is definitely outracing his lower body. Any ideas on how to teach a fix to a now 10 yo.

When his arm is fully extended back, his lower half is not ready to go. When that happens, the arm must slow down to allow the lower half the time to catch up, and that kills arm speed. It’s a by product of what others have commented on. He tilts backward at the start. From the stretch, that’s not going to help anything. He will be longer to the plate and have a slow arm. If he went directly into his leg lift from set, he’d be better served than by rocking backward and swinging his leg back to front. Get behind him and, while holding a stick, ruler, or one of those ball on a stick batting aids about 1 foot forward from his front hip and to the height where his knee should be at the top of his lift. This will put his hip and front knee about 1.5 to 2 feet forward from the rubber at the top of the lift. Now he won’t have to swing his leg around his body while his arm is getting ready to move to the cocked position. He will be at a true equal and opposite position after he breaks his hands. He should be breaking his hands about the time you pull away the stick.

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Control and balance issues are starting from the initial weight shift back. Try start with his feet closer together and a slight bend in the back knee. This might fix his balance problem.

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I see that the hips and shoulders opening early is a continuous problem for him. What are some ways to correct this?

Bottom hand only tee work where you focus on minimizing shoulder rotation to contact. Choke up on the bat about 6 inches or as necessary to keep a good swing path. You can start this drill from the knees then move to standing, then progress to load stride swing with bottom hand only.

I actually was referring to his pitching mechanics. His upper body hips/shoulders are opening before foot strike.

His momentum is moving the wrong way. He driving towards 2nd base then has to stop. Then changes from a complete stop and goes to home. Losing velocity. I agree with the rest of the analysis from previous posts.

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Any tips on keeping my son’s upper body from outracing the lower body?

A lot of the timing issues he is having is due to his arm action. He takes the ball out of the glove a bit too early and then he stiffens his throwing arm and pushes it straight back toward second base. He needs to have a looser, more whip-like arm action. Here’s the way I explain the arms:

  1. As the front knee raises, the hands (with hand/ball in glove) raise at the same time. This creates fluidity and starts the syncing up process.

  2. As the knee lowers, the hands (together) lower - it’s like gently pushing down on a plunger or a large game button. Then the hands separate together as the front foot goes forward.

  3. Instead of pushing the throwing hand straight back toward second base here, the forearms (both the ball hand and glove hand) should hang down somewhat loosely as the upper arms are raised toward
    shoulder height. At this point, the glove-side upper arm should make a line straight to the target.

  4. The rear elbow can also work back behind the back (toward third base in your son’s case) to get maximal stretch; the ball should actually be hidden from the batter’s view by moving it right behind his back hip/torso, and begin to move up toward the high cocked position, remaining hidden all the way up to the side and then back of his head.

If synced properly, the throwing (upper) arm should be at approximately 45 degrees (half-way between parallel to the ground and pointing straight up to the sky) when the foot just begins to touch down. Once the front foot is planted and the front leg is braced, the throwing arm should be in the high-cocked position. From there, your son does a good job - he gets excellent maximal external rotation (lay-back of the forearm).

Hope that makes sense to you! Good luck!

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It’s been several months and the timing issue has become frustrating to say the least. For some reason we cannot get him to stop opening up early. I hired a pitching coach and lol he has become frustrated as well. I think it is a muscle memory issue. Any ideas.

Can you post some video?

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He needs to be way less aggressive with his arm action. If it could be more passive meaning not trying to abduct his arm as fast as he can, he wouldn’t have such a bad timing problem. Really he just needs to remodel his arm action, most likely trying to delaying it a bit and bringing it his arm up to this point

When his foot is down. He should try to work in the feeling of when my foot is down my front shoulder is painted to my target

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Working in front of a mirror doing your arm action works well so then he can incorporate the feeling of that correct arm action into his delivery.