Staying "on top of the ball" question


#1

I have a question regarding a 10 year old Im coaching. He is tall and lanky and has decent looking mechanics. the one issue I do see is that his wrist completely breaks down when he is in the power position. Im talking palm completely under the ball with fingertips pointed at the sky. Ive always tried to teach this position:
bummy
Show the ball to the corner infielder. bummy here is showing the ball to the first baseman, a righty would show to the 3rd baseman.
This isnt the best example here, but when this kids in the power position, his wrist looks like this
eshelman
In this picture, elshelman has already rotated, but you can see prior to rotation is wrist is only slightly broken
(bummer…tried to add a third link to a picture but LetsTalkPitching wont let me)
When Im behind the plate catching this kid and he is in his power position, i can see the ball fully behind his head with his wrist completely perpendicular to his forearm.
My question is, should I even both trying to fix this? and If so, where do I start? The only thing i can think of is some kind of brace that keeps his wrist from hyperextending like this.
Any suggestions are appreciated


#2

here is the third link to tried to post above
eshelman


#3

I’m always leary of trying to make a pitcher “look” a certain way. Unless there is a specific problem you can attribute to that hand position, I wouldn’t mess with it. Chances are he gets his wrist straight at ball release which is what should happen. But if you still feel the need to do something, try speeding him up to get into foot plant a little quicker as that will force him to eliminate unnecessary movements from his delivery.


#4

Hey Roger - Thanks for the response. I don’t see myself as consciously trying to make my pitchers “look” a certain way. However, I guess one could argue that pitching (and hitting) mechanics are just that. Making a player look a certain way at a certain point in time during their motion.
On one hand, I like to try and get behind the “play harder” coaching philosophy with young kids. ie, dont try and fix stuff, just tell them throw as hard as they can, swing as hard as they can, run as hard as they can.
On the other hand, i know that throwing mechanics, in particular, are very hard to adjust once a kid has developed their mechanics (usually by 7 years old). They tend to lock into those mechanics and cant change them until they are in their teens when they put instruction into practice.
So to my point, when i watch this kid throw I can literally hear all the old pitching cliches echoing in my ears.
“Dont push the ball”
“Stay on top of the ball”
“Elbow above the shoulder”
"Reach and snap down"
None of which apply to this child.
Anyway, I will definitely look at his feet next time to see when he is landing. Ive been so mesmerized but his funky arm I havent even looked at his lower half :wink:


#5

You might also video him if you have the ability to capture high speed video. I once had a kid with a very funky looking arm motion but when I looked at him in slow motion things didn’t look so bad. Getting him to move faster down the hill cleaned up what little “funk” he did have. Asking your pitcher to throw harder might also do the trick.


#6

Wouldn’t bother with it, unless he’s cranking his wrist back aggressively(have yet to see one of my teammates do that), it wouldn’t interfere with the arm paths optimization.


#7

As Roger said don’t mess with it!! Is he throwing strikes, does he complain about having a sore shoulder/elbow/wrist? Don’t over complicate mechanics with kids, if you are doing what you say, teaching “play fast” it’s the best way to go about Coaching at that age. No one should have the same mechanics, plus no one ever repeats their mechanics anyway. Just like if you were to sign your name a 100 times not one would be the same. Let him be, as he gets older it will probably work itself out, if not and he’s able to throw strikes then that’s his own funkiness to his mechanics. Id love to be updated to see if he does change with age.