Stride Length? How important is it?

How important is the length of the stride? My 9-year old does not have a long stride and I wanted to know what the benefits are and if it is something we should begin to work on.

Is there an ideal length based on a person’s height?

Stride length is a result, somewhat. One can stride 7 feet, but if there isnt much momentum, it doesn’t do much good does it? At nine years old, i would focus on the basics rather than the specifics. Basics, good rhythm, and strikes should be the focus. But even at an older age, i wouldn’t focus on stride length. If a guy only stides 3 feet but is throwing 100mph would you tell him he’s not pitching correctly? Just my two cents.

This was an interesting article posted on this site a year or so ago. The second one is actually linked in the first.

Eric Cressey wrote some good articles on this subject:

[quote=“CSOleson”]Eric Cressey wrote some good articles on this subject:[/quote]

Good articles. Below is taken from “closing thoughts” of part 3 & some great advice. I’ve seen youth coaches in our area pushing kids to stride longer with counterproductive results. Cressey also mentions most common among kids 14-17 years old who lack arm speed to catch up with the stride.

Closing Thoughts

While a long stride can certainly be advantageous in the throwing motion, as I’ve shown in this series, forcing it when you don’t have the right physical preparation or mechanical coaching in place can actually hurt an pitcher’s performance and health. Remember that the best changes are subtle ones; in other words, you might increase a stride by six inches over the course of a year, not in a single session.

Interesting stuff… I have to say my sons pc has really stressed a long drive in his case 5 ft (he’s 5’10 14 y/o) seems to be the magic number. If he doesn’t drive that much it’s usually high.

86% seems to be in the desired range. I think too many people get caught up in pushing younger kids to stride out further than they are capable at a given time. A local team here has a coach that pushed 14 year olds to stride 100% of height regardless of where they started. He used a drill where they had to hit a towel with their hand upon finishing their pitch. I’ve read that stride lengths are the by product of entire mechanics. Reaching out to achieve a certain length I believe is counterproductive. At 12 years old my kid was having control/consistency issues. PC shortened his stride because he felt like he was reaching & arm was dragging behind. He’s now 14 & last I checked he was striding 82-83% & very gradually lengthens over time. His velocity is above average & control has been very good. Below is a link to an article Steven Ellis wrote on pitchers stride which he states minimum should be 80-90% of height with some pitchers finding it beneficial to stride up to 100% of height; that’s a pretty wide range. All I’m saying is they’re not all alike; have read it not the length of stride that matters but how you stride.

Thanks for all the great feedback. Honestly, being only 9, I just want my son to throw a lot of strikes with enough velocity that will not take away from accuracy.

If lengthening his stride will do it, we’ll see. I guess we have to try and see what happens. Great forum for advice.


Stride length is a product of tempo and momentum. Most MLB pitchers that have lengthy strides share the ability to project the center mass. All of which correlate to increased velocity. Focus only on stride length and you get a longer stride. Focus on tempo and momentum and you get increased velocity, oh… And a longer stride.

Great point ThinkTank

[quote=“”]Focus only on stride length and you get a longer stride. Focus on tempo and momentum and you get increased velocity, oh… And a longer stride.[/quote]Well put.