The off season training with my 9yo now consists of ten minutes of towel drill a night. We have a portable mound in the garage. This drill has me looking at his finish and wondering what I should look for from him? My main interest is his back foot/hip. He does swing his back hip and foot around, but not really up and around. There is a drill where pitchers balance on their front leg, bend down pick up a ball and come back up?
I would pay more attention to the start of his delivery than the finish. What happens at the end of the delivery is largely a result of what happens earlier. Put the focus on your son’s ability to stabilize posture through knee lift and stride. The towel drill is certainly an appropriate drill for this. He should be able to eliminate head movement in directions other than towards home plate. If he can’t, get him to lower his center of gravity by bending the knees and waist. Last resort, tone down the knee lift. These are the things I would look at first.
As for the back foot/hip, if he takes care of posture and glove and he creates some momentum, the back side should take care of itself.
Great post Roger!
Also consider a variant of the towel drill in doing the same thing without using a towel and having him slap your glove with his hand palm down.
Sometimes with the towel drill kids will get into the habit of turning their thumb upwards a tad. This action can imitate to a small extent the throwing of abreaking pitch all the way up the arm by the way one is holding the towel.
Towel drill is great as long as they are snapping that towel downwards instead of across. Even so how they grip the towel can affect the entire drill so in my opinion it is not a bad idea to do the same amount of reps without using the towel versus using it…unless you are comfortable that he is doing the towel drill correctly.
Plus with no towel in hand in a sense he can’t get extended out front as far because in order to smack the glove with his hand he has to really get out there.
Just a variant I use sometimes with some kids to compliment the drill.
You’ve pointed something out that somehow isn’t understood by many people. Although there are many many separate “pieces” to any particular pitching motion, the reality is, they aren’t separate things that can be switched and changed without affecting everything else in the motion, and they certainly don’t work the same way for different people. What goes on in the finish is to a large degree affected by everything in front of it, so just changing that one phase may result in “fixing” something, but there’s just as much chance it “breaks” something as well.