My son is 10 y.o. and recently has started a bad habit of throwing high. He pitched a fair amount this season in Little League at the 46foot distance, played up with 12’s and was quite successful. Then he moved on to All-Stars. He pitched o.k. Nothing great. Nothing bad. Was missing a little high when missing. He was asked to be on a travel team that uses the 50/70. distance. He pitched during practice and was terrible. Everything was high. The only difference I could see was the mound height was a bit higher and the farther distance. His mechanics look the same, but everything is sailing up. He was one of the most accurate pitchers in his league and now he can’t throw a strike. I posted video a while back and nothings changed since then mechanics wise, but physically he has grown. We’re both getting frustrated and ready to throw in the pitching towel. He can’t seem to get the ball down anymore. So we recently tried a higher leg lift, a further stride, and nothing has helped. His coach wants him to start with his legs at stride length, then bring them to set position, then pitch. He throws from set so I’m not sure about that. Any ideas?
You say he has grown. This is probably not the end of it; he will hit several growth spurts, increase in height, and he may not reach his full growth until about 17 or 18. Nothing can be done about that. But there are a couple of things he can do about the fact that he’s throwing high all the time, and these have to do with some aspects of his mechanics. He may be having a problem getting used to the higher mound, especially at the increased distance, and I think it would be a good idea for him to get together with a really good pitching coach—perhaps one with professional experience—who can help him with this aspect of his pitching. One thing he can do right now is drop his arm slot—if he’s throwing over the top, he might do well to drop down to a 3/4 angle which would give him better control of his fast ball. And it’s not too soon for him to start working on a good changeup; with those two pitches he could be more effective, especially at this stage of the game. 8)
I agree with Zita, his growth has probably jacked his mechanics, probably (not defiantely) he isn’t getting as flat as he once was. It would be good to get some video of him and if you have some old video that would be good to compare it to.
I bet both zita and buwhite are correct. His growth spurt (which as zita says he will encounter more of) and the mound also makes a difference and can toy with how a younger pitcher throws until they adapt to it. But as bu says get him to flatten out. Normally, when one of my 11-13 y/o’s start missing high, I really get them to work on finishing out the pitch and get flat. My own 11 y/o son is soooo much more effective when he gets low and flattens out to finish the pitch it is unreal. The change up is more effective and the batters have a very hard time hitting his fastball when he gets low. When I catch for him his 2 seam seams to really sink and dance and the change up looks so tempting then drops super nice when he finishes low. I have found this to be one of the harder things to keep the young pitchers I work with to keep consistent with. I notice most kids will get a little lazy on this part of the mechanics especially if they start having some success finishing high. One of my best pitchers on occasion will get tagged for a big hit when he finishes high, and I will quickly remind him what he did wrong and he will be aware of it for quite a while afterwords. As long the hit isn’t too costly of one I almost like for it to happen as it makes me correcting him a much easier job. Start with this part of his mechanics duckct and I bet the fastball will lower.
keeps us posted
I think that maybe at the increased distance of the mound to the plate is also not helping. He may be trying too hard to get the ball to the plate and that causes him to throw high.