U14 Pitcher


#1

Here is my son throwing a bullpen. He throws with good intent and generates momentum down the mound. We are working on firming up his plant leg. Any other thoughts would be appreciated.


#2

Good stuff.

One thing… I’d like to see him eliminate the recoiling of his pitching arm following the release and follow-through of his pitch.


#3

This is the position that causes me some concern with both command and some added stress

That is a big head tilt at ball release. His body is in a good position, but I prefer to see his head more upright. My guess is that he has a tendency to pull the ball low and to his glove side, which probably becomes more pronounced as he gets fatigued.


#4

What would you do about the head tilt?


#5

Could this be related to him not bracing his plant leg enough? He is pretty good(for him) in these example of planting his lead leg but you can still see him coming forward after ball release. Is the recoil related to not transferring all his built up energy into the ball at release?


#6

He does tend to miss low and to the glove side at times. I have always attributed that to him using his glove side and really pulling through. Do you think the head tilt is due to the glove side action.


#7

Look up connection ball & drills. Think it would be helpful.


#8

Is there some hats wrong with it? Not criticizing, I’m just unknowing.


#9

His post leg is slowing his movement down the mound. Look how he rolls onto his shoe strings at FFP. He’s dragging the foot in a manner similar to what some teach to help slow a CU.


#10

Sorry I didn’t follow up more, ran out of time. The head tilt can be a result of a couple different issues. The biggest is strength. You see it a lot in younger and smaller youth pitchers. They develop it as compensation. Your son throws with a lot of intent, which is great. It looks like something that he has worked a lot on. He needs to have the strength to support it (which I would bet would also help with the recoil). Some of it will work itself out as he grows. There is a lot of great info on this site and others (I’m a fan of Eric Cressey) on good ways to create functional strength.

I also see this from kids who were forced at a young age by well intentioned dads or volunteer coaches to throw “over the top”. If it is not a natural throwing position (which it isn’t for most) kids will compensate with a head tilt. Raise the hand higher, move the head over.

Fixing using drills takes a lot of repetition. I use the knee drill (throwing from two knees, not one), and the rocker drill which both take the earlier momentum out of the throw. You can also try having him pitch from flat ground at a small cone on the ground at extended distances (start 60, then extend out). Extending the distance magnifies the mistake and they miss the cone by a lot. You will be surprised at how trying to hit a small target by pitching at extended distances will force them to keep everything in line with the target including the head.

One last thing I once watched someone much smarter than me try that worked immediately. He told a kid to throw some pitches sidearm and see how it felt. What felt like sidearm to the kid turned out to be a nice 3/4 delivery with the head tilt removed that felt more natural and comfortable.


#11

Excellent post, grfett!


#12

Thank you for the follow up comments. The strength to support the momentum he is generating could be the problem. He is very thin…6’0" and only about 120-125 lbs. He really hasn’t done much in the way of adding core strength. I think that might be the direction to look to see if that reduces the recoil and head tilt.