We would appreciate any thoughts


#1

This is my 11 y.o. son. He’s come a long way with his pitching, his confidence on the mound has increased and he really enjoyed himself this season. I’ve learned a ton here and we hope that you will be so kind as to give us your thoughts on how he can improve.

Thanks again.

Doublebag


#2

I would say that the biggest thing is to improve his stride.


#3

A leg kick and push off when pitching goes a long way.


#4

Thinking out loud, I am going to state what I see. Maybe others can comment on my thoughts or tell me if I am going in the wrong direction.

  • Balance and posture/head movement. Though there is some head movement toward second base at the outset, it is toward homeplate though the rest of his delivery. His head stays over his belly button and there is little or no movement toward first or third. His stride is neither too open (toward first) nor too closed (toward third). I think he does pretty well here.

*Linear momentum/stride length. From what I have seen and read, stride length is a function of linear momentum toward home plate. Starting with his feet closer together might get him moving toward home plate quicker which could increase his linear momentum and increase his stride length. On the other hand, the movement away from home appears to serve a loading function on his post leg. A loss of this loading might offset any momentum gains. I am inclined to keep his starting position and continue with step behind drills and Hershiser drills to work on linear momentum.

*Glove side control. He is pretty consistent with his glove, though I would like to see his glove higher and more out over his stride foot. I’d also like to see more conscious “chest to glove” and less passive tucking of the glove.

*Rotation/hip-shoulder separation. This is where I see the most potential gain. He seems to have very little separation between his hips and shoulders, which gives the appearance of thowing with a lot of arm. This seems to be improving gradually as he gets stronger, but a higher glove position out in front of the stride foot should help buy time for later shoulder rotation.

  • Intent. He has a fairly smooth looking delivery. This masks some of his velocity, which compares to most of the 12 y.o.'s in the league (a year older). Neverthess, throwing with more intent should help improve his velocity.

Thanks for your help.

Doublebag


#5

Also remember that while his torso hip seperation is not great right now he is only 11. He has nowhere near the strength of say a Tim Lincecum or a CC Sabathia. These pitchers are full matured and have developed high amounts of athletic strength. Not to say that your son shouldn’t work on perhaps staying closed longer, I’m just saying that he should gain more seperation and velocity as he gets older and stronger.


#6

[quote]*Rotation/hip-shoulder separation. This is where I see the most potential gain. He seems to have very little separation between his hips and shoulders, which gives the appearance of thowing with a lot of arm. This seems to be improving gradually as he gets stronger, but a higher glove position out in front of the stride foot should help buy time for later shoulder rotation.

Also remember that while his torso hip seperation is not great right now he is only 11. He has nowhere near the strength of say a Tim Lincecum or a CC Sabathia. These pitchers are full matured and have developed high amounts of athletic strength. Not to say that your son shouldn’t work on perhaps staying closed longer, I’m just saying that he should gain more seperation and velocity as he gets older and stronger.[/quote]

Thanks, Priceless. This is a very good point.

I’ve wondered, and maybe others could comment, whether hip/shoulder separation is a function of strength, flexibility, or motor skill development (or a combination of the three).

Frankly, it doesn’t seem to take much strength to rotate the hips independently of the shoulders, but it does take some flexibility. I can see how more strength would increase the torque generated when the shoulders are subsequently brought back into alignment with the hips.

It also seems that the natural human tendency is to rotate the hips and shoulders simultaneously or to intiate trunk rotation with the shoulders. This leads me to believe that hip/shoulder separation is partly a learned skill.

Thanks.

Doublebag