Weak glove side and head issues ..advice needed


#1

My son has a tendency to look down at the ground as he is finishing his pitches. Which is affecting his accuracy. This seems to be caused by a weak glove side. I have tried verbal cues, like see the ball all the way into the glove etc. I have even tried having him hold a pair of clamps on his glove side to create some resistance. Has anyone had success with any drills or cues that may help with this head movement?

Ironically he does the same when he plays infield/outfield and actually is very accurate from these positions. But overall I just want to get his head from dropping


#2

There is no drill, prompt or other inducement to correct this tendency, that I know of, and I’ve been coaching for a while.

Correcting this tendency is a self discipline thing. This pitcher must concentrate on an ending posture that allows him to experience the visual experience of his finished product. Again, this is a self discipline thing.

Question - does he do this when playing a simple game of catch with you. A simple game of catch is something that doesn’t require a great deal of effort, nor does it require all that accuracy. So, no pressure, no accuracy issues, just a simple game of catch with dad.


#3

Thats why I told my son, have fun in HS baseball, because your not playing college or pro even if they pick you up. Unless your getting 500k signing bonus. Once your at that level, you’ve lost a lot of time for other things.


#4

When playing a game of catch with your son, start off with just a simple toss back and forth - no velocity and no real effort to get the ball anywhere but to you and you back to him.

After you both feel as though the toss back and forth has your son looking straight at you, and nothing else, take it up a notch velocity wise - but not much. Watch for any sign of your son’s tendency to start gazing down at the ground, any sign. With just a little more effort playing catch then you started off with, he shouldn’t revert back to his old habit.

Continue your game of catch, increasing your arm strength and his to bring the ball in a little faster. Remember, build this up gradually.

At the point where the velocity gets up there, and he starts to snap his head down - STOP. This is the point where he starts to howitzer the ball without really thinking of what happens next.

Bring this to his attention and ask “what’s going on here.” A shrug of the shoulders and a “I don’t know,” is no kind of answer.

Start all over again with the gradual tossing, then start to build up velocity until he looks down again - STOP. Bring this to his attention, again, and ask “what’s going on here.” A shrug of the shoulders and a “I don’t know,” is no kind of answer.

Start all over again.

Now sooner or later two things are going to happen:

  • He’ll pay more attention to that point in time when he stops thinking of what he’s doing, and corrects it.
    OR
  • He’ll walk away and tell you that this isn’t fun any more, “let’s quit.”

I honestly don’t believe there’s any middle ground here - but then, I’m not privilege to coaching youngsters. On the other hand, somewhere along the line as he gets older and stronger, this is going to be a safety issue for somebody, either for himself or for a batter.


#5

[quote=“Coach Baker”]When playing a game of catch with your son, start off with just a simple toss back and forth - no velocity and no real effort to get the ball anywhere but to you and you back to him.

After you both feel as though the toss back and forth has your son looking straight at you, and nothing else, take it up a notch velocity wise - but not much. Watch for any sign of your son’s tendency to start gazing down at the ground, any sign. With just a little more effort playing catch then you started off with, he shouldn’t revert back to his old habit.

Continue your game of catch, increasing your arm strength and his to bring the ball in a little faster. Remember, build this up gradually.

At the point where the velocity gets up there, and he starts to snap his head down - STOP. This is the point where he starts to howitzer the ball without really thinking of what happens next.

Bring this to his attention and ask “what’s going on here.” A shrug of the shoulders and a “I don’t know,” is no kind of answer.

Start all over again with the gradual tossing, then start to build up velocity until he looks down again - STOP. Bring this to his attention, again, and ask “what’s going on here.” A shrug of the shoulders and a “I don’t know,” is no kind of answer.

Start all over again.

Now sooner or later two things are going to happen:

  • He’ll pay more attention to that point in time when he stops thinking of what he’s doing, and corrects it.
    OR
  • He’ll walk away and tell you that this isn’t fun any more, “let’s quit.”

I honestly don’t believe there’s any middle ground here - but then, I’m not privilege to coaching youngsters. On the other hand, somewhere along the line as he gets older and stronger, this is going to be a safety issue for somebody, either for himself or for a batter.[/quote]

Awesome advice. Thank you so much. I think my son would actually have fun doing this. He does have the tendency even when he is playing catch so this would be perfect.


#6

Here’s another approach…

Look at what he does prior to the head movement and, in particular, his set-up on the mound. Make sure he’s not doing something earlier in the delivery that leads to the head movement. Check his starting position on the rubber, his starting posture, his knee lift and his stride direction.

Also, look at his tempo. The difference between pitching and playing in the field is that fielders usually need to get rid of the ball as quickly as possible so they move quickly through their delivery while pitchers can move as slowly as they want. You might want to have your son get himself moving down the hill sooner/faster.


#7

Roger has some good points here. He works with youngsters a lot from what I understand.

Actions and reactions of stuff is hard to nail down when that stuff becomes a constant habit. On the other hand, sometimes things happen beyond a persons control. A potential sponsor who wanted to advertise in our program flier that was passed out at every game, wanted to meet the coaching staff and get some pictures. The man had a small facial tic that, at first, seemed like he was winking at me during the introduction with a handshake. I was taken back a bit with a “… say what!..” expression, followed quickly by a … " oh that…" from the man, along with an explanation. Funny thing though, after the intro’s and some pictures, every single coach - including myself, spent the rest of that day trying to get rid of a small wink reflex on the right side of our faces. Kind of weird how that all came about. Every once and while after that, I’d pick up that weird reflex all over again.

In any event, I would suggest going through what Roger suggested and then get back to him for additional help if needed.