Why is my son constantly throwing towards the left

Background

My dad pitched for the Astros in the late 60s early 70s and taught me
I pitched junior college
I coach Little League now

My son is an 8 year-old pitcher with good mechanics.

BUT, he’s been constantly throwing to the left. Not much, but just outside the strike zone. Not only in his pitches but all his throws in general - outfield, etc… I can’t seem to figure what is causing this.

Any ideas?

I’m learning really quick that good athletes don’t necessarily make good coaches…

If his hand is supinating, the ball will tend to drift…easy enough, put a piece of black tape around the center of the ball between his fingers, if his hand is behind the ball the tape will be a straight line, if his hand gets outside the ball it will wobble…and you’ll have your answer…if not, check his feet orientation.

Daug,

I think more background (and video) would be useful, but here is a first-pass guess…

I’m assuming that your boy is a right-handed pitcher and “throwing to the left” means from his perspective on the mound…so, he is throwing outside to right-handed hitters. Is he also throwing to the outside edge of the plate to the few left-handed hitters that he sees at this age?

In my experience, very young pitchers may have some hesitancy to come into the strike zone, especially against same-sided batters, because they often have a completely natural aversion to hitting the batter. The more empathetic your son is to the feelings of others, the more likely this is at least part of the story. Kids at 8 yo are often playing against their friends…even more reason for some hesitancy about hitting the batter.

I headed off this potential issue early with my son by having honest discussions about it…allow him to acknowledge that he doesn’t want to hit anyone on purpose–that’s not soft–it’s human nature, certainly at that age.

However, it is also very important to help him understand that it is completely the batter’s responsibility to get out of the way if a pitch does accidentally come too far inside. No matter how hard he thinks he throws at 8 yo, let him know that no batter is likely to be badly hurt from a pitch at this age…but, again, he needs to know that when a batter does get hit occasionally it is actually the batter’s fault, not the pitcher’s.

A common problem that I see many youngsters have, is having the stride leg/foot planting off a center line - from the instep/heel of the pivot foot then straight towards the plate.

When the stride leg/foot plant is too far towards the third base line (for a right-handed pitcher) this passes up to the pitcher problems with throwing across himself, thus down range his/her location will suffer.

For example, in the picture below notice how the stride leg/foot plants too closed (towards the third base line) control usually suffers by being left or right - BUT, if a pitcher goes to the extreme the other way, too far open(towards the first base line) his/her location problems can be up and down.

This picture below will help explain. Although this is not the only suggestion that can be made, it can be a start. Also in consideration is your son’s physical maturity, his stamina, eye-hand motor skills and a host of other particulars.

Coach B.

My son did this for awhile…consistently missing outside (RHP vs. RHB). In my son’s case, he seemed to do that when he would try to overpower his pitch. By doing this he also would turn and drop his head more, thus taking his eyes of the target.