Working between starts


#1

Right now no rec league, tourneys every other weekend. What would you guys suggest to keep one’s timing right and generally stay sharp?

He’s 11, and while not the most accurate (not bad, most times gets the job done, sometimes with drama, lol), and not overpowering (58-61), he does throw pretty effortlessly, so bullpen work between starts, within reason, shouldn’t be a problem, and is needed as rust seems to be… (a problem).


#2

My pitching coach of many moons ago—an active major-league pitcher—believed in throwing every day, for obvious reasons: to keep the arm loose and flexible and to avoid rust, which as you indicated can be a problem. What I did was throw between starts, alternating between just playing catch for about twenty minutes and doing a bullpen session in which I would work on a new pitch, refine an existing one, or concentrate on some aspect of my mechanics. And if I had to relieve between starts, that counted as “throwing every day”. Your kid can do the same thing, in amounts appropriate to his age—don’t overdo it 8)


#3

Thanks for the reply.

I overheard his PC telling another dad, first day after being on the mound nothing, second maybe some light throwing, infield type stuff, third… little more effort, pretty much anything but mound, forth…ready for bullpen work, maybe game, fifth…ready to go.

So from what you’ve said the above isn’t bad advice?


#4

Sounds like a reasonable plan. Of course, it would depend on how much your son pitches in each tournament. If a lot, then one good bullpen in between tournaments would be enough. If he doesn’t pitch much, then maybe two short bullpens spaced out during the two weeks between tournaments would be good.


#5

How much do you play just plain old catch?


#6

Not much. In the past, between rec and Tball he had enough baseball thru the week to suffice, but I think we’ll start throwing some, as it fits in, he really needs some mound time between tourneys though.


#7

I asked because it was how I conditioned mine. We threw “all the time”…til he was 19 anyway :stuck_out_tongue:

My reasoning is this, the act is such a terrific bonding mechanism first and foremost, but we in a very unstructured and fun way we were able to work on accuracy, pitch manipulation, mechanic portions broken down nearly every single day (Excluding obvious things like rain and illness and whatnot). I mean the way that we developed and nearly perfected a classic 12-6 uncle charlie (He was 12) was to stand about 30’ apart and just practice the tumble rotation at slo-mo speeds, feet just set so the upper half could feel all the things it needed to do to get to the right spots. We’d also just play, like to see if he could follow my target around the zone spot to spot…much like he does now in his pens…only then it was a game to see if he could stay up late or go to a friends or rent a game or vid…long toss was just for the shear joy of seeing who could chunk that bad boy and we always did it til we didn’t feel like it anymore…never “pushing” it more than just to see what we had and who could deal.
I didn’t need validation from external sources to see how it worked, he thrived, his arm was and still is rubber, never sore never fatigued, I have an experience with my sons that can never be taken and looking back no regrets for the few minutes each day that I took…on the contrary, I have the comfort of these memories and other memories this closeness spawned. As to getting your son on the hill between starts I agree, head on down on his off week-end and have him throw a structured pen but in between all of that just (Even if you can’t make it buy him a bucket of balls) toss or play catch, the more confidence, the more reps the more accurate…just keep it unstructured and stay away from wearing out.


#8

That’s why Baseball is great! On occassion in past summers, my wife gathers the boys in the neighborhood, puts them in the car, and drives them to the baseball field in Town. She lets them out and leaves them alone while she reads a book. They pick sides, make up rules and have a ball. When they jump back in the car they’re sweaty, arguing, and full of life. Man…that’s the best.


#9

[quote=“jdfromfla”]I asked because it was how I conditioned mine. We threw “all the time”…til he was 19 anyway :stuck_out_tongue:

My reasoning is this, the act is such a terrific bonding mechanism first and foremost, but we in a very unstructured and fun way we were able to work on accuracy, pitch manipulation, mechanic portions broken down nearly every single day (Excluding obvious things like rain and illness and whatnot). I mean the way that we developed and nearly perfected a classic 12-6 uncle charlie (He was 12) was to stand about 30’ apart and just practice the tumble rotation at slo-mo speeds, feet just set so the upper half could feel all the things it needed to do to get to the right spots. We’d also just play, like to see if he could follow my target around the zone spot to spot…much like he does now in his pens…only then it was a game to see if he could stay up late or go to a friends or rent a game or vid…long toss was just for the shear joy of seeing who could chunk that bad boy and we always did it til we didn’t feel like it anymore…never “pushing” it more than just to see what we had and who could deal.
I didn’t need validation from external sources to see how it worked, he thrived, his arm was and still is rubber, never sore never fatigued, I have an experience with my sons that can never be taken and looking back no regrets for the few minutes each day that I took…on the contrary, I have the comfort of these memories and other memories this closeness spawned. As to getting your son on the hill between starts I agree, head on down on his off week-end and have him throw a structured pen but in between all of that just (Even if you can’t make it buy him a bucket of balls) toss or play catch, the more confidence, the more reps the more accurate…just keep it unstructured and stay away from wearing out.[/quote]

We do the same thing and can attest to what you’ve experienced. Outside validation is not needed, 'cause it works.

As a coach in LL, it’s easy to tell which boys throw with their dads and which ones only throw when they’re at practice or at the game. One dad asked me the other day if I could teach his very athletic son to throw like mine. Sure, I could teach him the mechanics and a proper way to throw, but he needs a dad to teach him discipline, work on his attitude and desire and someone to throw with on a regular basis.


#10

Thanks for the parenting advice, but after spending the last few years almost every weekend in an 6x12 enclosed trailer, parked in the middle of a MX park, you get close. I won’t even go into the trust that’s built when one sends his kid to do something that could very well result in serious injury or death, or the trust a son has in dad that the bike is ready because he knows the outcome of a motor dying on the face of a 30’ double.

As to throwing, the kid’s arm isn’t a problem, it’s mine. I have what is called impediment syndrome (just short of a torn rotator). It’s all I can do to throw BP every day, sometime have the wife stick a knife into your shoulder, but I will start throwing with him.

Last lesson the kid threw 108 pitches and was as strong or stronger at the end than when he started (no pain). The coach never lets the kids throw that much, but Keegs was so beside himself that he couldn’t get a ball over the plate that once the timing came around (about 50-60 pitches) he thought it was important to let him continue for confidence reasons. So work is needed in between starts.

As to the pitch count, Keegs was really upset we made him stop at 108, and his speed had ticked up at the end. His coach said, “if you ever really get this pitching thing down you are a kid capable of throwing complete games, no problem”.


#11

Maybe a net and a bucket of balls…that works too.
I’m not certain it’s true but legend has it that Maddux in the off season used to get a bucket and just endlessly throw at a particular brick on a brick wall.
If I thought you wanted dad advice I’d have pointed you elsewhere maybe…what I did helped my son become deadly accurate, strong armed and a college scholarship pitcher…I think you are one heck of a good dad…way good enough for me anyway…fwiw


#12

[quote]Maybe a net and a bucket of balls…that works too.
I’m not certain it’s true but legend has it that Maddux in the off season used to get a bucket and just endlessly throw at a particular brick on a brick wall.
If I thought you wanted dad advice I’d have pointed you elsewhere maybe…what I did helped my son become deadly accurate, strong armed and a college scholarship pitcher…I think you are one heck of a good dad…way good enough for me anyway…fwiw[/quote]

Don’t take things so personally, that may, or may not have been directed at you…either way your input is always welcome…

I don’t need bonding time here, but a little more causal throwing may be in order. This I know, the kid needs some mound time in between starts, and it sounds like maybe every 3-4 days in between starts, light(ish) bullpen work would do no harm? Thanks


#13

Fair enough…now if we can get past the first value I assigned it, the second is that you were concerned about the boys accuracy, the reason catch is so powerful as a tool is that it isn’t “formalized”…which means it’s not going through the “hassle” of getting ready and collected and to a mound to do a “pen”…now in my world (Obviously not yours) this leads to things being more chore-like than fun-like and if you go missing them for the reasons that crop up…he doesn’t get his time…catch is there and with your involvement will be a fun looked to portion of his day…you don’t have to long toss…like I said get a bucket of Wilsons (I think there is 50 in there) and catch for him (So you can moniter and get a “feel” of his pitching/throwing…much, very much, can be learned) or just catch the ball and tell him what looks good…and what doesn’t and that he’s a goof and maybe he oughta throw this pitch in this situation or that.
The more he throws the more confident and the more in control…catch puts the least stress for the most reps and most constant feedback…
About $200 bucks gets the balls and net…less if you have a “Play-it Again” Sports or other used athletic goods store.


#14

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so check back here later. :wink:

Also, don’t be offended by my post, I can be a smartazz at times but am mostly harmless. The poster with the “I can tell when a dad is working with a kid at LL” pushed my button. I try not to go on, but I wonder if the fact my son can chase a ball to the fence and throw it all the way home, or at 11 is within a few feet of knocking it out of 300 ft parks, or…(I could go on, about football and basketball also), is a giveaway I don’t work with him, LOL.


#15

My comment was not meant to offend, nor would it have any reference to your family. It’s my observation from being involved with youth baseball that there are too many 11 and 12 year-olds who cannot make the throw from 3rd to 1st, or even 2nd to 1st, and the basic reason is they never threw the ball when they were younger with their dad, or siblings, or neighbors or friends, etc. Your son is blessed to have you as a father. It’s evident you provide the best for your son, both emotional and for what he needs.


#16

a bucket of balls (well worn)

a cage

again

home

and…

11.5 yr 5’ 2"ish 120 lbish 30" -5 EXO Sorry for such a messy shop, been
busy… :oops:


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#17

he pitches too, although with mixed results. Comments? He’s throwing off-speed and maybe 80-85% FB (55-58…).


#18

2 things I notice, first, his hand is not behind the ball…good for that slider you like so much…bad for the shoulder. A piece of electrical tape around the circumference and when it is a line (After thrown) and stabilized his hand will be behind it. Hand outside the ball is not a good thing Some, I’d work on this, you’ll also find when he does it he’ll have a very dynamic 2 seamer and likely it will sink very pretty with his arm action. Second?? I bet you can guess, it’s something Roger and I seem to be preaching all the time…

Thats right the front side is slingy… very hard to be accurate, have him get to equal and opposite…I don’t mean he looks like a crucified schmuck, but at foot strike/power position I’d like to see his pitching hand in it’s place (Hi cocked)…I don’t advocate forcing it to face centerfield more like ss, and the glove hand in front, thumb down, and when he starts to deliver/rotate, the glove turns up and he brings his chest to glove. As strong as this boy is (And lord for an 11 yr old your boy is strong!!!) he’ll have some pin-point blazing heat that moves in to the righty on the 2 seamer.


#19

Thanks, I’ll add some later, but wanted to address the hand. Yes he did throw the"slider" a time or two. That said his coach is on him about letting his hand/fingers slide off the ball instead of keeping them behind it, so it is a problem and something we work on. He also has a tendency to really let his arm drop, sometimes to below sidearm.


#20

Some…count just how many different directions and bodily misdirections he’s doing before he actually releases. Accuracy…no doubt an issue.

The dropping the arm thing…Some the hand outside the ball thing is HUGE, I’d actually like your permission to use your vid on ASMI’s site as an illustration as to the shoulder forces that doing this incures, that aside to get the hand to that presentation he puts his shoulder and associated support mechanisims (Cartalidge/tendon/ligaments) in an extremely vunerable position fully and almost “hyper” extending it…one slip away dude and I mean that with as much emphasis as I can. The nice thing is that fix I gave you can fix it almost immediately and heal it forever with just minor maintenance practise every now and then. I think the reason his arm slot drops is simply fatigue of the shoulder muscles and support groups…a 108 pitch pen with this issue will fatigue the heck out of muscle not meant to be the primary support mechanism…the natural tendancy with that fatigue will be to drop the arm more.
Believe it or not…if you get his hand behind the ball and stabalize his front I’d bet you my recording of Jim Morrisons “American Prayer” that he’ll never drop his arm slot again…unless he does it on purpose…I’d also bet he’ll be even more rubber armed than ever before.