Younger Pitcher help


#1

Well I’m here on behalf of my brother, who is too young to register, etc. He’s 11 and an avid pitcher. I’m usually the one to work with him since I love the game, but I stopped playing in little league and never was a pitcher myself. I do my best to work with him, but I’m looking for advice.

He throws 3 different pitches, but only one effectively. His four seam fastball is his main pitch, and he probably throws it 80%+ of the time in a game. Its mostly because at his age, if you throw strikes, then you pitch. His 2 seam is slower, and at times it moves. I guess it naturally breaks away from a lefty since he is a righty. How much should it be moving at his age. He also throws a circle change, but location and speed is sometimes a problem. Even though he is choking back on the ball, there are times when it doesn’t seem that much slower then his 4 seam.

Any advice on what he should be doing would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.


#2

[quote=“youthpitcher30”]
He throws 3 different pitches, but only one effectively. His four seam fastball is his main pitch, and he probably throws it 80%+ of the time in a game. Its mostly because at his age, if you throw strikes, then you pitch. His 2 seam is slower, and at times it moves. I guess it naturally breaks away from a lefty since he is a righty. How much should it be moving at his age. He also throws a circle change, but location and speed is sometimes a problem. Even though he is choking back on the ball, there are times when it doesn’t seem that much slower then his 4 seam.

Any advice on what he should be doing would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.[/quote]

His 2-seam movement will vary and is dependent on several things such as arm action, grip, etc.

Circle change is very much a ‘feel’ pitch. Most pitchers don’t develop command of a change-up after a few pitches, it take lots of reps to develop that ‘feel’. Also, youth pitchers sometimes don’t see much difference in the speed of their fastball and change-up due to the size of their hands. Many have to grip the fastball with 3-4 fingers and hold it back in the palm just to be able to control it. One thing that can help slow it down further and isn’t a big tip off to the batter is to consciously drag the back foot. This will take additional velocity off the ball.


#3

I agree with everything bamajeff said except for the dragging the back foot thing. If you think about it, most good pitchers drag their back foot even when throwing fastballs. It’s hard to believe that many of these guys’ fastballs are being slowed down by the dragging of the back foot.

Furthermore, the dragging of the back foot just happens as a result of other aspects of the mechanics. If you consiously try to drag the back foot, I’ll bet you’ll screw up something else.

How about trying to pronate the wrist a bit when throwing the change-up? Imparting force around the ball instead of through it is a good way to take something off and, possibly, get some movement.


#4

thanks guys. right now, I have using his change-up grip when we long toss so that he is more comfortable with it. Do you think he should try different grips?? I know when he was 8, he first started pitching, and he threw with the ball completely in his palm before we realized it? Should I see if he can throw the palmball at his age? What grips do you recomend?

Eventually I’ll upload a video into the mechanics section.

Thanks guys.

Also, when say pronate what exactly do you mean?? Should he rotate his wrist so the palm is turning out to the 3rd base side??


#5

Yes. But only to his comfort level.