Zach - Just finished 12U - Pitching Analysis

Hi - just wanted a second eye on my son’s mechanics as his 12U season ends. He is taking the fall off and want to fine tune things this winter along with starting a real workout program with him as I think physical strength is an issue at this point (even though he is a big kid). Looking at TuffCuff as a possible program to start.

Any specific parts of his delivery to work on? I am trying to get him to use his legs more but part of that is getting stronger too. He tends to pull to his glove side as you can see on his follow through but some of that may also be that he is top heavy body-wise. Trying to get him to drive straighter toward plate on release rather than to his glove side.

I think his mechanics look very good! Personally I would keep hammering down the “use your legs” but the lower half mechanics look good with good energy/force transfer throughout. Also, definitely look into a light strengthening program (I am unfamiliar with the TuffCuff so check into that as you wish), I suggest anything from Alan Jaeger. Good luck!

I had a buddy of mine tell a story of how he went to a power lifting seminar put on by a guy named Louie Simmons from Westside Barbell. He is considered a guru…expert if you will. He had guys come up and get under the bar and perform squats and he would talk form and mechanics with every guy there. Louie was very thoughtful with every guy that squatted and gave very clear advice on how each individual could get stronger and make their lifts go up. One of the last guys to get under the bar was a very large teenager of about 19 or so. He did his squat and racked the weight. Louie’s only critique was “your problem is that you’re weak.” That was all that was said and they went to the next guy.
That may come across as Louie being an a-hole. Not at all. No other words would have helped. Sometimes we seek too much advice. Sometimes we get too much information. With your pitcher, I would say, he isn’t as strong as he needs to be (as you mentioned). Work on becoming more explosive and that will take care of a lot of things. Just get him stronger. Mobility and stability training. Change of direction training. Get him into sports performance training. The kid will love it and buy in. Once he buys in, you will see tremendous change in him physically and in his confidence. Good luck!!!

Hi Mac, I see a few things that your son can improve on that will help him with accuracy, velocity and injury prevention. When working with a pitcher one should always start with the lower half first then work their way up to the top half.

Lower half:

  1. If you look closely at the video your son’s knee and thigh are pointing behind the right-handed batter. Have your son’s front heel align with the back heel when the front foot lands. This will stop him from stepping across his body and will prevent falling off to glove side.
  2. Lead with front hip- your son sticks his hip out at the top of his motion, but he does not lead with his hip. He leads with his front leg/foot.
  3. He has a bent front knee when he follows through with the pitch. The bent front knee will allow his body to continue traveling forward killing velocity. I am going to give a big secret away here that most coaches will not tell others, but young pitchers need to know. When your son’s front foot lands have him rotate his back hip to the front and this will straighten his front leg. When he gets strong enough have him land with the front foot and have his knee bend approximately 45 degrees and rotate back hip.

Top Half:

  1. When your son’s front foot touches down his arm should be in the cocked position. This will prevent him from a future elbow injury.
  2. If he is pointing the ball back to center field stop it immediately this is how I was taught in high school and college and should no longer be taught. The ball should be pointed more towards the shortstop position for right-handed pitchers and second base for left-handed pitchers.

If anyone see’s anything else, please help this young pitcher.

From former college pitcher and pitching coach.

Watch Zack Greinke Pitching Mechanics - Leads with front hip, arm in cocked position when the front foot lands at .28 seconds, Ball pointed at shortstop - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRPtVfEz4es

Also watch this video of Steve Full video here demonstrating the “Wall Drill” Sequence for learning Power Moves and Leading with the Hips and Engaging the Back Leg…

Hi Mac,

I agree with TopGun regarding the lower half. Lack of early weight shift will result in lower velo numbers. So the question is, why doesn’t your son produce good early momentum? 2 reasons.
#1 His starting foot position on the rubber. The pitcher’s support foot should be positioned so that the mid foot and heel are up against the rubber. This allows the foot to push down and back so that the lower body can move sideways down the mound. Your son is pitching from on top of the rubber. He can not gain quality forward momentum during weight shift because he doesn’t have the mound to help him push down and out.
#2 Ball release. The pitcher finishes with his head and shoulders positioned out over his landing knee and his trunk flexed forward. Your son finishes with his head and shoulders behind his landing knee instead of out over his landing knee. His trunk is in a more upright position. This usually indicates poor starting momentum where the body does not have enough energy to get the hips and trunk up and over the front hip. And this goes back to #1.

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Hope this helps
Steve C

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Thanks everyone for taking a look. This will give me some things to work on with him this winter. Appreciate your time.