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Thread: Pitching distance advice (Dilemma)

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    Pitching distance advice (Dilemma)

    My son will be taking pitching lesson starting next week. Here is were I need advice , what distance should he pitch from? He will be playing Little League (Williamsport) which is 46 feet, but if he makes his middle school team they will be pitching from a regulation size mound. Should I have his pitching coach ease him in to 60, as my son has pitched from 51 feet in some tournaments or start at 46 and work my way up to 60?

    Thanks in advance for any guidance you can provide.
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    The first thing an instructor should be working on is balance and mechanics. The distance for these is irrelevant. I've never dealt with the distance issue. What I did with my son even though he played 13U (passed on another year of LL when the date changed) and middle school starting at the same time was start him at 54 feet and work back to 60 feet. Part of the decision was he was 5'2", 100 that year.

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    I used 60 feet from 10 up. It didn't seem to matter for fastballs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AL_DAD View Post
    My son will be taking pitching lesson starting next week. Here is were I need advice , what distance should he pitch from? He will be playing Little League (Williamsport) which is 46 feet, but if he makes his middle school team they will be pitching from a regulation size mound. Should I have his pitching coach ease him in to 60, as my son has pitched from 51 feet in some tournaments or start at 46 and work my way up to 60?

    Thanks in advance for any guidance you can provide.
    Like yours, my son played LL Inc on a 46’ field, but it wasn’t because of MS that he went to 60. At that time LL Jrs was at 60’, so it was 46’ in the spring, and 60’ in the late summer and fall. What I did the whole year he was 12, which started the Aug before, was have him do almost all of his practicing on the 60’ field.

    All it did was make him very very accurate on the 46’ field, and since he seldom threw a breaking but, but rather used a CU, it didn’t seem to bother him one iota. He had a great LLI season, and when the Jr season started, he and another boy he practiced pitching with, had absolutely no trouble at all on the 60’ field, and both went on to successful HS and college careers.

    Now I’m not saying that will happen with you boy or anyone else who does the same, but I am saying that working on the 60’ mound while pitching on the 46’ mound isn’t going to hurt. However, a study has shown that practicing at one distance and then pitching at another may cause loss of accuracy at the 2nd distance, but a loss of accuracy is much less significant at 46’ as opposed to 60’. I.e., an azimuth error of 2 degrees at 46’ is less than at 60’.

    So, if it were me, I’d turn him loose on the 60’ mound and I wouldn’t worry about it one bit. Just out of curiosity, what did the pitching coach say when you asked him? He’d be in a much better position to answer than anyone here because he’ll have seen the boy up close and personal.
    The pitcher who’s afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

  5. #5
    In my experience, the pitchers adjust easily and in a very short period of time to various mound distances.
    But that's not what I generally read on the internet.
    Just my 2 cents.
    I'd practice at 60ft.
    Last edited by skipper5; 10-29-2010 at 10:26 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scorekeeper View Post
    Like yours, my son played LL Inc on a 46’ field, but it wasn’t because of MS that he went to 60. At that time LL Jrs was at 60’, so it was 46’ in the spring, and 60’ in the late summer and fall. What I did the whole year he was 12, which started the Aug before, was have him do almost all of his practicing on the 60’ field.

    All it did was make him very very accurate on the 46’ field, and since he seldom threw a breaking but, but rather used a CU, it didn’t seem to bother him one iota. He had a great LLI season, and when the Jr season started, he and another boy he practiced pitching with, had absolutely no trouble at all on the 60’ field, and both went on to successful HS and college careers.

    Now I’m not saying that will happen with you boy or anyone else who does the same, but I am saying that working on the 60’ mound while pitching on the 46’ mound isn’t going to hurt. However, a study has shown that practicing at one distance and then pitching at another may cause loss of accuracy at the 2nd distance, but a loss of accuracy is much less significant at 46’ as opposed to 60’. I.e., an azimuth error of 2 degrees at 46’ is less than at 60’.

    So, if it were me, I’d turn him loose on the 60’ mound and I wouldn’t worry about it one bit. Just out of curiosity, what did the pitching coach say when you asked him? He’d be in a much better position to answer than anyone here because he’ll have seen the boy up close and personal.
    Great advice SK. My son does well from 51 , so I guess 60 shouldnt be a problem. He doesnt meet his new pitching coach till Tuesday , so I will have a better understanding of his philosophies then. This pitching coach comes highly recommended as a mechanics guy.

    I will have out on a regulation size diamond soon.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AL_DAD View Post
    My son will be taking pitching lesson starting next week. Here is were I need advice , what distance should he pitch from? He will be playing Little League (Williamsport) which is 46 feet, but if he makes his middle school team they will be pitching from a regulation size mound. Should I have his pitching coach ease him in to 60, as my son has pitched from 51 feet in some tournaments or start at 46 and work my way up to 60?

    Thanks in advance for any guidance you can provide.
    Do you expect him to pitch in MS?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Patterson View Post
    Do you expect him to pitch in MS?
    Yes I do. The school he goes to is small and he has one of the best arms of the bunch.
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  9. #9
    My son just started with a 54 foot distance with his pitching coach. Up from 50. On his league ball team he will pitch at 50, and on his 7/8th grade team he will pitch at 54 this spring.

    He commented on the fact that his mechanics need to be more sound to be more consistent at a greater distance. He will adjust, looks pretty good so far.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AL_DAD View Post
    Yes I do. The school he goes to is small and he has one of the best arms of the bunch.
    Then the question is moot. He needs to throw 60'
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Patterson View Post
    Then the question is moot. He needs to throw 60'

    Point Taken, 60.5 it is!
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    Strange how parts of the county are at differing distances. Around here in KC U13-14 @ 54' and next year you can find 60/90 at 14U tourny's but most stay @ 54'. We have already been @ 60' on our backyard mound and these kids have no trouble adjusting. In less than 10-12 pitches his slip/CU were spot on. Your kid will have no trouble. As other said go 60' and take care of the mechanics.

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    Took him out to 60.5, and it wasn't even a problem. He said it was like one of our long toss drills.

    Thanks again
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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by AL_DAD View Post
    Took him out to 60.5, and it wasn't even a problem. He said it was like one of our long toss drills.
    Out of the mouths of babes. This is just what I was thinking. When Ursa Minor and I work on long toss using the Yeager system (working up from 60 feet to about 250 and then back down), our mnemonic is to work your way up to 250 feet and continue to throw 250 feet as you move back closer to your target while lowering the release point. In other words, you're throwing with the effort and mechanics needed to make it go 250, but you just happen to have an obstruction (the catcher) 60 feet away. With that in mind, the difference should be surprisingly negligible, as he's discovered. At 46 feet, he should be aiming to throw through the catcher anyway, if you know what I mean.

  15. #15
    Does Yeager have a long toss system?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rajun Cajun View Post
    Does Yeager have a long toss system?

    I believe its the Alan Jaeger long toss system. Tomato Tomatoe !
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  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by skipper5 View Post
    In my experience, the pitchers adjust easily and in a very short period of time to various mound distances.
    But that's not what I generally read on the internet.
    Just my 2 cents.
    I'd practice at 60ft.
    Same here. I've been taking my son to the HS fields to practice on and off since day 1 so it's not been a big deal. If he can pitch at 60' he can certainly pitch at 46'. Where there's some wrinkles is tightening up the breaking balls at 60'.

    I'd just be careful about the wear and tear on the arm that comes from pitching in two leagues. If the kid can bring it with intensity - I'm having second thoughts about pitching in one league, no less two.
    There are two kinds of losers.....Those that don't do what they are told, and those that do only what they are told.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shake-n-bake View Post
    Same here. I've been taking my son to the HS fields to practice on and off since day 1 so it's not been a big deal. If he can pitch at 60' he can certainly pitch at 46'. Where there's some wrinkles is tightening up the breaking balls at 60'.

    I'd just be careful about the wear and tear on the arm that comes from pitching in two leagues. If the kid can bring it with intensity - I'm having second thoughts about pitching in one league, no less two.
    I was just told if he get to pitch in MS , he is not allowed to pitch in Town Ball till after the MS season is over , so he will have plenty of time to adjust.
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  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by AL_DAD View Post
    I believe its the Alan Jaeger long toss system. Tomato Tomatoe !
    Ok, thanks, I thought you might have been referring to Chris Yeager, as in the hitting guru from Louisiana.

    Not familiar with Alan Jaeger.

    I do know the guy who my son takes pitching lessons from pitched in the majors for 15 years. Get this. He said he never understood long toss or how to do it correctly until after 10 years (approx) in the bigs. He is teaching my son how to do it "right" and we are working on that at home about 20 minutes, 2x per week with about 10 min of balance work.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Rajun Cajun View Post
    Ok, thanks, I thought you might have been referring to Chris Yeager, as in the hitting guru from Louisiana.
    Not familiar with Alan Jaeger.
    Yeager's web site can be found here: http://www.jaegersports.com/home.php Check it out -- you'll be blown away by the number and caliber of major league player testimonials. There's enough video on the web site that you can assess the training methods and assess whether it all seems to make sense for a particular parent and his kid.

    His system revolves around (a) long toss and (b) surgical tubing bands he calls "J-bands". While I'm a big believer in long toss, I resisted the Jaeger system for years, but too many of UMinor's successful contemporaries were using the system regularly, and we heard testimonials here. So, we got the bands and DVD's, and I think it helps. (UMinor is 5'10" and 140 lbs. soaking wet, so he needs all the help he can get to add some velocity.)

  21. #21
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    The pitching coach evaluated my son yesterday, so I asked about distance , and he said that since he never pitched from 60.5 , he will start him at 54feet and gradually increase from there. Most of his drills are from shorter distances as he stresses balance and how important it is to repeat your motion. After pitching in the Majors for 11 years , the coach seems to have a good repoire with the students and they have a mutual respect for each other. No ego, and I was shocked when he asked my opinion. Pretty cool.

    Needless to say it was a very productive 1/2 hour.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AL_DAD View Post
    The pitching coach evaluated my son yesterday, so I asked about distance , and he said that since he never pitched from 60.5 , he will start him at 54feet and gradually increase from there. Most of his drills are from shorter distances as he stresses balance and how important it is to repeat your motion. After pitching in the Majors for 11 years , the coach seems to have a good repoire with the students and they have a mutual respect for each other. No ego, and I was shocked when he asked my opinion. Pretty cool.

    Needless to say it was a very productive 1/2 hour.
    Blowing own horn -----> TG 10/29 ...

    The first thing an instructor should be working on is balance and mechanics. The distance for these is irrelevant. I've never dealt with the distance issue. What I did with my son even though he played 13U (passed on another year of LL when the date changed) and middle school starting at the same time was start him at 54 feet and work back to 60 feet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tg643 View Post
    Blowing own horn -----> TG 10/29 ...

    The first thing an instructor should be working on is balance and mechanics. The distance for these is irrelevant. I've never dealt with the distance issue. What I did with my son even though he played 13U (passed on another year of LL when the date changed) and middle school starting at the same time was start him at 54 feet and work back to 60 feet.
    You da Man!
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