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Pitching Station for U10

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  • Pitching Station for U10

    I have an idea for a pitching station:

    I want to use 10 gallon trash cans as a target instead of a dad or catcher. The theory - in my mind - is to get them to keep it low because they can be so erratic. Anyone ever do this? Success? Fail?

  • #2
    Originally posted by va4man View Post
    I have an idea for a pitching station:

    I want to use 10 gallon trash cans as a target instead of a dad or catcher. The theory - in my mind - is to get them to keep it low because they can be so erratic. Anyone ever do this? Success? Fail?
    What does it mean: "get them to keep it low because they can be so erratic" ? Are you thinking of sitting the can directly on the ground? I have seen youth pitchers miss both high and low, and I don't think there is a tendency towards one extreme or the other.

    I think a better plan would be to position the can at the right height to match a strike zone.

    The only problems I can see are:

    1) the trash cans might get destroyed pretty quickly

    2) the ball might bounce pretty far off of the can

    3) you'll need some kind of backstop for the misses

    4) the target is broad; shouldn't your best pitchers be starting to "hit their spots" at this age?

    Pluses:

    1) There is a target to focus on

    2) You know when you hit it so
    you can try to beat your best score
    you can try to beat others' scores
    you can keep track of accuracy gains/losses over time

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    • #3
      I only have 4 kids that have ever pitched before. the rest are 9 coming up from machine pitch. I plan on buying a tuff can, not the run of the mill kitchen can. moving the can so it is in the strike would be optimum but I would need a bench or stand or something. maybe some lawn chairs lined up against the fence.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by va4man View Post
        I only have 4 kids that have ever pitched before. the rest are 9 coming up from machine pitch. I plan on buying a tuff can, not the run of the mill kitchen can. moving the can so it is in the strike would be optimum but I would need a bench or stand or something. maybe some lawn chairs lined up against the fence.
        I would stick with the dad or the catcher. Simulates a real target which is the catchers mitt.

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        • #5
          If you're going to remove the catcher, why not targets on a chainlink fence? You'd have to put the can in front of a fence anyway. "Dad targets" or any catchers are tough unless you want to work one pitcher at a time. With targets you can get many more reps in.

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          • #6
            A better idea..posted on a previous thread... is to put the garbage can...or rather a 5 gallon bucket... upside down on a raised tee. Use that for target practice...Very effective. My son has been doing this for the past few weeks...and it has improved his location significantly!

            He hits the bucket once, he gets 1 point.
            he hits it again consecutivley, he gets two points
            he hits it again 3 times in a row...3 points.
            Anytime he misses the point value goes back down to one point for his next hit.

            If he gets 20 points before finishing his bucket of balls..he wins a prize....the game puts just enough pressure to throw strikes consecutively.

            I have added another twist to it recently. I take two other buckets and stack them in the box as a mock batter ( I put a helmet on top of the top bucket). if he hits the batter..he loses a point. Hitting the batter on a bounced ball thrown in the dirt does not count.

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            • #7
              I love the competition aspect you created with the bucket game. Not sure what a "prize" constitutes for your son, I'm thinking my 10 y.o. would enjoy the prospect of earning a new 2012 baseball card each time he hit 20 points.

              We've been using the Jugs Pop-up net with the built-in target, which works great but if it made a nice satisfying noise (like hitting a garbage can) it would be better. I've often thought of hanging a metal pieplate or piece of sheet metal that would ring when a baseball struck it.

              Joe Montana's dad used old tires (with the hole being the target), but little Joey wasn't exactly pitching baseballs (although I'm sure he'd have made a fine pitcher).

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              • #8
                I like the that idea Giant. I'll give it a go.

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                • #9
                  Square can, laying down, use a spray paint can bright color to give a spot in bottom to hit. Never used on a field but at home against a fence worked.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by va4man View Post
                    I only have 4 kids that have ever pitched before. the rest are 9 coming up from machine pitch.
                    IMO, do not use a practice regimen that in any way communicates an expectation of low strikes. Or places a higher value on low strikes.
                    Skip

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                    • #11
                      I've had great participation in just placing a bat vertically on home plate. Its difficult to hit so you wont have to keep putting it back up. Kids love it.
                      Last edited by Coach C; 03-16-2012, 08:32 AM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Coach C View Post
                        I've had great participation in just placing a bat vertically on home plate. Its difficult to hit so you wont have to keep putting it back up. Kids love it.
                        ^ some bats have very flat end caps; I would think you'd need one of those for this to work.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by skipper5 View Post
                          IMO, do not use a practice regimen that in any way communicates an expectation of low strikes. Or places a higher value on low strikes.
                          Is this because of pressure to throw there or just low strikes aren't a priority for you as a coach?

                          I like to practice with low strikes because it always seems easier to hit a catcher glove that is moved slightly higher than trying to hit a catcher glove that is moved lower. More of a mental thing, but have seen to many throws way in front of plate trying to throw a lower pitch. Where a slightly higher target doesn't seem to have the psyche out effect.

                          I have also seen lots of times where coaches put a ball on tee and kids try to knock it off. But I always found it results in a higher strike than I wanted them to throw.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            IMO, low strikes are harder to get hits off of than high strikes, at all ages. Many young hitters practice creaming pitches down the middle but have problems adjusting to a knee-high pitch.

                            Still, I think for most young pitchers, throwing any kind of strike is the first priority.

                            In MLB, we often hear the pitchers talking about "keep the ball down"... but the MLB strike zone is lower than a typical youth league zone, right? Some shoulder-high (and above) stuff gets called for strikes in kids' games. For advanced pitchers, I think it's a good skill to assess a youth ump's strike zone and target accordingly...

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Megunticook View Post
                              I love the competition aspect you created with the bucket game. Not sure what a "prize" constitutes for your son, I'm thinking my 10 y.o. would enjoy the prospect of earning a new 2012 baseball card each time he hit 20 points.
                              whatever works....I would like the baseball cards....for us, its just me and my son....we go for ice cream at Ben and Jerrys...makes mom really mad because it is usually too late at night by the time we are done for dessert on a school night... but I get to have some too

                              I can't take credit for the original bucket idea..I think it was originally Jake's..I just modified it into a game with scoring.

                              good luck

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