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8-year-old pitcher --- your opinions please

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  • 8-year-old pitcher --- your opinions please

    Well, I finally went ahead and videoed my son pitching. I took this video at his first game of the season, a couple weeks ago.

    This is in the fourth inning, the longest outing he's had. There are some things I like a lot and some things I don't like so much. But I want to know what you folks think.

    He's doing well. He's very accurate -- has pitched six innings this year and given up no walks. Good velocity, too. Last year, he was pretty dominating, but the batters seem to be getting a bit better this year. He's working on trying to keep the ball out of the center of the plate...

    Any advice for this guy? Thanks!

  • #2
    I'm personally at a cross roads as I'm slowly becoming a "Marshallite". However, from a traditional stand point... I'd say fabulous for an 8yo!!!! Love the stride. My fist 3 thoughts on what I'd work on: 1.) The push. He shouldn't be falling backwards after the stride. I doubt this would happen on a mound though, but while his stride is great he's not pushing off the rubber hard. 2.) Glove hand. He should be pulling it straight back into his chest vs dropping it down. 3.) TAKE YOUR TIME! He sets up, fires, sets up fires... boom boom boom. He should breathe, take your time, look at your target for 2 seconds, then go. With that said, they're just small things. It's very obvious you've been working on pitching with him.

    I'd personally love to see some slow motion. There are only so many things you can see in regular speed. The largest worry I have with any kid is what that arm is doing.


    • #3
      Thanks for your inputs.

      What do you like about the stride? I think the stride is a bit on the short side, but as you mentioned, he's pitching on flat ground, and of course he's just a kid.

      One of the things that's really weird is his follow-through. I've looked at this video in slow motion and he strides and releases over a bent front leg, then on the follow-through the leg stiffens and whirls him around or tosses him back. In one of the pitches in the video, he actually ends up behind the rubber after the pitch. I don't remember him doing any of this last year, but I think as he's getting more of his whole body into the pitch, his follow-through is getting out of hand a little.

      I think the arm looks pretty good at the typical checkpoints if you take it frame-by-frame.


      • #4
        Also... I agree that the glove side isn't quite right; the glove is sitting on the thigh like a fastpitch pitcher. I think he was tucking the glove pretty nicely at the end of last year. Tucking the glove is sort of an unnatural act, so I guess his form has gotten sloppy in that area.

        And... yeah, he's working way too fast. Another thing is that he's giving the runner too much attention, especially considering that, in our league, the runner can't take off until the pitch leaves his hand anyway.

        He's mostly untaught as a pitcher. I started him off with the mantra "Sideways, Shift, Swing, Step, Throw." Other than that, I try to promote the idea of a fluid, smooth motion rather than a series of independent motions and checkpoints. And we talk a lot about being confident and mentally tough.

        He has put in many hours throwing into a pitchback or off of a door in the basement. I think that's part of the reason he's working so quickly; he's used to throwing -- bang, bang, bang -- against a solid object.


        • #5
          He falls forward.

          Take a look at the Hershiser Drill.

          I wouldn't worry about the other stuff yet.
 - hitting and pitching fact checker


          • #6
            It's good for his age. He needs to work on a consistant stride/landing spot, balance and follow through.


            • #7
              On the stride, most kids his age will step out, almost like they're stepping over a box. He's a heckuva lot closer to a more "standard" leg swing. I would NOT worry about the length of the stride. Pushing off with that back foot should be a bigger priority IMO. That will give more velocity without adding any more stress to the arm.

              I'm also in agreement with Songtitle. If he just wants to work on things then go ahead. If not, just let him pitch and have fun. If there's any comment I could make would be talk to dirtberry on here and start getting tips about his arm and drills you can start doing. I love seeing the kids play and I LOVE pitching, but at this age we've got to be VERY careful about the damage they can do to themselves.


              • #8
                I'm not going to have the Marshall debate. I'm only going to advise NOT to become a Marshall protege. In thirty years not one of his proteges made D1 or MLB ball. While not every kid on this site (or maybe any) will become D1 pitchers the odd way Marshall pitcher's throw prevents optimaizing potential. Some pitchers have used pieces. Almost all of Marshall's devotees are people like Dirtberry who injured his arm or never had any ability and worships Marshall like a god for getting him back on the field. But the truth is, if Dirt is who I think he is, after working with Marshall he still couldn't hook up with even an Independent League team. Until Marshall's pitching school went out of business he was a modern version of the 1890 traveling salesman with the magic elixar.


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