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  • Throwing/Pitching Mechanics Help Need

    Hello.

    My son is having a lot of trouble "throwing out in front" or "getting on top of the ball and driving it down". I use these phrases in quotes because these are the phrases I hear when his pitching instructor is correcting his mechanics. While I feel that I have a pretty good idea what these mean and why they're important, I'm really struggling with ways to make him understand it. I'm just a "regular dad" who never played the game, but I'm willing to work extra with him in between practices because I've seen the improvement it makes when he goes back for another lesson vs. not doing a damn thing in between. The question is: What can I do?

    It's winter here is Virginia Beach, so it's cold and rainy. I can get him outside about once a week at this point to do some long toss, but I could really use some indoor drills that I could spend maybe 15-30 minutes a night on to work him into this habit.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks a lot!

  • #2
    looking forward to see these responses.. I too am in the same boat!

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    • #3
      The best thing you could do for us is to post up some clips of him pitching from a side view and catchers view.

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      • #4
        clayadams, thanks. He won't have another pitching lesson again until next Friday, but I will bring the tripod and camera!

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        • #5
          What is his age?

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          • #6
            I have no idea what these cues are. I doubt the coach does.
            efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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            • #7
              Originally posted by bbrages View Post
              What is his age?
              He's 10.

              Originally posted by songtitle View Post
              I have no idea what these cues are. I doubt the coach does.
              It's possible, I suppose. I think his coach means he is releasing the baseball too early. I've been focusing my cues on seeing the back of this hand before he releases the ball. When he does it incorrectly you can see the bottom of the palm of his hand when he releases if you're standing across from him.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by pcarnette View Post
                He's 10.



                It's possible, I suppose. I think his coach means he is releasing the baseball too early. I've been focusing my cues on seeing the back of this hand before he releases the ball. When he does it incorrectly you can see the bottom of the palm of his hand when he releases if you're standing across from him.
                Never thought of it that way but like it if you're teaching an over the top delivery. 10 isn't too young to start teaching the value of different arm slots by position and situation on defense so you may see that palm sometimes if you teach a low slot on some plays.

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                • #9
                  I see you said he was 10. Let me ask you a question. Is he right handed or left handed and what side of the rubber does he throw from?

                  Let me preference my comments that I am not a pitching coach but I have been doing this coaching thing for 25 years.
                  Reason, if he is right handed check to see if he is throwing from the 3B side of the rubber. What can happen is he is not strong enough to hold his center line as he moves down the mound. In order to get his hand in a position to deliver the ball to the plate. He will pull his head over to pull his hand over. This causes his hand to fly up and can cause the problem you are seeing. His release point will be all over the place.

                  Solution can be as easy as moving him over to the 1B side of the rubber. This will make it easier to stabilize his head and he can work in a straight line to the plate.

                  If he is left handed. Move him to the 3B side of the rubber.

                  Like others have said, without video it is hard to tell exactly what he is doing.

                  JMHO

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by raptor View Post
                    Never thought of it that way but like it if you're teaching an over the top delivery. 10 isn't too young to start teaching the value of different arm slots by position and situation on defense so you may see that palm sometimes if you teach a low slot on some plays.
                    He throws with a 3/4 arm slot. It's hard for me to describe, but it's like he needs to reach out more before he releases the ball. His throws tend to "sail" and get up around the batters shoulders when he releases to earlier.

                    Originally posted by HYP View Post
                    I see you said he was 10. Let me ask you a question. Is he right handed or left handed and what side of the rubber does he throw from?

                    Let me preference my comments that I am not a pitching coach but I have been doing this coaching thing for 25 years.
                    Reason, if he is right handed check to see if he is throwing from the 3B side of the rubber. What can happen is he is not strong enough to hold his center line as he moves down the mound. In order to get his hand in a position to deliver the ball to the plate. He will pull his head over to pull his hand over. This causes his hand to fly up and can cause the problem you are seeing. His release point will be all over the place.

                    Solution can be as easy as moving him over to the 1B side of the rubber. This will make it easier to stabilize his head and he can work in a straight line to the plate.

                    If he is left handed. Move him to the 3B side of the rubber.

                    Like others have said, without video it is hard to tell exactly what he is doing.

                    JMHO
                    Thanks for the information. I've seen some of what you're describing. He is left-handed, so I will watch where he is throwing from on the rubber next practice and ask him to throw from the 3B side.

                    I agree that video is best.

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                    • #11
                      IMO, I would buy the book "Nolan Ryans Pitching Bible" to get a better understanding of pitching mechanics and mental attitude.

                      Also watch youtube clips of MLB pitchers (in slo-motion) to understand the mechanics better.

                      This will allow you some knowledge to know whether this pitching instructor knows what he is talking about. Personally I believe many "instructors" find fault, where none exist, to justify their expertise.

                      I think at age 10 it's important, that as long as he is throwing strikes and doesn't have terrible mechanics, to make him feel comfortable on the mound.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by tradosaurus View Post
                        IMO, I would buy the book "Nolan Ryans Pitching Bible" to get a better understanding of pitching mechanics and mental attitude.

                        Also watch youtube clips of MLB pitchers (in slo-motion) to understand the mechanics better.

                        This will allow you some knowledge to know whether this pitching instructor knows what he is talking about. Personally I believe many "instructors" find fault, where none exist, to justify their expertise.

                        I think at age 10 it's important, that as long as he is throwing strikes and doesn't have terrible mechanics, to make him feel comfortable on the mound.
                        Thanks trado. I agree with what you wrote last, but I've seen the difference doing it right vs. incorrectly can have on his velocity. One time he gained 7 mph doing it right vs. incorrectly; so even though he's "throwing strikes" they probably won't really be strikes if they're 7 mph slower than his capable of, if you know what I mean.

                        I also think you're correct in that I should educate myself better, so I picked up Nolan Ryan,s Pitching Bible along with two other books I've seen get good recommendations here: The Science of Hitting and The Mental Keys to Hitting. Lots of "light reading" ahead for me.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by pcarnette View Post
                          Thanks trado. I agree with what you wrote last, but I've seen the difference doing it right vs. incorrectly can have on his velocity. One time he gained 7 mph doing it right vs. incorrectly; so even though he's "throwing strikes" they probably won't really be strikes if they're 7 mph slower than his capable of, if you know what I mean.

                          I also think you're correct in that I should educate myself better, so I picked up Nolan Ryan,s Pitching Bible along with two other books I've seen get good recommendations here: The Science of Hitting and The Mental Keys to Hitting. Lots of "light reading" ahead for me.
                          I've read the 3 books you mentioned and would like to hear your feedback. Many times I miss key points because I try to read too fast. The books were fun to read.

                          I think, for me, the important aspect of baseball that I've learned and hopefully have imparted to my son, is that baseball is a game of failure. You will strike out. You will throw a pitch that gets knocked out of the yard. But how do you deal with those failures. I think it's our duty as fathers to continue to encourage our sons through those failures.

                          One of the things I've learned in 2 years of travel ball is that the game of baseball is humbling. My son's team won 5 tournaments in 13U AAA/majors travel last year but also were cremated in two tournaments where the team went home after the first single elimination game and lost two championships games. My son went 1 for 13 in the first tournament of the season last year.

                          You are getting a good start to learning from the best especially with your son at 10 y.o. I wish I had those books for my two older sons.
                          Last edited by tradosaurus; 01-20-2013, 08:50 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by pcarnette View Post

                            I also think you're correct in that I should educate myself better, so I picked up Nolan Ryan,s Pitching Bible along with two other books I've seen get good recommendations here: The Science of Hitting and The Mental Keys to Hitting. Lots of "light reading" ahead for me.
                            Add "The Mental ABC's of Pitching" to your list.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by johnlanza View Post
                              Add "The Mental ABC's of Pitching" to your list.
                              Noted. Thanks for the suggestion!

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