My 9yr old son just started pitching this season and loved it. Now after the success that he had (he could throw very consitant stikes) with 1/2stikeouts, some infield hits, etc. He is looking to improve for next season. He now needs to improve his velocity, without losing control.
I started SLOWLY on Dick’s basics, balanced leg lift, stride towards home, and throw strikes. He is doing this well and got him thru AA. Now what is the next step to getting him faster? (I bought the book but its on its way) I have the summer to work on it.
Do I start lengthing out his stide each week? When he trys to throw harder he loses control (high and away) I can tell he needs to hold on to the ball longer (to a flat back over the front leg).
Maybe I post a video and see what others think….3 from the side view and back right?
thanks, I just joined and learning.
Riley et all,
The problem we have today is having kids pitch too early rather than have them learn how to play catch so they get to learn about their bodies while naturally controlling where the ball goes.
Working on control first and velocity second is backwards because of kids having to throw strikes before they learn how to throw. Most end up slowing down rather than speeding up to improve control.
Pitching for control has zero benefit since the body is learning only how to have control. It will then have to learn a new movement pattern called velocity which will be different than throwing with control.
So you will have to forget about control and work on improving how he uses his body moving faster. How else will you get velocity?
One of my students is a 10 year old. His control was inconsistent to say the least. All over the place. But what I liked at first was his intensity and wanting to throw hard.
I said little about where the ball was going only to tell him to throw with intensity with the intension of hitting the glove. I told he and his father not to slow down to throw a strike.
What do most do to help pitchers improve ball control? Most slow pitchers down.
No…I kept him speeded up and knew that focusing on improving his finish position and his start that it would take care of itself…over time.
And his control is getting better.
But I will continue to have him work on his velocity since control is simply target practice.
It will be impossible for parents or coaches to now try to maintain ball control and then work on improving velocity since the body will have to learn a brand new pattern of movement which will more than likely require pitchers to move faster.
Since the body does not now know this new movement pattern at a different speed of movement to gain velocity, the old movement for ball control will provide no benefit.
So forget about ball control right now and understand that you can get it later.
But if you want velocity you will have to work on velocity.
There are few, very few coaches who understand what I just said…even most MLB pitching coaches who still believe you can throw bullpens at 80% of intensity and then have that help the pitcher throw 100% in the game. That is not how the body learns various patterns of movement.
Being specific is the key. Thus why the Principle of Specificity dictates performance results.
The problem we have run into using Dicks velocity first advice is that while most games go well, the second there is control problems, the coaches want to lift him. They absolutley don t like that my son throws well with a different style than the rest, and he is held to an entirely different standard than the “balance point” statue throwers. If your son is willing to get his pitching fix on your backyard mound, waiting till the daddy ball coaching is done, you are fine. Otherwise, the kids will face mucho resistence from a lot of youth coaches on velocity first. That said, we are sticking by the program and spending an inordinate amount of time explaining the coaching bs to the boy. working towards better days,
Can you look for a different team that doesn’t have cavemen for coaches?
There are teams out there that would be satisfied with the results of the pitcher instead of what the pitcher looks like.
We can, but it requires alot more travel time for practices and games. The politics of it all puts the consequences on the boy, and I don t want to sour him on baseball because some adults are so petty. We are lucky in that the coaches for the year older age group are very much appreciative of what he can do and bring him up when it works out, but that creates a whole nother set of issues with the older kids parents. I don t want to hijack the thread with our personal situation, just wanted to point out that it is not always as simple as the boy being successful, there is definite resistence to anything that looks different from many, I have had parents from other communities notice how he pitches and tell me “Mills style, eh?”, “coaches want to change him I bet”, so we definitely aren t the only ones finding this resistence. The positive side is that the better coaches of the better organizations generally have given very positive feedback. It is just a matter of hard/fun work and time.
This is Riley pitching at AA level game. I started with the basics to get the mechanics correct. With Dick’s advice I will have him throw as hard as he can and then work on control.
Looking for any input to this video
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