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Thread: 6 Years Old Too Young to Teach Pitching?

  1. #1

    Question 6 Years Old Too Young to Teach Pitching?

    Hello,
    I'm writing because I have a fundamental question about whether or not I'm starting my son too early.

    My son is 6 years old and in his 2nd year of little league. This year, and next are both "coach pitch", (I'm the coach) but the year after next, he'll be in minors, where the kids will pitch.

    We have pitching practice every day and generally go until he gets either 10 to 20 good pitches (around the strike zone), depending on what we did the previous day.

    Could you give me any idea of whats a good distance for him to start at, because the distance from the mound to home plate in little league is 46ft. Which is way too far for him right now. Should it be? We're currently working at about 25-30 feet, at which he has pretty good control and speed. Should I be pushing it back a couple feet every month or two?

    Am I crazy? Should I not be doing this for a couple more years? We definitely don't go for long enough that his arm ever hurts or is tired or anything, and he has fun with it and knows when hes honing in on the strike zone.

    Is there any product or video you'd recommend that will help my boy.
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by cnyk View Post
    Hello,
    I'm writing because I have a fundamental question about whether or not I'm starting my son too early.

    My son is 6 years old and in his 2nd year of little league. This year, and next are both "coach pitch", (I'm the coach) but the year after next, he'll be in minors, where the kids will pitch.

    We have pitching practice every day and generally go until he gets either 10 to 20 good pitches (around the strike zone), depending on what we did the previous day.

    Could you give me any idea of whats a good distance for him to start at, because the distance from the mound to home plate in little league is 46ft. Which is way too far for him right now. Should it be? We're currently working at about 25-30 feet, at which he has pretty good control and speed. Should I be pushing it back a couple feet every month or two?

    Am I crazy? Should I not be doing this for a couple more years? We definitely don't go for long enough that his arm ever hurts or is tired or anything, and he has fun with it and knows when hes honing in on the strike zone.

    Is there any product or video you'd recommend that will help my boy.
    Thanks!

    With someone that young i would focus on 2 things.

    1. Proper mechanics. Obviously there is ALOT of info for pitching so maybe work on one thing a week. Also, keep it in simple terms and relate it to a 6 yr olds world.

    2. Don't worry about the results. You said he throws till he gets 10-20 strikes. I would get rid of that rule of thumb. end on 10-20 proper mechanics. So if you working on seperation, if he does it 15 times correct, your done for the day.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    I've been teaching my 5-yr-old to "pitch". He sees big brother pitching so he wants to do it too. It's a great way to teach throwing mechanics. I have to play catcher and call balls and strikes for him, but I only worry about proper throwing mechanics and always on flat ground. He has fun and his throwing has improved a lot.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Vancouver WA
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    my boy learned some basic things. Balance, up down and out and hand seperation at 6. He actually played with 8yr olds when he was 6 and they pitched from 40 feet, he pitched 3 or 4 times. It was funny as hell, but he was having fun. This year as 7 he pitched 5 or 6 times for up to 30 pitches from 46 feet, he actually did pretty. We didn't really work on anything more this year, just learning how to have good balance and trying to get him to keep the front glove/elbow up instead of down by his waist.

    Don't expect much from him, just have fun with it.

    Cally

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Mid-Atlantic region
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    At six my son was still not playing organized baseball. He preferred hanging out at his sister's 12U travel practice to tee ball. Since I knew he wasn't going to be pitching until he was nine, I only worked with him on reinforcing proper throwing mechanics. We started working on pitching after his eight year old (7/8's) season for about a month.

    I didn't care about my son becoming a preteen stud pitcher. I've seen too many of them burnt out and physically damaged by the time they hit thirteen. At nine my son threw one inning a week, two at ten and three at eleven before throwing up to six at age twelve. The "stud" preteen pitchers threw nine, ten innings a weekend in tournament play. None of them are pitching anymore.

  6. #6
    wow. I cant believe those kids were pitching 9 inning at that age. I wouldnt want to see my son going more than 30 or so pitches... and resting a couple days between as well..

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by cnyk View Post
    wow. I cant believe those kids were pitching 9 inning at that age. I wouldnt want to see my son going more than 30 or so pitches... and resting a couple days between as well..
    In the eyes of the head coach and the kid's parents, it's what it took to win. As an assistant I fought it every step of the way. The parents told me not to worry about their big strong kids and I should let my son pitch more. Their son's are out of baseball. Two had surgery by age twelve. My son is hitting 80mph after just turning 15 and still growing. I guess a parent has a different perspective on the importance of preteen travel pitching when he hit 85+ (once hit 90 with 30 mph winds at my back ) in college ball while the other parents didn't play high school ball. They thought being a pitching stud at an early age was important.
    Last edited by TG Coach; 07-08-2008 at 08:57 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by cnyk View Post
    Could you give me any idea of whats a good distance for him to start at, because the distance from the mound to home plate in little league is 46ft. Which is way too far for him right now. Should it be? We're currently working at about 25-30 feet, at which he has pretty good control and speed. Should I be pushing it back a couple feet every month or two?
    Pitching should be a later extension of fundementally sound throwing.
    "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
    - John Cotton Dana (18561929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
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