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Thread: Teaching an 8-9 year old how to pitch

  1. #1

    Teaching an 8-9 year old how to pitch

    Looking for general advice. My son will be starting kid pitch next year and really wants to pitch. I was thinking we'd start with the 4-seam and 2-seam, then maybe add a change at some point. Also planning build a pitching mound for him. Any other tips? Should he just work on fastballs and save the change for when he's older, or should he learn it now?

    I'll be happy to post some video once the rain lets up.

    Edit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYIsU-o2_s0
    Last edited by Jesse; 06-08-2009 at 08:09 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesse View Post
    Looking for general advice. My son will be starting kid pitch next year and really wants to pitch. I was thinking we'd start with the 4-seam and 2-seam, then maybe add a change at some point. Also planning build a pitching mound for him. Any other tips? Should he just work on fastballs and save the change for when he's older, or should he learn it now?
    Do him and yourself the biggest favor ever. Right from the gitgo, never chase a ball he pitches that gets by whoeverís catching for him, unless it the catcherís fault! In fact, donít allow anyone to chase a poor throw heís made, even in pre-game warm-ups!
    The pitcher whoís afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by scorekeeper View Post
    Do him and yourself the biggest favor ever. Right from the gitgo, never chase a ball he pitches that gets by whoeverís catching for him, unless it the catcherís fault! In fact, donít allow anyone to chase a poor throw heís made, even in pre-game warm-ups!
    What's the purpose of this?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesse View Post
    What's the purpose of this?
    My youngest is in his mid 20's. When we play catch and he misses me, he automatically goes and retrieves the ball.
    "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
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    Make sure the ball comes out with backspin. Kids usually throw a slider spinning ball i notice. Have the proper thumb placement- its the side of the thumb not flat on the pad. start in the stretch position. Swing the glove side leg back so it crosses in front of the pitching side leg. Swing the gloves side leg forward and throw. I have 1st year 10y/o "pitching" strikes. Dont bring the knee up. Dont have a full wind up. Just crossover and pitch. Make sure you work on glove turn during every throw in warm ups (not pitching warm ups but regular warm ups) so it feels natural. Add glove turn last in the pitch if he is throwing 40% strikes.

    He can throw change ups as long as he isnt walking batters.

  6. #6
    I am about 1 year ahead of where you are now:

    Put your son in fall ball where he can gain some experience pitching in games, but first:

    Start asap the drill where he will get on one knee with front foot pointing at home plate and have him throw and follow through finishing up with his right hand by his left ankle (if he's a righty). Make sure his throwing elbow is at level with his shoulder or slightly above and the back of his hand is pointing towards his head. Get a bucket of balls and net so he can do it on his own. Start the distance about 15 feet and slowly work backwards. This is not to be thrown hard, just normal speed, accuracy and form are keys. Once he can consistently put it in the strike zone from about 30 feet then have him throw from the stretch at normal distance(46ft?) on flat ground, no mound. Keep doing this drill at least once a week.

    As for 2 seam or 4 seam have him throw both and see what he has most success with. The change up likely not needed early on, my son just throws a big looping ball that drops in nicely for a change up, on rare occassions but has learned with kids who are really agressive at the plate and have good batspeed that once he gets ahead of them to take something off a pitch to get him to swing early on it, kind of like a change up with out the change up grip.

    Let him throw about 20-30 every other day, no more, after warming up really good. Have him work on strikes not speed.

    Once he can consistantly throw around 65%or hopefully more for strikes then start game preparing him.

    From a mound, pretend of course there is a batter in the box, and it is say the last 1-2 innnings of the game. Catch him and umpire, be honest and give a good strike zone, ball's width outside of plate. Have him go through first 1 inning then extend to 2 innings. Keep track of pitch count strikes/balls and keep it under 30-40. Keep spreadsheet of it so you can see progress.

    Remember, a slow strike is worth more than a hard ball, can't defense walks. Make sure you get him pitching low in the zone, knees height over plate. Even if is slow most kids his age can't do much with it, just grounders.

    At the same time start working on holding runners on 1st, though not so much as 2nd. Work on the a good pick off move to 2nd and teach him what a balk is.

    Every now and then with him pitching from the mound right after catching him quickly throw it right back at him (not to hit him but close) and toss it down one of the baselines (simulating line shot back and bunts) to keep him on his toes.


    Also but really important is to work in some long tossing to build up arm strength, especially in the off season, though give give him a nice break between fall ball and next years spring, 60 days minimum.


    I kind of made this up as I went last year and into this year for my son who is now pitching one complete game a week, sometimes more depending on tournaments. He was always a slugger and we still work a lot on hitting but he really excels at pitching so dad has had to sharpen his pitching/coaching/teaching skills. Read whatever you can here on this site and others about pitching and pitch counts et al, a lot of stuff surrounding that.

    And finally and this is where I am at now, if after 1-2 complete seasons of pitching he enjoys it and does well seek out a professional with good references and pay him for some lessons to take your son to the next level, also you will get a chance to learn from this professional also. Best wishes.
    Last edited by KevinOK; 06-06-2009 at 07:23 PM.

  7. #7
    Good stuff, thanks.

  8. #8
    Why frevvinsakes would he need a mound? In most leagues he won't pitch off one until he's 11 (and some not until age 13).

    I wouldn't worry about the 2 seam/4 seam difference now. Just get him spotting his four seamer. And -- among a ton of good advice from Kevin -- is the gem that he doesn't need a formal change-up, but can just throw a slower ball every once in awhile. Kids below age 11 will rarely read arm action anyway, so you can fool them with the slower arm action type 'change-up'.

    I agree that -- unless you know a ton about pitching yourself -- getting a separate coach would not be a bad idea. It's great for a kid to get a solid foundation from the outset that won't require much of a change until he's about 13. The more fundamentally sound and comfortably set he is early on, the more likely he is to be able to achieve command of his pitches.

    It doesn't need to be a former pro-player; one of the best youth pitching coaches in our area is a Division 1 pitcher who has a very solid understanding of basics and good rapport with the kids. Most important -- he's a college baseball player, which is extremely cool to these kids and so they'll listen and even do boring drills.

    Many instructors -- and I think Jim Booth is one of those (or used to be) on this point -- start kids pitching entirely from the stretch so as to have fewer moving parts that can go astray. (It doesn't need to be strictly from the stretch, as they don't need to stop their hands in a stretch position.)

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    Make sure he pronates every pitch

    If he does that, his elbow will thank you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesse View Post
    What's the purpose of this?
    The next time youíre at a game or practice, try to count the number of times players chase bad throws. I believe that once you pay attention to it, youíll prolly understand a lot better.

    During a game, its imperative that players chase rotten throws, but not so when a game isnít going on. Its always really bugged me to see players bouncing throws or heaving balls over the players theyíre playing catch with, not because it wonít occasionally happen to every player, but because its become so widely acceptable.

    Force that kid who doesnít care because thereís no penalty in it for him/her, and suddenly thereís a whole new perspective taken on playing catch!
    The pitcher whoís afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

  11. #11
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KagAh8QRxOE&feature=fvw

    This is a good video with some basics that'll get him started.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Ursa Major View Post
    Why frevvinsakes would he need a mound? In most leagues he won't pitch off one until he's 11 (and some not until age 13).
    The league he'll be playing in next year uses a portable pitching mound. I was going to build one out of plywood and astroturf. Not sure if I'll end up doing this or not.

    Quote Originally Posted by scorekeeper View Post
    The next time youíre at a game or practice, try to count the number of times players chase bad throws. I believe that once you pay attention to it, youíll prolly understand a lot better.

    During a game, its imperative that players chase rotten throws, but not so when a game isnít going on. Its always really bugged me to see players bouncing throws or heaving balls over the players theyíre playing catch with, not because it wonít occasionally happen to every player, but because its become so widely acceptable.

    Force that kid who doesnít care because thereís no penalty in it for him/her, and suddenly thereís a whole new perspective taken on playing catch!
    This annoys me too. There were several kids on his team this year that would have benefited from this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesse View Post
    Ö This annoys me too. There were several kids on his team this year that would have benefited from this.
    IMHO, a good way to tell if the HC of a team really understands the little things that separate good players from average ones, is simply to watch his team warm up before a game. Like I said, bad throws are gonna happen to everyone, but its pretty easy to tell if the players are all basically hitting their targets in the general area of the chest when theyíre just playing catch.

    And whatís amazing is, throwing a ball is the most fundamental concept of all baseball fundamentals, and likely the easiest to teach and learn!
    The pitcher whoís afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Ursa Major View Post
    Why frevvinsakes would he need a mound? In most leagues he won't pitch off one until he's 11 (and some not until age 13).

    I wouldn't worry about the 2 seam/4 seam difference now. Just get him spotting his four seamer. And -- among a ton of good advice from Kevin -- is the gem that he doesn't need a formal change-up, but can just throw a slower ball every once in awhile. Kids below age 11 will rarely read arm action anyway, so you can fool them with the slower arm action type 'change-up'.

    I agree that -- unless you know a ton about pitching yourself -- getting a separate coach would not be a bad idea. It's great for a kid to get a solid foundation from the outset that won't require much of a change until he's about 13. The more fundamentally sound and comfortably set he is early on, the more likely he is to be able to achieve command of his pitches.

    It doesn't need to be a former pro-player; one of the best youth pitching coaches in our area is a Division 1 pitcher who has a very solid understanding of basics and good rapport with the kids. Most important -- he's a college baseball player, which is extremely cool to these kids and so they'll listen and even do boring drills.

    Many instructors -- and I think Jim Booth is one of those (or used to be) on this point -- start kids pitching entirely from the stretch so as to have fewer moving parts that can go astray. (It doesn't need to be strictly from the stretch, as they don't need to stop their hands in a stretch position.)

    In our area of Georgia kids start pitching at 7 in rec league. We use a mound. In the 7U travel league we certainly use mounds as most kids are pretty advanced. It depends on which league the OP's kid pitches. I do, however, advise that kids pitch off of flat ground at times during the week as it put less strain on their arms.

    With pitching, I was going to go at it alone with my son, but had second thoughts about him putting to much strain on his arm if I gave him bad information. I went with a pro pitching coach. He can teach your son how to safely build up his arm strength and use the proper technique. As a former tennis pro, I had elbow issues in my twenties from bad machanics as a child that I mantained until I was older. My elbow is still shot and didn't want this for my son. I would research your area. If you can find the local coaches of your travel teams. They should be able to recommend a good pitching coach. It seems expensive, but it's cheaper than medical bills. Also, I would guess depending on the kids coordination that after 5/7 half our lessons, he should have a solid foundation and consistant motion. From there you should be able to handle the pitching chores 'in house'. Then bring him to the pitching coach every month or so to make sure his motion is still sound.

  15. #15
    I would stick to the 4 seam fastball for now, and have him get used to pitching off that pitch alone to start. Once he starts to locate the 4 seamer, then you can start talking to him about adding and subtracting from the fastball to vary the speed a little bit (my bro once told me about a pitcher he faced in college who threw mostly four seamers but was effective because of his ability to locate and add/subtract to keep the hitters off balance). In my opinion, adding/subtracting from the fastball is kind of a lost art.

    By the time he gets this down, he'll probably be a little older and wanting to add a pitch. That's when you show him the amazing 2 seamer! You can even call it a cutter or sinker or something like that, even though at his age it probably won't actually have a whole lot of action. But now he has two pitches, his catcher can call pitches for him, and he feels a little cooler about this new ability to throw another pitch, even though it's still a fastball. From there I would add the changeup to his arsenal. I've had success keeping it very simple when teaching the change. I help the guys find a comfortable grip, then I just tell them "ok, now throw me a fastball with that grip". Too many pitchers slow their arms down to subtract velocity but the guys I've worked with have had success with this ultra simple approach.
    Last edited by Emanski's Heroes; 06-08-2009 at 12:01 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Emanski's Heroes View Post
    I would stick to the 4 seam fastball for now, and have him get used to pitching off that pitch alone to start. Once he starts to locate the 4 seamer, then you can start talking to him about adding and subtracting from the fastball to vary the speed a little bit (my bro once told me about a pitcher he faced in college who threw mostly four seamers but was effective because of his ability to locate and add/subtract to keep the hitters off balance). In my opinion, adding/subtracting from the fastball is kind of a lost art.
    The reason it’s a lost art is because of just what you noted about changeup problems. The only way to take off something from a “normal” pitch, 4 seamer or not, is to slow down the arm speed. That means changing mechanics, and changing mechanics is not something that’s easy to do while maintaining command and control.

    IMHO, puttin’ a little on or takin’ a little off is not something that should be done by young and/or inexperienced pitchers. Heck, ML pitchers who just try to throw their pitches without varying them, have difficulty with their mechanics, so why would anyone assume a young or inexperienced pitcher wouldn’t have more than a little problem doing it?
    Last edited by scorekeeper; 06-12-2009 at 01:50 PM.
    The pitcher whoís afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Emanski's Heroes View Post
    I would stick to the 4 seam fastball for now, and have him get used to pitching off that pitch alone to start. Once he starts to locate the 4 seamer, then you can start talking to him about adding and subtracting from the fastball to vary the speed a little bit (my bro once told me about a pitcher he faced in college who threw mostly four seamers but was effective because of his ability to locate and add/subtract to keep the hitters off balance). In my opinion, adding/subtracting from the fastball is kind of a lost art.

    By the time he gets this down, he'll probably be a little older and wanting to add a pitch. That's when you show him the amazing 2 seamer! You can even call it a cutter or sinker or something like that, even though at his age it probably won't actually have a whole lot of action. But now he has two pitches, his catcher can call pitches for him, and he feels a little cooler about this new ability to throw another pitch, even though it's still a fastball. From there I would add the changeup to his arsenal. I've had success keeping it very simple when teaching the change. I help the guys find a comfortable grip, then I just tell them "ok, now throw me a fastball with that grip". Too many pitchers slow their arms down to subtract velocity but the guys I've worked with have had success with this ultra simple approach.

    This would also depend on the size of a kids hand. Kids with small hands have trouble with four seamers. Some coaches start kids that have trouble holding on to the ball with 2 seamers. My son started out throwing a four seamer with two fingers, but was changed to throw it with three finger because he was having it slip out of his hand. There was a time when I wondered if he would ever consistantly throw strikes, but once he changed to three fingers he has been very consistant. He can locate his pitches to the outside and inside. He can waste pitches high. He also does throw a two seamer and has a good bit of drop on the pitch. He can throw a nice one that looks great to a batter and it falls right on the plate. He's doesn't get consistant break on it. Some times it tails into a right hander batter, but he definately has movement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by emmitt View Post
    This would also depend on the size of a kids hand. Kids with small hands have trouble with four seamers. Some coaches start kids that have trouble holding on to the ball with 2 seamers. My son started out throwing a four seamer with two fingers, but was changed to throw it with three finger because he was having it slip out of his hand. There was a time when I wondered if he would ever consistantly throw strikes, but once he changed to three fingers he has been very consistant. He can locate his pitches to the outside and inside. He can waste pitches high. He also does throw a two seamer and has a good bit of drop on the pitch. He can throw a nice one that looks great to a batter and it falls right on the plate. He's doesn't get consistant break on it. Some times it tails into a right hander batter, but he definately has movement.
    Thatís interesting. I hope you realize that what heís doing is throwing change ups! One day heís gonna be able to put that 3rd finger on the side, and youíre gonna see a quantum leap in his velocity. What the dangerís gonna be is, heíll have to relearn a release point because if he doesnít, everything he throws will have a tendency to stay up.

    Just do me one favor. Donít ever let anyone tell him that a 3 finger CU isnít any good! Obviously it is because heís throwing it now and it works!
    The pitcher whoís afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by scorekeeper View Post
    Thatís interesting. I hope you realize that what heís doing is throwing change ups! One day heís gonna be able to put that 3rd finger on the side, and youíre gonna see a quantum leap in his velocity. What the dangerís gonna be is, heíll have to relearn a release point because if he doesnít, everything he throws will have a tendency to stay up.

    Just do me one favor. Donít ever let anyone tell him that a 3 finger CU isnít any good! Obviously it is because heís throwing it now and it works!
    It is slower than his 2-seamer, but still has a lot of life on it. He also throws a changeup (what we call a change up, any way). He uses the same grip but uses his middle, ring and pinkie across the seams. He really chokes the ball in his palm as well. It's not as consistant, but some days he's pretty good with it. He does have excellant arm action on it, but with kids this age, you almost do them a favor by throwing it. I let him throw it twice a game, but only to what I think are the best hitters on the other team.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by emmitt View Post
    It is slower than his 2-seamer, but still has a lot of life on it. He also throws a changeup (what we call a change up, any way). He uses the same grip but uses his middle, ring and pinkie across the seams. He really chokes the ball in his palm as well. It's not as consistant, but some days he's pretty good with it. He does have excellant arm action on it, but with kids this age, you almost do them a favor by throwing it. I let him throw it twice a game, but only to what I think are the best hitters on the other team.
    Shower than his 2 seamer is the definition of a CU! Quit monkeying around with that other garbage! If his hands too small to grip with only an index and middle behind the ball, its very likely too small to throw a circle with any degree of consistency.

    I donít care how much life you think it has, nobody in the world can throw a baseball with 3 fingers behind it, as fast as they can with only 2, unless of course they canít or wonít throw with 2.

    If you want to see some consistency in a CU, just have him choke the ball using his exact same FB grip and arm speed. But beware. The more he chokes it, although the less velocity it will have, the more difficult its going to be to be consistent with it.

    How much difference do you think there NEEDS to be between his #1 FB and his best CU to make it effective?

    If you think itís a favor to most hitters to throw them a CU, you need to work on pitch selection. It would be a favor to throw it twice in a row, but if he threw a good FB and the batter swung late and missed it, why do you think following that with a good CU would be doing them a favor. Now if he threw a good FB and the batter didnít swing, Iíd be more careful about throwing a CU after, but not if heíd just swung late and missed. Chances are, if he did that, heíd get ramped up and likely swing way too early on a CU.
    The pitcher whoís afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

  21. #21
    Here's some video from a couple weeks ago. He seems to have good velocity and is capable of throwing strikes probably 30% of the time. 20% get away from him and are uncatchable, the rest are just outside the strike zone. Would appreciate any critiques of his mechanics. I'll get some more recent video as soon as I can.

    Also, at the time of this video he hadn't learned the two-finger fastball grip yet. He's still palming the ball with 3 fingers. Not sure why I waited so long to teach him that, other than he was throwing well and I didn't want to do anything to mess him up until the season was over. He's working on getting used to the 4-seam fastball grip now.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYIsU-o2_s0
    Last edited by Jesse; 06-08-2009 at 08:16 PM.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by scorekeeper View Post
    Shower than his 2 seamer is the definition of a CU! Quit monkeying around with that other garbage! If his hands too small to grip with only an index and middle behind the ball, its very likely too small to throw a circle with any degree of consistency.

    I donít care how much life you think it has, nobody in the world can throw a baseball with 3 fingers behind it, as fast as they can with only 2, unless of course they canít or wonít throw with 2.

    If you want to see some consistency in a CU, just have him choke the ball using his exact same FB grip and arm speed. But beware. The more he chokes it, although the less velocity it will have, the more difficult its going to be to be consistent with it.

    How much difference do you think there NEEDS to be between his #1 FB and his best CU to make it effective?

    If you think itís a favor to most hitters to throw them a CU, you need to work on pitch selection. It would be a favor to throw it twice in a row, but if he threw a good FB and the batter swung late and missed it, why do you think following that with a good CU would be doing them a favor. Now if he threw a good FB and the batter didnít swing, Iíd be more careful about throwing a CU after, but not if heíd just swung late and missed. Chances are, if he did that, heíd get ramped up and likely swing way too early on a CU.
    I would agree about you pitch selection, but only for travel ball. In his rec league, there are kids that have no idea what is going on and are not mentally into the game. I've seen several kids that usually don't hit the ball be able to make contact with another kids changeup just because they can handle that speed of pitch.

    As for monkeying around with his pitches, that's an interesting delima. Should I listen to someone from a message board or his pitching coach who was on the Dodgers 40 man roster a few years ago, but mostly pitched AA and AAA . I'll sleep on it, but I will say this. His coach and I like to make baseball fun. It gets boring for a 7 year old to throw 30 four seam fast balls in a row in a practice session. We found that if we introduce other pitching grips he stays more focused. It also lets him explore why the ball reacts to different pressure points on the ball. To each his own, but this way is working this way has been great with my son. He knows that the 4 seamer is the bread and butter pitch. He probably throws them in games 98% of the time, but a little varity can help what can become monotonus (sp) practice sessions for a 7 year old.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Jesse View Post
    Here's some video from a couple weeks ago. He seems to have good velocity and is capable of throwing strikes probably 30% of the time. 20% get away from him and are uncatchable, the rest are just outside the strike zone. Would appreciate any critiques of his mechanics. I'll get some more recent video as soon as I can.

    Also, at the time of this video he hadn't learned the two-finger fastball grip yet. He's still palming the ball with 3 fingers. Not sure why I waited so long to teach him that, other than he was throwing well and I didn't want to do anything to mess him up until the season was over. He's working on getting used to the 4-seam fastball grip now.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYIsU-o2_s0
    I see some real positives in the video. There's something wrong with the timing of his wind-up and what his lower half is doing though. I see this even in kids a little older, probably trying to create some momentum to compensate for a lack of lower body / core strength.

    Things look good until the moment he's reached the top of his wind-up and then he seems to speed up / jerk the ball down. MHO is that there's a lesson to be learned from what you see so many Japanese pitchers doing with the hesitation in their wind-up. Whether you go to that extreme or not with your son, it likes like he could use more time at the top of his wind-up.

    I explained it to my son by describing the wind-up like a good rock song's intro, a tennis or golf swing, or like a hump in a roller coaster. "...coast to the top, take a quick glance down, reaquire the target, and then - - release the hounds."

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by emmitt View Post
    I would agree about you pitch selection, but only for travel ball. In his rec league, there are kids that have no idea what is going on and are not mentally into the game. I've seen several kids that usually don't hit the ball be able to make contact with another kids changeup just because they can handle that speed of pitch.
    Thereís really no difference between a great hitter getting fooled by a CU and a poor one, if the pitch is properly set up and thrown correctly. And nothing against rec baseball, but to me thatís the perfect place to practice and work on things like this. Make a mistake against the normal 7 hitter in a rec lineup, and he might hit a ball on the nose that makes it through or over the infield for a single. Make that same mistake to the 7 hitter on a decent select team, and he might take it out.

    As for monkeying around with his pitches, that's an interesting delima. Should I listen to someone from a message board or his pitching coach who was on the Dodgers 40 man roster a few years ago, but mostly pitched AA and AAA . I'll sleep on it, but I will say this. His coach and I like to make baseball fun. It gets boring for a 7 year old to throw 30 four seam fast balls in a row in a practice session. We found that if we introduce other pitching grips he stays more focused. It also lets him explore why the ball reacts to different pressure points on the ball. To each his own, but this way is working this way has been great with my son. He knows that the 4 seamer is the bread and butter pitch. He probably throws them in games 98% of the time, but a little varity can help what can become monotonus (sp) practice sessions for a 7 year old.
    Look, I donít care if you listen to me or the other guy. But Iíll tell you this much. What I told you isnít my idea alone. One of my very best friends was the ML pitching coach for those same Dodgers for 12 years, and he feels the same way I do. Maybe if your pitching coach didnít fart around trying all kinds of things himself, he wouldnít have had to settle for AA and AAA ball, but would have been on the 25 man roster and still be pitching.

    As for baseball getting boring for a 7YO at a pitching lesson, Iíll pass this on. When my son was 10, I took him to my friend and asked him to take a look and give me some advice about how to make him a better pitcher. He watched the boy throw about 20 pitches, then made some nice comments. Then he went in the house, grabbed us each a beer and a soda for the boy, and sat us all down under a big oak tree to pass on his final advice.

    ďHeís only 10! Let him have some fun and donít worry about his pitching until heís at least got some hair on his crotch. The world of baseball doesnít need a 10YO Sandy Koufax!Ē

    I took that advice to heart because this fellow spent 40 years in baseballís highest levels, and was well known as one of the best pitching coaches in the game.
    The pitcher whoís afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by scorekeeper View Post
    Thereís really no difference between a great hitter getting fooled by a CU and a poor one, if the pitch is properly set up and thrown correctly. And nothing against rec baseball, but to me thatís the perfect place to practice and work on things like this. Make a mistake against the normal 7 hitter in a rec lineup, and he might hit a ball on the nose that makes it through or over the infield for a single. Make that same mistake to the 7 hitter on a decent select team, and he might take it out.



    Look, I donít care if you listen to me or the other guy. But Iíll tell you this much. What I told you isnít my idea alone. One of my very best friends was the ML pitching coach for those same Dodgers for 12 years, and he feels the same way I do. Maybe if your pitching coach didnít fart around trying all kinds of things himself, he wouldnít have had to settle for AA and AAA ball, but would have been on the 25 man roster and still be pitching.

    As for baseball getting boring for a 7YO at a pitching lesson, Iíll pass this on. When my son was 10, I took him to my friend and asked him to take a look and give me some advice about how to make him a better pitcher. He watched the boy throw about 20 pitches, then made some nice comments. Then he went in the house, grabbed us each a beer and a soda for the boy, and sat us all down under a big oak tree to pass on his final advice.

    ďHeís only 10! Let him have some fun and donít worry about his pitching until heís at least got some hair on his crotch. The world of baseball doesnít need a 10YO Sandy Koufax!Ē

    I took that advice to heart because this fellow spent 40 years in baseballís highest levels, and was well known as one of the best pitching coaches in the game.

    So the moral of the story is that you can't have fun until you've got hair on your crotch? Or it's that it's ok if you bring your kid to get an evaluation of his skills, but everyone else has issues?

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