How To Teach Young Baseball Pitchers
At all levels of the game, we all know how important a good pitcher is in determining the outcome of a game. Good pitchers between the ages of nine through twelve can dominate a game if they are e!ective. To reach that level of effectiveness requires a certain level of instruction. Keep the following in mind as you develop a routine to teach your young pitchers.
Keep It Simple & Keep It Fun
At such a young age, it is imperative that coaches keep the game fun. Teach the fundamentals of the game, pitching in this case, but do so in a way that is positive and upbeat. Keep the kids interested in the game.
For young pitchers, keep things simple. Teach a 4-seam and 2-seam grip and throw fastballs. You do not have to teach anything fancy like curve balls at this level. Focus on teaching certain aspects of the delivery such as a good forward stride, a sideways turn, and a solid downward tilt. Make sure the stride is straight and try to get the glove arm involved in the delivery.
Break Down The Delivery
There are many di!erent aspects to a pitcher’s delivery, but for young pitchers you can work on just a few. Make sure that pitchers reach a balance point in their wind up.
Practice the wind up without throwing to emphasize reaching that point of balance. Then, work on the stride. Stride straight toward the plate and emphasize the lower body. You can also practice the stride without throwing to work on the lower body mechanics of throwing.
To work on getting the glove arm involved, pitchers can perform the “feet in cement” drill. The pitcher’s feet remain stationary as the pitcher rotates the hips, generates torque with the upper body, and throws. Emphasize the glove arm pulling the throwing arm through the delivery.
Remember, these kids are young. Be encouraging but also correct what they do wrong. Try not to throw too much information at them at once. Work on correcting one aspect of their delivery ?rst and then moving on to others if necessary.