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Hey Blader

 
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Spanky
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Hey Blader
« on: October 18, 2008, 07:54:47 AM »

Last night at my son's baseball practice I was catching for the kids while we were working with the pitchers. My son got up there for only the second time this season. He usually catches but since his team is going to be short kids today the coach wanted to see what some kids could do.

Put aside that he is my son and I will have some bias toward him but what I saw was pretty cool. With his natural throw (that developed because of the catcher gear) he was throwing a pretty decent slider. His delivery is more of a side arm throw. Another coach was working with him and by the end of his round he threw this nasty sinking curve ball that moved the entire width of the plate. He is only 10 and none of what he threw was intentional.

He still does not have the power, speed, control he needs. What can we do to work on that? I doubt he will be a great player but what I saw makes me think he could be pretty good through high school if we continue to work on it. Any good drills he can do? I was also thinking of getting him in a pitching camp if one comes up before the spring.
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Blader
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Re: Hey Blader
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2008, 12:52:13 PM »

I'd get him set up with private pitching lessons.  Chances are, there is some former pro pitcher in your area doing that.  10 yo is not too early to start.  Actually, its a great time to start.

Sounds like what he really needs is for someone to teach him not to come from the side.  He needs to be throwing overhand, with his elbow higher than the shoulder.  That might take away this nasty pitch you describe, but he really won't need a nasty until much much later, like in high school.  In youth ball, the catchers aren't good enough to deal with nasty's, everyone he strikes out with it will be getting on base with a dropped 3rd strike.

He should be taught, first and foremost, a consistent delivery, beginning and ending with good balance.  He'll do just fine for the next 4 or 5 years if he's got a 2 and a 4 seam fastball, and also a change up.  Chances are, he'll have natural movement with some pitch, usually the 2 seamer, simply based upon the way he applies finger pressure.

He'll get the weak hitters out with the FB's and the strong hitters out with the change. 

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Aske
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Re: Hey Blader
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2008, 04:35:30 PM »

I thought the consensus nowadays was kids @ 10 are too young to throw overhand curveballs anyways ?
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Re: Hey Blader
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2008, 05:35:27 PM »

A slider and a curve are two very different pitches, mechanically. A slider isn't even a true 'breaking pitch'.

A slider is actually a fastball thrown with a slightly different grip and wrist set. The motion is the same as a fastball. A Curveball has a completely different arm and wrist motion.

Personally, I think sending a kid to a position specific coach at 10 years old borders on being a little obsessive, but it's not my kid.
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The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. -- Teddy Roosevelt
Aske
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Re: Hey Blader
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2008, 05:50:11 PM »

A slider and a curve are two very different pitches, mechanically. A slider isn't even a true 'breaking pitch'.

A slider is actually a fastball thrown with a slightly different grip and wrist set. The motion is the same as a fastball. A Curveball has a completely different arm and wrist motion.


I understand... I was a (crappy) pitcher in middle, and high school. 
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Russia has invaded a sovereign neighboring state and threatens a democratic government elected by its people. Such an action is unacceptable in the 21st century.
--  Chimpy McFlightsuit, CEO of Bu$hco Industries of 'Merka
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Re: Hey Blader
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2008, 06:03:50 PM »

I was a fair high school catcher, and could pitch junk in a pinch. Couldn't hit the curve, the slider or anything resembling a really good fastball.  Roll Eyes
 
Wouldn't a 2 seam sidearm fastball be a slider just about every time?

Why mess with a what could be a great thing might be my other question.
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The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. -- Teddy Roosevelt
Spanky
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Re: Hey Blader
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2008, 06:58:16 PM »

If anything my boy needs help just throwing. I have tried and just like any son he doesn't listen to me. And I am probably the worst person in the world to help him.

A side arm pitcher is good but I don't think you can get the power like you can overhand. I doubt my son will go beyond HS, and I doubt he will even pitch, but right now he wants to. He just doesn't have the consistency to do it. Hell sometime he has a problem getting the ball back to the pitcher accurately.

I don't want to discourage him but at the same time I don't want to spend a fortune on him either. He does not play select and will not. We are too cheap for that. I don't plan on grooming him for MLB either. Again don't have time and money. But if there is something we can do to help him improve then I would consider it.
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stroh
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Re: Hey Blader
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2008, 07:15:07 PM »

C. ,

I love what you're doing.  Let him do it, but don't put any money or coaching into it at this point.  If it's there, you'll (and the coaches ) will see it. 
 Right now, just get hime to "follow through" to the point of "bending" (important) and finsish in balance like the other dude said.  Seriously.  Control comes from the start.  Just like golf.  You
teach him what you know, and that's good for now.




Me?  What?  Me?

Well...........*fiddlesticks* pitching!!!    I was the best right handed hitting 3rd baseman this state has ever seen until..........
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Blader
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Re: Hey Blader
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2008, 07:55:02 PM »

Some argue that a true 12-6 type curve ball doesn't cause stress.  Maybe, but it is actually a hard pitch to throw properly. It's easier to throw the standard curveball, that puts a lot of stress on the elbow.

But more importantly, my problem with teaching any breaking ball to the young'ns is that they get out there, loving the fun of it, and start experimenting with it, and before you know it, they're flipping the elbow because if you really want a ball to dance...curve or slider, they figure out that the best way comes with elbow torsion.  It's like cancer, once it gets started and takes among a group of kids, its hard to kill.  Once one kid in a league figures out the dark art, he spreads it with all his buddies.

I honestly believe a fastball and a changeup are all they need.   Changing speeds on top of good location, and you got an Ace pitcher in youth ball.  Simple as that.  

As far as specializing, pitch count/inning limits are such that there is no such thing as a pitcher specialist in youth ball. For example, I threw 3 kids in my game (6 inning) tonight.  These kids were all playing other positions when they weren't pitching.  

Not all kids want to pitch, and even fewer can do it half way decently.  Good pitchers don't suddenly just happen when they are 14 or 16. They need to get the mechanics early and work on it then, because good mechanics are what gives you consistency.  No other position in baseball requires good mechanics like pitchers need.  No other position also demands as even of a temperment as pitcher.  Half of good pitching is mechanics, and 90% of it is mental conditioning.  Even for kids.  

Side arm kids are cursed.  My theory is they are possessed by a black demon  They have no control over the ball, can't make the plays in the infield or the outfield, because the ball tails.  Their throws tend to lack pop.  I personally won't let them pitch because it puts about 3x the stress on the elbow as normal overhand.  

Have fun with it.  
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MFAWG
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Re: Hey Blader
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2008, 09:31:14 PM »

Dennis Eckersley weeps!
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The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. -- Teddy Roosevelt
Blader
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Re: Hey Blader
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2008, 07:02:36 AM »

How did I know someone would bring up Eckersley?

Can we just stipulate he's a freak of nature and be done with it. 

Sure, side arm pitchers exist in the pro's. 

In fact, a few weeks ago I played a round of golf with one who plays on a certain Atlanta area MLB team....he's been out on the DL all year after having parts of his elbow replaced with chunks of *feces* harvested from his leg.

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Spanky
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Re: Hey Blader
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2008, 07:09:30 AM »

Actually I agree with Blader. Side arm is not how I want my son throwing. In fact when he throws it is all arm, there is little body movement and I know that's why he has no power.

If he does go to a camp or see a coach, if anything it will change the way he throws the ball period and will make him a better player. If he stays at catcher then he can throw to 2nd. If he plays 3rd or outfield then he needs the power to throw anyway.
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Walfredo
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Re: Hey Blader
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2008, 07:16:22 AM »

I threw 3/4 and my natural pitch was a sinker even at 10 years old.  So I had the 2-seam fastball that was a sinker.  A 4-seamer that sunk less.  Add to that a curveball and circle change, I was a damn fine 10 year old pitcher.  I had private lessons and all that too.

Blader is right though.  You want to get your kid's hand behind the ball no matter what position he ends up playing.  Don't want to be throwing a natural slider to 2nd base with 90 ft bases.  It'll end up at short stop.  

THe angle of the arm matters much less IMO then where the hand is.  My arm angle was lower than most but my hand was on top and my index finger controlled the spin to get the sinker motion.  I rode that sinker, changeup and curveball all throw high school to be one tommy john surgery away from playing college.  And the pitching wasn't the problem that caused the need for surgery.  God gave me dislocated ulner nerves on both arms.  THey slide over the funny bone each time I move my arm and the years of pitching finally exposed them.  

If my son were a good catcher I'd nurture that.  It is a great position and not easy to do well.  
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