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Old 11-10-2023, 06:57 PM
 
Location: USA
509 posts, read 780,656 times
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My kid is 9.

He just ended fall ball. He pitched 1-2 innings per game and did well. Didn't throw fast but threw a lot of strikes. I told him to focus on accuracy over speed.

But in the spring, that's the big season for Little League, I'm wondering what the next step is for pitching. Should he add a fast ball or is it too soon?

Should he just continue to have one pitch and that's it? He seems to have that down pat, so it seems to me he could start working on a 2nd pitch.

His "normal" pitch is pretty consistent. I guess just call it a slow-medium pitch? Probably 35-40 mph.

What if he adds a fast pitch of say 45-50 mph. He threw 50mph when they clocked him a few months ago.

Then he can vary between the two pitches. Slow, fast, slow fast. To throw off the batters.

Or... for the 2nd pitch should it be a curve ball instead of a fast ball? Not sure if he has the hands and discipline to learn a curve ball, but I'm not an expert. I don't know how to throw one myself.
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Old 11-11-2023, 03:08 PM
 
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Not an expert but you might want to reach out to reddit. There are a lot of other parents on there that could probably answer that question. This group might be ale to help but I'm speaking in terms of traffic here vs reddit and it will by far be more responses there.
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Old 11-12-2023, 11:08 PM
 
Location: USA
509 posts, read 780,656 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Statz2k10 View Post
Not an expert but you might want to reach out to reddit. There are a lot of other parents on there that could probably answer that question. This group might be ale to help but I'm speaking in terms of traffic here vs reddit and it will by far be more responses there.
Thanks. but what do you think yourself about this?
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Old 11-13-2023, 07:15 AM
 
Location: Keosauqua, Iowa
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He's already throwing a fastball. The fact that he might not be throwing as hard as he possibly could doesn't make it not a fastball. So by all means, if he can throw harder, have him work on throwing harder with the same accuracy he has now. When he gets that down, have him work on adjusting his grip so he can change speeds while using the same throwing motion to fool batters. Continuing to throw the "slow fastball" after he starts throwing it hard won't be effective because the slower motion will tell batters that it's coming.

I wouldn't recommend any kind of breaking pitch until he's in his teens to avoid hurting his arm. Unless his hands are big enough that he can throw a knuckleball.
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Old 11-13-2023, 08:02 AM
 
Location: DFW
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This is going to sound a little crazy, but you might try reaching out to longtime MLB pitching coach Tom House on Twitter. While he isn't as active as he used to be, he did make a habit of answering reader questions in the past. He could get a million questions a week like that, so he might not answer but I don't think it would be silly to try.
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Old 11-13-2023, 08:19 AM
 
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My dad, who coached for years, would say at his age to focus on control, not how hard he throws or especially not to throw any breaking pitches at his age. Watch the Little League games in your hometown. Look at the number of pitchers who throw hard or breaking pitches. They'll throw one strikeout and then walk the next four or five batters. There are more kids out there that look like "Wild Thing" or "Nuke" than anything else. Some of the pitchers on my son's team threw over the backstop or into the dugout, or one kid managed to throw so badly it went to the left field fence. He threw plenty hard, but had no idea where it was going.

When my son played it bothered me how many Little League coaches favored kids who threw hard over kids with control. The pitcher is not the only one on the team. At that age all the rest of those kids need to learn to catch, throw, make a play, etc. No one on that field is learning anything when the pitcher is throwing strikeouts, and then walks in five runs.
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Old 11-13-2023, 09:52 PM
 
Location: USA
509 posts, read 780,656 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duster1979 View Post
He's already throwing a fastball. The fact that he might not be throwing as hard as he possibly could doesn't make it not a fastball. So by all means, if he can throw harder, have him work on throwing harder with the same accuracy he has now. When he gets that down, have him work on adjusting his grip so he can change speeds while using the same throwing motion to fool batters. Continuing to throw the "slow fastball" after he starts throwing it hard won't be effective because the slower motion will tell batters that it's coming.

I wouldn't recommend any kind of breaking pitch until he's in his teens to avoid hurting his arm. Unless his hands are big enough that he can throw a knuckleball.
Ok thanks, I'll have him work on the speed. I think he's just scared of hitting the batter, so he throws kinda slow.
What about this - for fun the tries throwing sidearm and submarine, because he sees real pitchers doing it. Should I encourage him to keep trying these?
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Old 11-13-2023, 09:53 PM
 
Location: USA
509 posts, read 780,656 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbb303 View Post
This is going to sound a little crazy, but you might try reaching out to longtime MLB pitching coach Tom House on Twitter. While he isn't as active as he used to be, he did make a habit of answering reader questions in the past. He could get a million questions a week like that, so he might not answer but I don't think it would be silly to try.
Interesting, and cool that a big time guy would answer questions.
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Old 11-13-2023, 09:59 PM
 
Location: USA
509 posts, read 780,656 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
My dad, who coached for years, would say at his age to focus on control, not how hard he throws or especially not to throw any breaking pitches at his age. Watch the Little League games in your hometown. Look at the number of pitchers who throw hard or breaking pitches. They'll throw one strikeout and then walk the next four or five batters. There are more kids out there that look like "Wild Thing" or "Nuke" than anything else. Some of the pitchers on my son's team threw over the backstop or into the dugout, or one kid managed to throw so badly it went to the left field fence. He threw plenty hard, but had no idea where it was going.

When my son played it bothered me how many Little League coaches favored kids who threw hard over kids with control. The pitcher is not the only one on the team. At that age all the rest of those kids need to learn to catch, throw, make a play, etc. No one on that field is learning anything when the pitcher is throwing strikeouts, and then walks in five runs.
To your point, there was a kid on his team who's dad played in college and the dad would warm him up in the bullpen; the kid would throw hard and straight in the warm up, but then when it was batter up he would throw fast but wild pitches. A lot of balls. He would not take it well and would end up crying. Sometimes I didn't think he'd make it through an inning. And that doesn't seem like a fun way to develop pitching!

I think the coach really started to appreciate my kid because he was the only one that could throw consistent strikes even if they were slow.

At this age a lot of kids can't hit so he'd get a lot of strike outs, but one team could hit and they were getting a lot of hits on him, but like you said, I think that's a good thing because then the teammates can actual work on their fielding.
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Old 11-14-2023, 09:25 AM
 
Location: SF/Mill Valley
8,658 posts, read 3,853,671 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dustin183 View Post
My kid is 9.

His "normal" pitch is pretty consistent. I guess just call it a slow-medium pitch? Probably 35-40 mph.
Nine is young; his velocity should improve (and be more consistent) in a year or two, particularly as he grows/gains body weight. There are other things he can do to improve relative to technique, posture and so on as well.

That said, who is teaching/guiding him - anyone? I’d be more concerned about poor advice and bad habits than speed at this point. Also, is he having fun and showing an interest of his own? I started pitching at a relatively young age myself, and I saw it take its toll on a few kids over the years as there’s a balance between optimal performance/development vs. the limited window/timeframe one has i.e. he will want to make the most of it sans risk for injury (and pressure from parents as well).

Quote:
Originally Posted by dustin183 View Post
Or... for the 2nd pitch should it be a curve ball instead of a fast ball? Not sure if he has the hands and discipline to learn a curve ball, but I'm not an expert. I don't know how to throw one myself.
Physical maturation and muscular development is key relative to curveballs and sliders; he has a few years before thinking about that i.e. 14 or so. I’d recommend the next pitch (by about 10 or 11) be a change up.
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