As our long winter begins up north, my coaching buddies and I where talking about youth baseball pitchers along with some tips we all have used in baseball. I hope you may find some help in the following article.
Every kid wants to pitch in baseball it seems. Pitchers are learning how to throw pitches and are the center of the game. Young pitchers set the pace of the little league game. Young pitchers feel great when they strike out the No. 3 hitter in the lineup. They float to the dugout when after a one, two, three inning. They don't have to run off the field like everybody else. The baseball pitcher gets walk off after the third out. It is a rewarding position to play in baseball. It can also be very humbling when you lose the strike zone, start getting hit, or your defense has trouble helping you out. The worst part is when you have to be taken out of the game or off the pitcher's mound.
Pitching is much more than just throwing the baseball past hitters. The top three rules for baseball pitchers are as old as baseball itself. Location, location location. At eight or nine years old you can get away most of time with just throwing heat past hitters. As you get older however, off unless you learn how to change speeds, and change location, hitters will begin to hit your fastball.
Young pitchers who are top youth baseball pitchers at 8 years old sometimes aren't even pitching at 11 years old for of a variety of reasons. Some of these reasons we will cover in later articles. The sooner the young baseball pitcher learns the necessity of changing speeds and location the sooner they will improve as a pitcher. Baseball pitchers 8-11 will have a wide variety of throwing motions. As a coach you need to present options to your young pitchers. Little league coaches should stress a compact wind up with as little unneeded movement as possible.You are not reinventing the wheel here. Please stress balance first to your pitchers. Arm position, rotation of the hips and balanced controlled follow-through are also recommended.
Pitch counts and no breaking balls of any kind are also strong recommendations. Youth baseball pitchers can begin to be introduced to breaking pitches around puberty is the view of some baseball coaches. Change ups will more than suffice until then. You can do a great deal of long term damage to your young athlete's arms by number one, not getting into a warm-up routine early in the career. Learning how to throw baseball pitches is a process, not an event. It's the habit that needs to be instilled early on by baseball coaches. At 8 years old they may not physically need to have a half-hour warm up routine. At 13 they do, so if it is not ingrained by then, all it takes is one incident to hurt the young pitcher's arm.
Pitch counts. Please abide by the recommended youth pitch counts per age group. We're talking long term here. It is your responsibility as a baseball coach to protect your players. It also teaches young pitchers a lesson or two. It teaches them to use pitches wisely if you want to go deep into the game. Young pitchers should learn get batters out by using location not just heat. Seven pitch innings using your fielders, keeps everybody in the game. It also keeps the pitch count lower and pitchers stay in the game longer. I know the younger age groups may have inning limits, it is still never too early to instill these basics. Youth baseball is too great of a sport not to give our young players the right instruction.
Thanks for your time,
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By Author. All Rights Reserved. Date
February 14, 2008
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