Becoming a baseball pitcher is something that takes years of practice and a lot of dedication. It is best to get pitchers started at very young ages where they can learn the good habits that will prevent injuries and allow them to develop good techniques.
When children are young, their bodies are still developing and susceptible to injuries. As a child’s game develops, so does their body. It is critically important that a young pitcher get good coaching early in their lives to help them understand how to play the position safely, and develop techniques that they can use the rest of their lives.
This video offers a great start on pitching tips for kids, and it brings up two of the more important tips that we are going to start out with. Check it out and read our tips below!
Learning The Right Grip
From the very first time a child grabs a baseball to start their pitching adventure, it is extremely important to learn the right grips. The four-fingered fastball is usually the first grip a child learns because it is a comfortable grip, and it is easy to remember. The key to a good pitching grip is to grip the ball with your fingers and not let the ball lay in the palm of your hands. The four-fingered fastball allows a child to become comfortable with a basic grip, and develop the finger strength needed to learn other grips.
One of the problems that children run into when they are first learning to pitch is that pitchers grip the ball differently that fielders. If you ever watch a young pitcher throw to first base off of a bunt, it can take the young pitcher time to find the right grip. That is because it takes time for young pitchers to learn the differences between the throwing grip of a fielder, and the more mechanical finger grip of a pitcher.
Start Out Having Fun
One of the important points the video makes is that young pitchers need to learn how to have fun and enjoy the game. A pitcher has to be focused on many different aspects of their delivery and their game to prevent a damaging injury from taking place. While a young pitcher is learning their craft, it is important to let them have fun with what they are doing and know that baseball is still a game.
Allowing a young pitcher to have fun can also open up their creativity. While learning proper mechanics is essential to a long and happy career, keeping the game fun can lead pitchers to developing their own ways for doing things that can get excellent results. Baseball is a game, and the pitchers who find the most success learn at an early age that having fun is the most important part to playing the game.
Start Out With Simple Movements
Many young pitchers spend a couple of years watching baseball on television before they pick up the ball themselves. When children try to imitate the exaggerated motions of some of the professionals, then that can lead to injuries to themselves and to the batters they are throwing to. When a child is just starting out, it is important to keep their movements simple and keep their technique very basic.
As with anything in sports, a player needs a strong foundation if they are going to find success. With young pitchers, it is important to teach a very basic motion and make sure that the fundamentals are sound before allowing them to move into any exaggerated movements.
Keep Young Pitchers In Their Element
Just because little Billy threw three strikes in a row in practice yesterday does not necessarily mean he is ready to strike out the side with bases loaded in a game. Confidence is important to any young ball player, but it is especially important for pitchers. It is important that coaches do not put young pitchers into situations they cannot handle, especially when those pitchers are very young.
As any coach will tell you, it is hard to tell how a young player will react until they are put in certain situations. Coaches need to know the emotional and physical limitations of their young pitchers to make sure that they do not put their players in situations that could provide long-term damage to the young player’s confidence.
Always Train A Young Pitcher In A Comprehensive Manner
Young pitchers are always told to keep their elbows up at ear level, but then they are often not told why. As a young pitcher develops, it is important that they understand why each aspect of their pitching motion is important. They need to understand that proper weight shift takes pressure off the shoulders, and that snapping the ball when throwing it is the fastest way to end a pitching career.
When kids are learning how to pitch, they should ask a lot of questions as to why certain parts of their pitching motion are important. As a child develops into an adult, their understanding of how each part of the pitching motion works together will help them to develop good habits and avoid injuries.
Pitching is one of the more important positions in baseball, and it is best to start pitchers off at a very young age. But teaching young players how to pitch is not the same as coaching experienced players. Kids need a little more attention when it comes to pitching, and they need to be given a good foundation of the basics to help them learn how the game is played from the mound.