This is a great video for any young kid or coach looking to learn more about the fundamentals of baseball. I do not own the rights to this video, just thought it was very interesting and knowledgable!
‘Coach Lyle Gabriel from the San Diego Stars provides instruction for youth baseball players to improve their pitching mechanics.’
My favorite parts of this video are in order the grip, balance, power and finish. This beak down of the four components of pitching is crucial for success. They will come naturally as you as a coach continue to break down through separate drills.
It starts with the balance and hold. “Baby rocker” as coach Lyle describes the first small step is something I hear my middle calls it. Down back and up is really the hardest in my opinion as a youngster did not start throwing the ball that way. This has to be a muscle memory change. “Goal posts” is when the ball is facing backwards and “the snap” is when it is brought back forward and towards the plate. The forty-five degree landing is important to keep the body closed through delivery and keep your foot going towards the plate and not opening up early which will result in wild throw. Finishing body over the knee is also a learned move since most youngsters will just use their arm to throw versus the entire body. These drills below are ones I use when coaching thanks to coach Lyle Gabriel.
1- Knee Drill. This gets them the youngster confident and throwing strikes from a short position and focusing on power and upper body movements like down back and up, goal posts and arm over knee finish.
2- Moving to the A-frame standing position and using the forty-five degree angle while moving back about five feet also helps with strike throwing and using upper body with a strong finish.
3- For the balance portion of the wind up having the youngster hold at top really focuses on importance of a slow start and bringing it all together with a proper release. The drill here I like to fall into a fence or wall with the front side to show the importance of driving your weight down towards the plate.
4- For control and working from a short distance to full distance the “Ten/Three” drill combines focus with control, competition and mechanics as it challenges the youngster to throw 10 strikes from a specific distance before throwing 3 balls.
Overall, the most important part of any coaching drill and exercise it to keep it FUN and give the youngsters positive reinforcement while teaching to have a short memory when they throw balls. Pitching requires major focus and proper muscle repetition which most sub ten year olds have difficulty with. Keep it light and have a great season!