Pitcher Pointers to Peruse
So, how do you cut through all the hub-bub and get your son or daughter the best information and instruction? We did a lot of research initially, especially after hearing one too many youth coach say something like "rock and fire" or "bring the heat!."
Truth be told, most youth coaches know bumpkiss about pitching mechanics, and are more interested in velocity than longetivity of the arm throwing the ball. There is SO much more involved, including proper use of feet and leg drive, balance, breathing and finger/wrist movement. The throwing arm should act more like a whip than a cannon, and should be driven by a complete use of the body.
Since so much is put into "throwing hard," we felt it important to help you get a little more know-how about rotator cuff damage. To get a good primer on the subject, visit All
Star Pitcher and see his charts on the muscles, tendons and joints involved. If you choose to buy the program he sells, so much the better as information like this is cheap compared to the potential heartache and medical bills resulting from bad motion and technique.
AND, to get to our original point, it is VERY important to see an expert instructor on pitching. Not necessarily a pitching instruction clinic (where sheer numbers preclude your son or daughter from getting individual attention needed. We sought out pitching instruction that would also address mental aspects of the game. You often hear commentators talking about pitchers who make the transformation from "throwing" to "pitching," and how much more they now understand the game. We wanted that early.
Our solution ended up being Ray Burris, and Shane Davenport from Ray Burris Academy. Ray is former MLB starter who worked his way through the bigs in a 14 year career in mid 70s and 80s. His approach gets in kids' hearts as well as their minds, and helps them understand accountability of performance.
He also helps them save their arms by showing them how to understand what they're feeling during set up and delivery. This "feeling" keeps motions on track, and emotions in check as they work what they know to be correct for playing the game.
While there are plenty of able instructors out there. Our site, TexBall showcases instructors year-round, but we tend to work word of mouth from what we know. We can strongly recommend what Ray and Shane have to offer.
And, one final word: if your pitcher is 8-14 years of age and needs ice after an outing, GET SOME INSTRUCTION. He or she is throwing too hard or there's a fine-tuning that could be critical to his or her future success and safety.