Teaching Youth Pitching

By Steven Ellis, former Chicago Cubs pitching pro

Teaching youth pitchers requires a different approach than teaching older pitchers. The younger a pitcher is, the less they will understand about pitching and the more distracted they can get when you are teaching them.

Every age group of pitchers requires a slightly different strategy when coaching them. Younger pitchers who are new to pitching will need step by step instructions on what to do. As the pitchers can older, they typically gain a better understanding of what it is that they need to accomplish. When they reach this stage, you as a coach can start incorporating more advanced techniques.

The key to teaching a young pitcher the basic mechanics of pitching requires you to take things one step at a time. Younger players have a hard time understanding multiple steps at once, so take it slow with them.

One way to get your point across efficiently is by visual demonstration. Instead of trying to explain to them a certain point, show them yourself. Show them what they are doing wrong, and then show them how it should be done. Young players can learn visually a lot faster than by your words.

Often times, a youth pitcher will forget what they have learned after a few days (or even a few hours!). The best way to make sure a pitcher learns and REMEMBERS what you have taught them is with repetition. Every time you work with a youth pitcher, review what you have taught them in the past. If they forgot or are not doing it correctly, take some time to review with them before moving on.

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