Youth Pitching Motion

By Steven Ellis, former Chicago Cubs pitching pro

Here are some components of a quality baseball pitching motion for youth pitchers.

  • Balance inside of back and stride foot
  • Stay Tall/head over pivot foot/have inward knee on pivot leg
  • Lift Leg, let foot hang/front hip higher than back hip
  • Rotate and show front pocket/Pause and balance
  • Hands close to body
  • Fingers on top of ball, thumb underneath/extend wrist
  • Elbows slightly in front of shoulder
  • Pivot knee relaxed & unlocked/Toe slightly open
  • Forward Movement

No movement until knee drops

  • Break hands as knee drops, thumbs down, force elbows up/ extend wrist
  • Lead with hip, keep R(RH) shoulder back momentarily/front hip higher than rear
  • Move side of hip, leg, foot forward, stay closed
  • Resist Turning Keep elbows in front of shoulders , shoulders on Line
  • Elbows shoulder high
  • Landing

Stride ball of foot to ball of foot

  • Front shoulder closed until foot plant
  • Head at center of triangle up to foot plant
  • Elbows shoulder high
  • Ball facing SS (RH) 2nd (LH), fingers on top of ball/wrist forward
  • Eyes level
  • Land plant foot slightly closed, on ball of foot
  • Firm plant foot, Thigh at 135 degree angle for release
  • Don't let knee drift forward after plant
  • Release Ball

Arch back thrust chest

  • Hand outside elbow as arm accelerates
  • Eyes level
  • Have full extension on wrist/wrist laid back
  • Move to 75 % of stride Rotate hips, trunk, shoulders…EXPLOSION
  • Arms and shoulder rotate around head
  • Flex back forward, release ball at same angle as back
  • Roll over back foot (pivot post ankle)
  • Don't let knee drift
  • Pull back knee forward and In for velocity Back leg comes off rubber before release
  • Drive glove hand back to chest at rotation/or keep over stride foot
  • Throw thru the target, watch target not ball flight
  • Flick wrist upon release, Pull ball hand down across body
  • Finish with head over landing knee
  • Follow thru by showing back pocket/heel over after push off foot lands

Checkpoints of a proper pitching motion

  • Keep your head over your pivot foot thru-out the entire delivery
  • No forward momentum toward home plate until your lift leg reaches it apex
  • Lift – don't kick – your leg up to its maximum height
  • Hold your hands at the center of gravity – from belly button to upper-chest level
  • Maintain the same upper-body posture you achieve in the balance phase of the delivery
  • Take a controlled fall toward home plate in the tall posture you achieved at balance
  • As you begin to move toward home plate, make sure your entire front side – foot, hip, elbow, knee, and glove is aligned with home plate. This is know as a closed, compact delivery. Hips must stay directional (toward home plate) until the landing foot hits. All hip rotation takes place after this point.
  • Land with your front side directional but your landing foot "closed off" – a right-hander's left big toe should point slightly toward the third-base side of home plate; a left-hander's right big toe should point slightly toward the first-base side of home through the body and into the arm at your release point, and ultimately ensures a less stressful deceleration of the arm.


Related Pitching Materials

Want to learn more about youth baseball pitching? Arm yourself with the most innovative and up-to-date baseball pitching training available. These related pitching materials from former Chicago Cubs pitching pro Steven Ellis are guaranteed to help you or the players you coach pitch better and reach the next level faster!

The Pitching Manual

A complete training guide for youth pitchers ages 8-13

Author: Steven Ellis and Chris McCoy
Spiral bound, 90 pages
Price: $64.95
Avg rating: (156 reviews)


Baseball Pitching Tips

Learn essential baseball pitching tips for young players

Title: Baseball Pitching Tips [NEW!]
Author: Steven Ellis
Ebook, 105 pages
Price: $24.95
Avg rating: (143 reviews)


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