By John R Di Nicola
Coaching Little League Pitchers
Coaching little league pitchers is every coaches night mare. I will be discussing the level which it is right after T-Ball or coach pitch depending on when the player comes into the league. There are variation of the coaching experience in little league. Regardless of the coaches experience he will be faced with finding pitchers.
Three Types of Coaches:
Has coaching experience and has at least two assistant either moved up from coach pitch or T-Ball
First year coaching but has some experience but never a Head Coach in Little League
Never coached before
Drafted Coach, this is the coach who's team was picked for him and given to him
Each division will have approximately 8 to 12 teams depending on the size of the organization. The majority of the league will be combination of 2 and 3. The larger the division the greater chance there will be one drafted coach
Most leagues have a try out and a draft. You get your players list and first thing you ask yourself is how many pitchers do I have? You go home and call the parents one by one. You have your list of questions:
Has your son or daughter every played before?
How long have they played organized baseball?
What positions have they played?
You might get lucky and have one that has played in another league and has had some experience pitching.
How to identify players who can Pitch
How do they Grip the Ball?
While players are warming up watch how they throw the ball
How they bring their arm back. Is it short armed or fully extended?
Do they fall off to side when releasing ball
How is their follow through?
Do they snap their wrist downward when releasing the ball?
Does the ball go in an Arc or does it go more on a straight line?
How accurate is the throw? Does the receiving player have to move to catch each ball?
Watch their feet see if they stay flat footed and don't move as the ball approaches
Is the player aggressive while playing catch?
There are so many area's to cover when you trying to get your team ready for the first game. While pitching is one of the most important areas of the game you still have to be working on Defense, Hitting, and Running the Bases.
I found that if you work with the pitchers after practice or have a practice just for pitchers and catchers it works best. Pitching is too important to just rush through and give it only 20 minutes twice a week.
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