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Drill to keep front shoulder open

May 6, 2016
So my 10U daughter made the switch to IR a little over a year ago. She is doing really well. Her biggest issue right now is that she is pulling her front shoulder closed and it causes her pitch to go way left of the plate. Any suggestions on drills she can work on? The other issue she has is pitching high during the game. During lessons/warmups she very rarely throws anything high, but as soon as she gets on the mound and has a batter in the box it starts. He think it is just in her head and she is trying to aim the ball and just not throwing it.
Feb 3, 2010
Pac NW
It would be helpful to see video to get the big picture.

I show my kids video of what they're doing and if needed, compare it to someone like Rachel Garcia to help them visualize what's going on. Then we start up close and move back with instant feedback at first. As soon as they demonstrate some control over it, I ask them to tell me good/bad/or in between. They sooner they can become self-aware and make corrections, the faster they'll conquer it.

Missing high? Best guess it a posture/brush issue. Again, video would help...
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Dec 5, 2012
Mid West
I've found that missing high and to the left with a kid attempting I/R and brush is typically a result of the brush happening on the front half of her ribs, and not the preferred back half. (** assuming she's right handed**)
** Imagine a line drawn straight down from the arm pit to the hip. Try to keep the inner bicep on the back half of this line... This will add the 4th point of resistance to accelerate the lower half of the arm to send the ball in a whipping action.

Like Ken said... for the best and most accurate analysis of her issue, post a clip!!
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Dd used to try to pitch harder in a game which led to a leaning forward which changed the release point which actually causes slower less accurate pitches. Usually high and inside. A video would lessen all the guessing.
Oct 21, 2015
With my dd sometimes she will tighten up in a game and throw high . It seems she is trying to guide it instead of trusting her self and just throwing it.
Feb 17, 2014
Orlando, FL
Throwing high is common as the innings progress and the pitch count climbs. The legs get tired, the stride shortens changing the release angle and the ball comes up. Most of the time a pitcher gets hammered late in the game is because the ball comes up in the zone and gets fat.
Aug 12, 2014
Buffalo, NY
Going with what everyone else said and that video would help. I usually find that the the shoulder closing early is due to something else (i.e. poor drive and heavy back foot, old HE mechanics, trying to avoid brushing). But none the less sometimes it can be worked on separately. This is a drill I had learned when while training with Tincher. Start open, with glove pointed at target and keep the glove pointed at the target the whole pitch. You can do this in a standing arm circle or this modified push off drill I use (or you can do this full pitch). The kids generally hate the drill. But I've actually had success "fixing" kids using this. It may not fix it instantly but when I added it their warm ups so they do it regularly it eventually cleaned up. Some will still move their glove and shoulder so you have to keep on them.

Sidenote: After switching this kid over to I/R last year she finally got the brush a few weeks ago and it was an Aha moment. We all looked at each stunned at what she was capable of. [video]https://youtu.be/JWrVAByDXOM[/video]
Jun 18, 2012
I particularly like her arm+hand as her arm goes down the back side. HOWEVER, her torso hinges forward past her hips, AND her upper arm doesn't stop at her side, rather flys by her torso, resulting in a late release. Of course, this causes the ball to often be thrown high.

Chris Delorit

Apr 24, 2016
Green Bay, WI

Nice vids, what a neat age for you as a parent.

Work on her posture, concentrating on mechanics from the feet to the waist. Her footwork is her biggest need of improvement in the video clips. You'll have to find a way to prevent the initial east/west push foot rotation. That's the precursor to the over-rotation of the hips into a full 90-degree front plant. Because she's forcing those hips to 90-degrees, she's losing a more natural linear drive and the better posture that goes with it. She's even scissoring the legs, loosing ground contact with the push foot and ruddering the push foot as her only way to bail out the backside foot, leg and hip after plant. Because she's rotated so far (beyond 45-degrees) her posture (bent at the waist) and release point (lack of brush contact) suffers because she's forced to into posture that's further away from optimum for release to her linear target. 90-degree plant with the plant foot and the push foot degrades to chain moving north through follow-through. Specifically, her waist bends to clear the hips and her arms are forced to become more of a counterbalance.

Suggestion to stop full windmill pitching motion in practice, and slowly build back up to it through a series of individual motion pieces. One could be push-to-plant with only up to slingshot arm movements. A second could be slingshot only releases. Third, you could progress to slow but methodical two-step walk throughs.

But, you must correct her push, plant degree-angle and the movement of the trailing foot toward her target. This will take your video camera, will to improve and muscle memory correction. With it, her natural posture should really improve as will a more consistant brush/release point. Because her shoulders and arms flow pretty well already with natural bending and movements, her front shoulder and arm should self-adjust with the posture/torso improvements.

A little long-winded, but your you're looking for more from less. At the moment, she's getting less with more. A more efficient kinetic energy chain should result in a more effective performance.

The end result being something a little more toward these lines...

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