Youth Pitching Instruction For Ages 7-14

If your son is a pitcher between the ages of 7-14, you're going to love this youth baseball pitching instruction from former pro Steven Ellis. Learn how to teach pitching so you can be his best coach!

Steven Ellis headshotFormer pro pitcher
Steven Ellis

Did you know that 94.7% of high school pitchers will not pitch in college?

...just like most Little League pitchers will not pitch at the high school level.

And the reason is simple—most lack the necessary skills.

They didn't learn proper pitching mechanics or get good advice at an early age.

Poor pitching habits and techniques formed early are the leading cause of sore arms, arm injuries and unrealized potential.

Every improper throw reinforces into muscle memory incorrect movement patterns, which makes it far more difficult to correct down the road.

And it's the #1 reason for hurting your arm, not staying healthy, improving performance and making it to the next levels in baseball.

Good habits formed early make all the difference

Welcome to my website.

My name is Steven Ellis, and I'm a two-time MLB Draft pick and former pitcher in the Chicago Cubs organization.

These days, I'm a parent and coach just like you.

If you're looking for youth pitching instruction, articles and videos geared specifically for 7 to 14 year olds to help your young pitcher be the best he can be,

...then you've come to the right place. takes the guesswork out of teaching pitching, and puts the fun back in.

On this website, you'll learn the art and science of pitching based on the latest research so you can help your son pitch smarter, stay healthy, become more successful and have more fun on the pitcher's mound.

You'll learn insider secrets on improving youth pitching performance and teaching the fundamentals of the game.

My instruction is even recommended by the Major League Baseball Pitch Smart initiative:


It's simply the most comprehensive instructional resource available for parents and coaches of youth pitchers in USSSA, Super Series, AABC, Pony, Babe Ruth, NABF, AAU, Dixie, Cal Ripken, CABA, Youth Majors and Little League.

... Learn how to pitch the correct way. (Photo by Rob Hurlbut)

How to help your son pitch better

I’m amazed every day at the ball field, travel tournaments, all stars, regular season games, even on TV for the Little League World Series, I hear coaches constantly say things like, “Just throw strikes,” “Come on now, focus,” and a ton of other useless instructions from the dugout.

Beleive me, nobody is trying harder to throw strikes than the pitcher, and he’s focusing the best he knows how.

Just last weekend, I heard one coach with two separate pitchers in the same game say, “If you walk this kid, I’m taking you out."

What do you think happened?

That’s right, both pitchers walked the next kid and, frankly, they weren’t even close to throwing a stirke.

Maybe kids need to be motivated to focus that way. Maybe not. Every coach has a different style. But one thing's for sure: kids need to be told useful instructions to make necessary adjustments and be successful, not stating the obvious like, "You’re not throwing stirkes,” etc.

Help them change their thoughts if they’re struggling, slow things down, change the routine, move on the mound, anything but say, “Come on, throw strikes”.

Kids need encouragement and positive reinforcement at all times.

The secret to coaching winning pitchers

Have you ever wondered what moms want from youth baseball?

Many just hope their kids have fun and develop a healthy winning attitude.

And dads?

They want their kids to learn about competition and mental toughness, and to improve enough so they can play high school and, maybe, college ball. Some even have "the big league dream."

But both parents really just want their kids to come away from a season feeling good about themselves. 

As a parent, you can learn how to teach the game to your child. Read books. Watch instructional videos. And lighten up about winning. Be gentle. Expectations that are too high can create unhealthy stress.

But whether parent or coach, you can help develop winners. You can help a child learn how to face disappointment and still feel like a winner.

Just what is the job of your child's coach? To win games? To teach baseball skills? Or to teach the mental side of the game?

If your child's coach wants to win all the time, he's missing the point of youth baseball. Sure, kids like to win, but they also enjoy learning about and improving their hitting, fielding, throwing, catching fly balls, and simply playing a new position. Perhaps most of all, they appreciate coaches and parents who say, "No matter how you perform, I'll help you get better." 

A winning attitude means acting like a winner, no matter what happens. Your child should know this is a game of numbers. Even the better hitters get hits only two or three times out of 10. And pitchers give up hits no matter how good they are. Strikeouts, errors, and pitched home-run balls are all part of the game. What's expected of your child should be effort, not perfection. When players strike out, they should keep their head up and jog back to the dugout. Kicking dirt or throwing helmets only fosters poor performance.

Feeling disappointment is normal. But a player's job after making an error, striking out, or giving up a home-run pitch is to learn from it. Then put it behind him or her. What they say to themselves or hear from others after a disappointing performance determines how they will feel. They should know that, no matter what they do as a ballplayer on the field, they're still a worthwhile person. 

In baseball there is no failure, just results. With hard work comes improvement. And with improvement comes success and good feelings.

Young people are fragile. But they can be taught to be winners by understanding parents and coaches.

3 attributes of successful youth pitchers

Successful pitchers learn at an early age the three most important skills that must be mastered before becoming a dominate pitcher:

1. Throw strikes

Pitchers need to get ahead in the count and put hitters away quickly and efficiently in order to keep pitch counts down and their teammates behind them on their feet. Your son can not walk batters; he must make them swing the bat.

2. Hit your spots

Your son must have good command and control of his pitches. This starts with developing great pitching mechanics and a repeatable delivery, so that no matter if he's throwing a fastball or change-up—it all looks the same.

3. Keep the ball down in the zone

Most successful pitchers are control pitchers that keep the ball down, in the bottom half of the strike zone. Even if your son is still working on improving his pitching velocity, keeping the ball down in the strike zone is a recipe for more ground balls, more swings and misses, and more success.

... Learn how to pitch the correct way. (Photo by Rob Hurlbut)

How to prevent pitching injuries - so important!

Over the course of a baseball season, a pitcher's arm is placed under a tremendous amount of stress. Here are six ways to help your son stay healthy this season so that he can keep making improvements without being sidelined with an injury:

  1. Make sure your son spends enough time and effort warming up and stretching out properly before pitching.
  2. Help him learn the fundamentals of throwing early and then remind him of them often as you evaluate his progress on the baseball field.
  3. Teach him to know his limitations and to be patient about working within them.
  4. Help him understand the difference between a sore pitching arm and a hurt pitching arm. Many different methods exist for recouping muscles after they have been broken down from practice or from an outing on the mound in a game. The most effective treatments for repairing your torn down muscles are:
    • Get an arm massage.
    • Treat it with alternating heat and ice.
    • Go for a light jog.
    • Perform lightweight shoulder exercises like you'll find in TUFFCUFF Jr, Jobes or Throwers 10.
    • Utilize tubing exercises like Thera-bands or Jaeger J-Bands.
    • Try vibration therapy.

      The key is this: Just make sure you are doing one of those treatments to repair your throwing arm after a day at the ballpark.

  5. Pitching arm injuries can come from a variety of causes, from throwing too much to throwing the wrong way, to throwing too little in preparation for the season. Let the arm dictate when it needs rest or adjustment. That big game for which your son is supposed to pitch six innings won't seem so big in a few years when he can't use his pitching arm without pain.
  6. If your son's arm needs rest, encourage him to talk to his baseball coach or pitching coach right away.

Click here for 13 more pitching injury prevention techniques every parent and coach should know.

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