Did you know?
According to Little League Baseball, there about 2.3 million little leaguers in the U.S.
Yet, only 14.2% will go on to play baseball in high school.
Only 1.7% will play college baseball.
And every year, just a little over 1,200 total players from both high school and college will get drafted by an MLB team.
Here's the deal:
The reality is that most of them won't.
Yet it's usually NOT for one's lack of desire or love of the game...
In fact, many young kids are deeply passionate about baseball. (I have baseball moms tell me all the time that their son sleeps with his glove. I used to do the same thing, and I love that kind of passion! )
But in my experience, the main reason most kids don't advance to the next level is because of this:
I see it all the time in Little League and high school baseball. And I even see it in college.
But for Little League pitchers in particular, this usually means that despite a parent's or coach's best intentions, most kids aren't getting good instruction, learning proper pitching mechanics, developing mental toughness, or taking care of their arm starting at an early age.
Poor pitching habits and techniques formed early are the leading cause of sore arms, arm injuries and unrealized potential.
That's because every improper throw reinforces into muscle memory incorrect movement patterns, which makes it far more difficult to correct mechanical faults down the road.
That's why I believe:
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 youth baseball coach just like many of you.
The primary intent of this site is to help the youth pitcher get started on a positive note and continue to improve his pitching ability with practical tips and solutions to learn the fundamentals of pitching—and have more fun on the mound.
And I'm truly honored that so many visitors have said, "YouthPitching.com is the best and most comprehensive instructional resource available anywhere" for parents and coaches of youth pitchers.
Whether it's a recommendation from Major League Baseball's Pitch Smart initiative, which regularly links to my youth pitching articles and videos like this:
Or it's one of the dozens of emails I get every week from coaches in Little League Baseball, USSSA, Super Series, AABC, Pony, Babe Ruth, NABF, AAU, Dixie, Cal Ripken, YMCA, American Legion, CABA and the Youth Majors like this:
It really means a lot to me to know that my exclusive little league pitching tips and insights are helping others learn how to pitch.
When I talk to baseball parents about helping their son improve his pitching, most want to know essentially one thing:
I'm amazed every time I'm at the ball field—or at travel tournaments, or at youth all-star games, or at regular season games, or even watching the Little League World Series on TV—when I hear coaches constantly say things like:
"Just throw strikes!"
"Come on now, focus!"
"Don't walk this guy!"
...and a ton of other completely useless instructions from the dugout.
Believe me, nobody is trying harder to throw strikes than the pitcher, and he's focusing the best way he knows how.
Just last weekend, I heard one Little League coach with two separate pitchers in the same game say:
Well, what do you think happened?
That's right, both pitchers walked the next kid and, frankly, they weren't even close to throwing a strike.
Maybe kids need to be motivated to focus that way. Or maybe not. Every coach certainly has a different style.
But one thing's for sure:
Kids need to be told useful instructions to make the necessary adjustments they need to make in order to be successful—not stating the obvious like:
"C'mon, you're not throwing strikes!"
As a coach or parent, you can help your pitcher change his thoughts if he's struggling on the mound...
You can help him slow things down. Or change his routine. Or make a mechanical adjustment, like moving his starting stance on the rubber. Or think about something else to break the mesmerism of missing the target.
Basically, you should say anything but, "Come on, throw strikes!"
That's why I constantly say...
This approach is a far more effective strategy in helping young pitchers throw better than anything else I've found in my experience.
Successful pitchers discover at an early age that of all the pitching strategies they can learn there are three important skills that must be mastered first before becoming a dominate pitcher:
OK, so we know that throwing strikes is important. But what about staying healthy?
Here's what we know:
The good news is, there are a few ways parents can help their son keep their arm healthy this season, so that he can keep making improvements without being sidelined with an injury.
One of the keys then for long-term pitching success is to educate yourself on what are the common elements of a quality delivery.
Then you must understand which mechanical faults will hold you back and which pitching drills you can do to fix each problem.
There is no quick fix or magic bullet.
Like anything else in life, if you want to be successful you must know what to do.
And when it comes to developing or teaching quality pitching mechanics, you must know not only what to do, but why you are doing it...
...and finally, what the result will be that you are trying to produce.
The coaching techniques you'll find in my articles and videos and in my youth pitching program concentrate on giving every pitcher the mental edge and the latest in biomechanical techniques they need, at any age, to insure they learn how to throw harder, with better control while staying injury free.
And foremost to always have fun when they take the mound because they know they are in control.
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Seriously, parents and coaches of youth pitchers are loving these tips