Youth Pitching – National Pitching
Youth pitching athletes need to find their ideal balance for biomehcanically efficient pitches.

Many of us have heard that pitchers should set up with a wide stance, with the front leg straight and the back knee bent. The problem with this youth pitching advice is that it creates biomechanical inefficiencies. This can become an extra challenge to getting momentum behind the pitch. Early momentum and timing are two major factors in creating a biomechanically sound pitch. So, why not set up with a wide stance with the weight on the bent back leg? It means the athlete is working against the mound instead of with the mound. Extra wide set up can negatively affect timing and momentum.

Youth Pitching Education to Work with the Mound, Not Against It

Think about the wide stance approach for a moment. The straight front leg with the bent back leg is meant to create movements more like those you would use on flat ground. The problem, however, is that pitchers are on a mound with a slope. Therefore, wide stance with most of the weight on the back leg often delays forward momentum until the athlete reaches maximum front leg lift. Instead, youth pitching coaches should teach players to work with the mound and direct their forward movements down the slope for efficient pitching.

So, how do pitchers do this? Players should find their ideal balance when standing on the mound. This can help them create forward momentum as soon as their front leg lifts. Generally, this means starting with a stance that is approximately arm-pit width apart with equally bent knees. This stance can help keep the player’s head above their center of mass. It also helps prevent posture changes backward or toward second base that can change balance and posture and affects timing and balance during forward momentum. In addition, it helps the youth pitching athlete learns to have their center of mass follow the slope of the mound for biomechanical efficiency throughout pitch delivery.

Pitching Instruction for Finding Ideal Balance

Finding ideal balance is a factor of functional strength, and some players require pitching instruction to find this balance. Each athlete has a different ideal balance, and, in youth pitching especially, this can change over time. Changes in height, weight, functional strength, and flexibility can change a player’s ideal balance. However, a good place to start finding ideal balance is to take a natural hitting stance. Most players automatically find their ideal balance in this position. Players may need additional individualized instruction to help find balance and posture for biomechanically efficient pitch set up.

At National Pitching, we provide comprehensive pitching instruction for players of all ages and competition levels. Our coaches instruct players from youth pitching athlete to professionals. We’ve trained over 1,000 Major League Baseball pitchers and offer the only pitching program certified by the Institutional Review Board. The National Pitching program is based on the Tom House Sports methodology for rotational athletes to help enhance performance, boost functional strength, and improve overall physical condition. Find a coach near you or sign up for our V.I.P. online membership today!

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