Baseball Parenting Tips: Helping Your Young Pitcher
For many kids playing baseball, pitching would be like a dream come true. Parents always want to help their children to achieve their goals and dreams. Let’s take a look at some Baseball Parenting Tips for Supporting Your Little Pitcher that will help parents get their child on the fast track to the pitcher’s mound!
#1 Don’t Be Intimidated by Lack of Knowledge
“Little Johnny” has just come home from baseball practice and makes the big announcement that he would like to be a pitcher. Furthermore, he wants his parents to help him. His parents shoot each other a puzzled look because neither knows the first thing about pitching. Fear of the unknown is natural but it shouldn’t be an obstacle. It won’t be necessary for a parent to be a former standout pitcher in high school to help with their child’s desire to be a pitcher. The key to being supportive in anything is just to simply put in the time.
The best way to develop a strong pitching arm is to throw. A parent who simply plays catch with their child will greatly help them become a pitcher. A simple game of catch is uncomplicated and will help build arm strength that is required of a pitcher.
#3 Long Toss
Long toss is a game of catch but putting some distance between the players. Again, this will help develop the arm strength that will be required from a pitcher. This is yet another very uncomplicated activity that will a long way in helping the child become a pitcher.
#4 Throwing to a Target
Setting up a tire to throw through is a very cliche baseball activity but the idea of throwing to or at a target will absolutely help with developing a young pitcher. The target can be the side of the garage, a wall, a bucket, a tree or just anything that the child can focus on throwing at. Developing focus is very important for a pitcher and throwing at a target will help develop it.
#5 Watch the Big Leaguers
A child who wants to become a pitcher can pick up helpful tips by just simply turning on the television to watch the pros. I remember as a child emulating certain pitching motions and being amazed at how effective they were. Well, that was because those pros that I was watching had great mechanics. Not everything the big leaguers do will work for a youngster but a lot of it will. Anything that is questionable can be discussed with the coach or a pitching instructor.
#6 Websites, DVD’s & Books
There are many websites, instructional videos and books available to help a parent teach pitching to their child. When I was a kid I loved books that showed different ways to grip the baseball. I would read the book then run outside to test out the new grips that I had just learned about. Nowadays, video sharing sites like YouTube may have great resources to help with teaching a child how to pitch. We also recommend subscribing to the Baseball Essentials at Baseball Zone.
#7 Private Lessons
A private pitching instructor can be a great way to get a child extra help in their quest to become a pitcher. A pitching instructor might be found at the local batting cages or through special baseball camps/seminars.
The one piece of equipment that I recommend a parent buy is a catcher’s mitt. The reason being that once the child starts to develop a strong arm and good pitching mechanics then the parent is going to need it. I have seen even very small children of only about 8 or 9 who could really put some mustard on the ball because they developed great pitching mechanics.
#9 Work Ethic
I hate to throw this in here because I don’t want to associate baseball with work. However, if the child’s goal is to be a pitcher then it is going to require some dedication and devotion. Not everyone on the team will be or can be a pitcher. There will be competition for a handful of pitching slots on a team of at the very least twelve players.
#10 Keep It Fun
I know that I just talked about work ethic but that doesn’t mean that the pitching journey can not be one filled with fun. Parents should have fun with their child during the time spent helping them to become a pitcher. If the fun factor is completely stripped away in favor of just working towards the goal then it could actually cause the child to dislike the sport.
#11 Wind Up vs. Stretch
There is controversy that one is better than the other. Both should be learned but the Stretch is the one that your going to have to learn regardless, especially if you are a reliever. Find out more below!
The important thing about a parent supporting their child’s dreams or goals is that they simply are supportive. Parents do not have to be experts at the activity they are helping their child with. What’s fun and exciting is that the parent and child can take the journey together. The goal being accomplished is no where near as important as the time spent between parent and child.