Players in grades 2nd through 4th will be more proficient in their relationships with their pals. You might see more conflicts and arguments than when you’re teaching the kindergarten crew. They grow so fast though and now they’re ready for a whole hour of practice. The kid you were coaching last season that was having lots of falls and mishaps is now running like a champ and can even ride a bicycle! Kids at this age really love to move and run around, prime time for helping them develop what will hopefully become a lifelong love for baseball.
In this article we are going to discuss what to teach about pitching and throwing for ages 7 – 9.
Introduce the 4-Seam Grip
Most kid hands before age 7 can’t palm a baseball or perform a 4-seam grip. Some of them still won’t have hands quite big enough for the 4-seam grip, but the point is to start their minds comprehending the proper way to do it. No kid should not know this on your watch. There’s often a bad habit kids have of leaving their thumb on the side of the ball because their hands aren’t big enough yet. Nip that in the bud and really encourage them to try and get that thumb tucked below the ball, it’s the only way to get proper hand and arm rotation.
Coach Accurate Throws
The more you get the kids to understand and repeat “point front shoulder, step and throw” the more they start to understand their own individual movements and tendencies. The consistency will be in the 4-seam grip, and the rules you teach them. The inconsistencies will be with each child’s arm length, angles, release points, height, speed, etc. Accuracy is achieved as each player repeats the drills, and a kind of harmony develops between the directives you give them, and the effort they bring to following proper form.
Teach Flow and Frame
Stiff robotic movement kills momentum, which nobody wants! Your 7 to 9 year olds must be introduced to the concept of generating momentum toward their target and following the throw. Try doing some pitching drills where the arms aren’t used, it looks hilarious, but it really helps with balance points and loading the hips. Give them some exercises that demonstrate how the glove arm isn’t just a blob of glove-like leather, it’s placement effects throwing as well as catching. Avoid micromanaging and picking apart their mechanics, focus on overall framework.