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  • hey coach - put my son in

    An old and delicate topic no doubt. Bear with me

    Scenario – my 10 yr olds first year in AA (player pitch). 12 kids on the team all of them in their first year at this level.

    6 games have gone by and after the first 2 I asked the coach to by sending this email.

    Hi Coach

    Want to say thanks for your and your coach’s efforts. My son is enjoying practices and games.

    My son, as you can see, is shy and not outspoken.

    Yesterday he expressed an interest in pitching in a game, I have been working with him at home on this.

    Please keep this in mind when generating the pitching rotations.


    His reply:

    Hi "Dad". Thanks for the heads up. We will absolutely put him in.
    As you can see from the practice games, if he can throw strikes, he will be a huge asset.
    Coach

    Then two more games pass and still no pitching in games or in practice resulting in another email from acknowledging that it is difficult to get every player at all positions I also stated that at least 10 of the 12 players on our can pitch. Thus far 9 of the 10 have pitched and my son is the only player that has yet to pitch.


    I get an email from the asst coach while the head coach is out


    “dad”

    I received a note from “coach” requesting to get your son in the pitching rotation if possible on Wednesday. My plan is to pitch "your son" if we are either up by a bunch or down by a bunch in the latter part of the game to get him some experience. If the game is close, I will not play him at pitcher.

    Please have him throw to you at a 46' distance for about 20 pitches prior to the game. We will look into getting him more time in practice to develop his mechanics.

    Hopefully see you tonight


    I replied


    Thanks for getting back to me, I agree that his first exposure in a game should not be during a tight game. My son’s mechanics are fine we have been working all season and he is ready to pitch during practice.

    2 more games pass and I don’t have much more to say.



    I am concerned though that my son is lacking the chance to show what he can do.

    I feel it is a case of the “boy’s” club. All the players that have pitched thus far are either coaches sons (4) or have played with the coaches before (5).

    This is my son’s first year with this group of coaches.

    I have coached single A (twice) and Farm and have a pretty good eye for player skill and have always tried to be fair with playing time.


    Last night he was able to pitch in practice and he said both coaches watching him said he pitched well.

    So we’ll se we have a game tonight and one on Sat.


    Am I being a pest??

  • #2
    yes and no

    I don't know what type of guy your coach is nor do I understand the importance of winning games at that level.

    If your son can pitch then he should be given the opportunity. If you continue to push your son could never see the mound and that will be nobodys fault but your own at the end of the day.

    Continue to work with your son and eventually he will get his shot. just help him prepare for that opportunity and don't get caught up in all the garbage.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by iamfranki View Post
      An old and delicate topic no doubt. Bear with me

      Scenario – my 10 yr olds first year in AA (player pitch). 12 kids on the team all of them in their first year at this level.

      6 games have gone by and after the first 2 I asked the coach to by sending this email.

      Hi Coach

      Want to say thanks for your and your coach’s efforts. My son is enjoying practices and games.

      My son, as you can see, is shy and not outspoken.

      Yesterday he expressed an interest in pitching in a game, I have been working with him at home on this.

      Please keep this in mind when generating the pitching rotations.


      His reply:

      Hi "Dad". Thanks for the heads up. We will absolutely put him in.
      As you can see from the practice games, if he can throw strikes, he will be a huge asset.
      Coach

      Then two more games pass and still no pitching in games or in practice resulting in another email from acknowledging that it is difficult to get every player at all positions I also stated that at least 10 of the 12 players on our can pitch. Thus far 9 of the 10 have pitched and my son is the only player that has yet to pitch.


      I get an email from the asst coach while the head coach is out


      “dad”

      I received a note from “coach” requesting to get your son in the pitching rotation if possible on Wednesday. My plan is to pitch "your son" if we are either up by a bunch or down by a bunch in the latter part of the game to get him some experience. If the game is close, I will not play him at pitcher.

      Please have him throw to you at a 46' distance for about 20 pitches prior to the game. We will look into getting him more time in practice to develop his mechanics.

      Hopefully see you tonight


      I replied


      Thanks for getting back to me, I agree that his first exposure in a game should not be during a tight game. My son’s mechanics are fine we have been working all season and he is ready to pitch during practice.

      2 more games pass and I don’t have much more to say.



      I am concerned though that my son is lacking the chance to show what he can do.

      I feel it is a case of the “boy’s” club. All the players that have pitched thus far are either coaches sons (4) or have played with the coaches before (5).

      This is my son’s first year with this group of coaches.

      I have coached single A (twice) and Farm and have a pretty good eye for player skill and have always tried to be fair with playing time.


      Last night he was able to pitch in practice and he said both coaches watching him said he pitched well.

      So we’ll se we have a game tonight and one on Sat.


      Am I being a pest??
      I had a similar experience with my son in football last year. I (the dad) did the same as you only in person to the coach. They told me the same stuff your coaches told you. After a while, as a parent, you become a pest to the coaches. When I noticed this was how the coaches were treating me, I decided to back off and not say a thing. I still supported them and told the coaches good job etc, but didnt mention my sons playing at all. My son, however would ask once a week how he was doing and what he could improve on to play the position he wanted. They told him, but I think they were just blowing smoke like they did with me. They had no intention of playing him in those positions since they had better players and wanted to win the game.

      Basically, just back off and let the season play out. There really isn't alot you can do, but I would say that if you do decide to talk with the coaches again, do it in person, sometimes emails can come off as rude, when that is not the intention. Plus you can get a better feel for the coaches when they speak to you.

      As a coach - I welcome any parents suggestions and tell them upfront, I will try the kids out in practice and work with them, and if they show potential I will slowly get them in to pitching. We start with letting them pitch 4-5 batters in one game and go from there. Then work up to 5-10 batters, etc... However, if I truly feel it is not going to work and the plaer is just going to embarass themselves on the mound, I will let the parents know that it may not happen until the end of the year, if at all. And explain to them why.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by iamfranki View Post
        Then two more games pass and still no pitching in games or in practice resulting in another email from acknowledging that it is difficult to get every player at all positions I also stated that at least 10 of the 12 players on our can pitch. Thus far 9 of the 10 have pitched and my son is the only player that has yet to pitch.
        I have been in this position as both a dad and a coach.

        Coaches are always on the lookout for kids who can pitch. The hard part is knowing whether a kid can really do it or not. Not every parent has a realistic sense of their son's abilities (e.g. some kids can pitch in practice or at home but not in games).

        What I would do is keep working with him at home and trying to help him improve. Focus on keeping the ball down in the strike zone and hitting his spots. If he is actually good enough he will eventually get a chance.

        I also wouldn't stress about his not pitching at this age. If he's truly good, he will eventually get the chance. Not pitching at this age will not hurt him in the long run and might help him by protecting his arm.
        Last edited by Chris O'Leary; 04-16-2008, 02:06 PM.
        Hitting Coordinator for Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis.

        I also work with the pitchers who are dealing with injury problems.

        Comment


        • #5
          That is a tough situation for sure. I once served as an assistant coach prior to me having children to help a coach that was having the same problem in reverse. He was so afraid of letting his son do anything because of the fear of what the parents might think. Every year I say that I am going to be a parent only prior to season. At first practice I jump in with both feet to help so that I feel my sons' best interest are looked after. My suggestion is to help alot during practice and make sure you are helping all the boys. I have found that if you help with the practices the coaches are more willing to work with you then the parents that just push.

          We currently have the same situation on our team with a player who wants to play infield and has missed half of the practices. His father pushes and pushes the issue. Please don't think that I am assuming you are that type of dad.

          Hope this helps.

          Comment


          • #6
            At that age he should be rotating the players through all the positions including pitching whether you are up a bunch or not.

            A rule of thumb ask three times then let it go.

            Jake
            "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
            - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
            Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting.

            Comment


            • #7
              thanks for the replies, I agree me further asking will likely result in a negative action by the coach ....so Ill hold off.

              I've attached a word file containing some video stills I took a few weeks ago.

              Pls let me know what you think about his pitching motion (what needs fixing)
              Attached Files

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by iamfranki View Post
                thanks for the replies, I agree me further asking will likely result in a negative action by the coach ....so Ill hold off.

                I've attached a word file containing some video stills I took a few weeks ago.

                Pls let me know what you think about his pitching motion (what needs fixing)
                For 8 he looks fine. Difficult to tell what to improve upon without seeing clips. But the stills would indicate he should be given a shot on the mound.
                "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
                - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
                Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Its a shame to not have him given a shot especially at the fun level. However though it is just the first year and usually you have different coaches every year .... but have faith if hes coaching at that level he probably does want to give everybody a chance because they shouldn't be in it to win but for the kids.
                  “If there was ever a man born to be a hitter it was me.” - Ted Williams
                  "Didn't come up here to read. Came up here to hit." - Hank Aaron

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Jake, a small correction -- he said the kid is 10, not 8, but I agree that he looks like he's got the routine down that he should be given a shot.

                    At the start of your post, it sounded like the coaches were doing it exactly right -- talking among themselves and coming up with a situation to ease your son into pitching. Then, boom, they let you and him down by not following through. Many coaches are kinda spineless -- they promise playing time with feel-good language, but then they stay with the known quantities just in case that ten-run lead in the fifth inning might not be safe enough.

                    We faced a similar situation where a very good coach on my son's 10 y/o team promised him pitching time and would tell him, "Be ready next game cuz I'm going to put you in", and then didn't do so. But at least he'd usually explain why. But it was enough encouragement that the kid would drag me out to the diamond to catch him several times a week. Finally, more than half way through the season, the call came and .... Ursa Minor was horrible. He couldn't find his motion and he walked the first four batters. BUT, he'd gotten his chance and he felt he'd been given a fair shot.

                    What might help is if the kid (it's better if it comes from the kid, not you) goes to the coach and asks, "What do I need to show you I can do in order for me to get a chance in a game?" At this age level, it should all be about throwing strikes. If the kid can stand on the mound and throw 65% strikes, then the coach should put him in. But if there's some kind of objective criteria like that, the coach has no excuse for going back on his word.

                    But, often in life, when you're not one of the favored class, you've got to do a little more than just good enough to get your chance. (Women have faced this hurdle in business for many, many years.) One time-honored trick is to get a very stiff catcher's mitt. After practice, when everyone else is loading their mini-vans and getting ready to go home, have the kid ask, "Dad, can I throw some from the mound before we go?" You nod, acting as the innocent accomplice. Have the kid throw hard and, with this stiff-pocketed glove, snap at the ball iwth the pocket of the glove as it come in. If you do it right, you can make it sound like a cannon is going off in your glove. Many coaches can't tell fast from slow except at the extremes, but they know what a good fastball sounds like when it hits the glove.
                    sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      If I remember right you say that 9 out of 10 named pitchers have gotten on the mound. I personally would have difficulties keeping that many pitchers sharp with just 12 kids on the team. Unless you play a ton of games and tourneys there just isn't enough innings. Now if you used the bullpen (during games) to get kids mound time (manybe not game time) that would be easier but if you play a 7 inning game four times a week that gives you 28 innings. If the teams used all 10 pitchers that is 2.8 innings each per week. We all know that you might not play 4 games a week but even with that many at that age it's hard to hand out innings. Adding one more good pitcher (to bring the count to 11) would give each player about 2.5 innings each if everything was even and such. Not that big a difference from 2.8 but we all know that games aren't done like that. Nobody goes a strict 2.5 innings per week then the next pitcher is brought in.

                      However I feel your plight. In addition to the advice you have been given in this thread I have one more to offer. Email or speak to the coach recognizing how difficult it is to keel all those pitchers sharp with limited innings to hand out. To help this out offer to help establish a bullpen where when one pitcher is in the game throwing, another is on the side getting work in. Whatever the typical number of pitches per inning is have the bullpen pitcher throw that. Take a bucket down there, sit on it, and catch those kids. If you happen to have a backup catcher that needs work, then he can do that sometimes.

                      Having kids get their mound time is important for development. If they get it in the bullpen while another is on the mound that is a pretty good substitute. This allows each pitcher to have a longer time between game appearances and still stay sharp. It allows the team to develop MORE pitching which is good for tournaments, the development of the kids, etc.

                      I like the bullpen approach for all levels to include HS. Once you get to the varsity level in HS it becomes tougher as usually the kids who need bullpen work are also starters in other positions and can't come out. However in every other level it has an opportunity to be useful. At the level your kid is on it has a HUGE benefit. As they progress in age and the number of pitchers tend to drop off then it gets harder to do but even at the 14 yr old level we did it. Not every game but we were concious of what pitcher hadn't gotten on the mound, what games we had coming up, etc. Keeps them sharp.

                      To sume up: If YOU offer to be the bullpen catcher and work with the coaches to coordinate who needs to go down and throw, maybe some innings would open up for your son. And even if none does, he will get some consistent work during the game when he is not on the field.
                      Last edited by CoachHenry; 04-17-2008, 05:37 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        personally,i think jake has a great handle on playing "times' for youth baseball.. BUT dont worry if these guys pitch your kid or not..YOU just keep working with him and pitch with him during your practice routine..what he learns with DAD at this age will be quite a bit more subsatanial then the 6 kids he faces during the game.next year look to parntner up with another dad and maybe become an assistant.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by iamfranki View Post
                          An old and delicate topic no doubt. Bear with me

                          Scenario – my 10 yr olds first year in AA (player pitch). 12 kids on the team all of them in their first year at this level.

                          6 games have gone by and after the first 2 I asked the coach to by sending this email.

                          Hi Coach

                          Want to say thanks for your and your coach’s efforts. My son is enjoying practices and games.

                          My son, as you can see, is shy and not outspoken.

                          Yesterday he expressed an interest in pitching in a game, I have been working with him at home on this.

                          Please keep this in mind when generating the pitching rotations.


                          His reply:

                          Hi "Dad". Thanks for the heads up. We will absolutely put him in.
                          As you can see from the practice games, if he can throw strikes, he will be a huge asset.
                          Coach

                          Then two more games pass and still no pitching in games or in practice resulting in another email from acknowledging that it is difficult to get every player at all positions I also stated that at least 10 of the 12 players on our can pitch. Thus far 9 of the 10 have pitched and my son is the only player that has yet to pitch.


                          I get an email from the asst coach while the head coach is out


                          “dad”

                          I received a note from “coach” requesting to get your son in the pitching rotation if possible on Wednesday. My plan is to pitch "your son" if we are either up by a bunch or down by a bunch in the latter part of the game to get him some experience. If the game is close, I will not play him at pitcher.

                          Please have him throw to you at a 46' distance for about 20 pitches prior to the game. We will look into getting him more time in practice to develop his mechanics.

                          Hopefully see you tonight


                          I replied


                          Thanks for getting back to me, I agree that his first exposure in a game should not be during a tight game. My son’s mechanics are fine we have been working all season and he is ready to pitch during practice.

                          2 more games pass and I don’t have much more to say.



                          I am concerned though that my son is lacking the chance to show what he can do.

                          I feel it is a case of the “boy’s” club. All the players that have pitched thus far are either coaches sons (4) or have played with the coaches before (5).

                          This is my son’s first year with this group of coaches.

                          I have coached single A (twice) and Farm and have a pretty good eye for player skill and have always tried to be fair with playing time.


                          Last night he was able to pitch in practice and he said both coaches watching him said he pitched well.

                          So we’ll se we have a game tonight and one on Sat.


                          Am I being a pest??


                          Well, the only thing that helped me was to pray, and things seemed to happen.

                          I have learned through LL and All-stars that prayer helps more after asking. Please don't think of me as a religious nut, but after banging head up against the wall first year in LL. I told my son, he will have to work hard to get pasted daddy ball and good ole boys club. Hard work and prayer is the only thing I can suggest. Other than that after all the emails, you will just be a pest and grind your teeth and stress yourself out... Been there!


                          drill
                          Yogi Berra was asked by a reporter "How do you catch a knuckle ball?" He came right back and said "When it stops rolling"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Still did not happen

                            Thanks again for the encouragement it's good to know I'm not the first dad to feel this way. I am feelling quite angry and let down. I am considering not going to his games as it just gets to me.

                            Small update.. we played last night and lost a close one 11-10. Yes, my boy did NOT pitch. The starting pitcher (usually pretty good) gave up 5 runs in the first inning (inning ended due to 5 run rule and 1 out). In the third, another pitcher walk the bases loaded and hit two players to allow two runs w/ no outs.
                            Our record is now 1-4, I am so tempted to point out to the asst coach that the pitching last night was subpar , and the team would have been no worse off if my son pitched......but I wont.

                            There will never be a perfect game to put him in, if we play a team below or equal to us, we will want to win, If we play the first place team...we will want to win.
                            Practice is Friday I will go there and ask if my son can practice pitching and ask if the asst can watch.

                            I will continue to work with my boy at home and on the field mounds so that when he gets a chance, he will be comfortable.

                            As far as being a bullpen coach, thats a good idea but I wil have to align that with who is pitching next and they are very often on the feild. The caoch does not seem to be planning for who is next and holding him out on defense so they can warm up.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by iamfranki View Post
                              As far as being a bullpen coach, thats a good idea but I wil have to align that with who is pitching next and they are very often on the feild. The caoch does not seem to be planning for who is next and holding him out on defense so they can warm up.
                              Ah. Well that does put a damper on it then. Usually, but not always, we had that mapped out. Sometimes the game dictated we deviate but for the most part we put all the kids in that we thought could be effective (not just win) and bull-penned whomever we needed to.

                              Comment

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