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  • #16
    Originally posted by Mark H
    Learning to throw with control is one thing. Learning to throw hard is another thing. Learning to throw hard with control is a third thing. If you wait till high school to learn to throw hard with control, you probably won't. Reason being, there is no opporunity to fail for awhile as you learn control while throwing hard. IOW, you will have less and less freedom to experiment as you move up the ladder because there will be more and more pressure to WIN NOW. The high school coach has a career riding on it.
    Mark, who was this directed at??
    "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.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Jake Patterson
      Mark, who was this directed at??
      Not to answer for Mark, but looks like it was a general observation.

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      • #18
        What I meant was he is at least starting to do things a little better. He isn't by in stretch doing things right....not yet anyway.
        I have talked with him (and all of our LL'ers) that I would much much rather they throw 35 mph for a strike than 50mph that wasn't a strike.

        I just wanted to know how fast my boy could throw compared to other kids his age....that's all. Now we know and we have it out of our system.
        We aren't at all worried about how fast he "pitches". I would always ALWAYS rather he throw for strikes.

        He is a very good all around player so my goals for him are this.
        1. make sure he has fun and LOVES the game.
        2. I will always make sure he takes care of his arm. That is priority one with me and he really gets mad at me because of it. I ruined my arm as a kid and I don't want that to happen to him. Last year we were playing in a game and the other team brought in a new pitcher. The umpire let the other pitcher pitch at least 15 warm up pitches (probably more) before he said play ball. My boy came in during one of the last innings to pitch and the umpire said play ball. I told him no that I wanted him to take a few warm up pitches. The ump said no we didn't have time that they were just kids anyway. I took my boy off the mound and put him back at short.

        I hope I haven't gotten the wrong impression on this thread. My #1 concern in my boy and his health and LOVE FOR THE GAME. My hope is the can learn to love the game as I do and maybe be a good player for as long as he wants to play.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Sparksdale
          What I meant was he is at least starting to do things a little better. He isn't by in stretch doing things right....not yet anyway.

          .
          How do you decide what "doing things right" is?

          Originally posted by Sparksdale

          I have talked with him (and all of our LL'ers) that I would much much rather they throw 35 mph for a strike than 50mph that wasn't a strike.

          .
          If your first consideration is winning games, then you are on the right track. If your first consideration is guiding them on a path more likely to help them achieve their potential, then no, you are not on the right track.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Sparksdale
            He is a very good all around player so my goals for him are this.
            1. make sure he has fun and LOVES the game.
            2. I will always make sure he takes care of his arm. That is priority one with me and he really gets mad at me because of it. I ruined my arm as a kid and I don't want that to happen to him.
            Sparks, seems like you have a good handle on this if these are you priorities. In addition to having coached up through the high school ranks I also hold a M.Ed and a BS in youth counselling. Parents who push their children (Consciously or unconsciously) beyond their capabilities, regardless of their talent potential create problems. "You can pay me now or pay me later." Years ago I had a youngster that showed great talent potential at the age of twelve. Dad (an ex-collegiate pitcher) did the psycho dad deal and it was 24/7 pitching. Long story short - he peaked in high school, doesn't play college, resents his dad, and no longer plays baseball. On the other hand I also had a kid on the same team - parents had a healthy perspective on development. The player's talent peaked in college and he went on to play a succsessful baseball career and is now looking at coaching as a young man.
            "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.

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            • #21
              Pushing a kid or not is a different question than I am addressing. If the kid is looking to dad to help him figure out how to reach his potential is the question I am addressing.

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              • #22
                Pushing

                Originally posted by Mark H
                Pushing a kid or not is a different question than I am addressing. If the kid is looking to dad to help him figure out how to reach his potential is the question I am addressing.
                Remember, he is ten years old. Right now all he cares about is how to get out of doing homework and playing with his friends. He loves baseball but it's not like it’s all he thinks about. He knows he is better than the rest of the kids he plays with and to be honest I think he gets a kick out of being the best. He was also the best at soccer and his coach named him captain of the team and MVP. He said he had never done that for a young kids group but he wanted to reward my boy for his hard work and outstanding play.

                Listen, I'm one of these guys who played in high school but didn't have the talent to go further. I can always tell you what Chipper Jones is doing wrong and I'll scream at Bobby Cox for making a wrong call. I love baseball but I am being extra cautious with my boy because quite frankly I think he has a special gift. Now maybe he will outgrow it I don't know.
                A few weeks ago I bought a pitching CD from Cal Ripkin and so far it has at least taught me some of the basics to show my boy. That is a start. Hey he's only ten, he has a lifetime to learn. Right now I want to make sure he has fun and takes care of his arm.
                Our local college has a pitching camp in a couple of months and we're going to sign him up. Maybe he can get a good grasp on mechanics and how to best take care of his arm there.

                Also I don't think you should be so quick to get on someone. I've been coaching little league for two years and like thousands of others around the country I do this for free because I love the game and I love these kids. Coaching a little league team is a pretty big job and it takes several hours a week of my time. Mind you I wouldn't change it for the world. There is nothing better I would rather do.

                At this point I am finding places like this on the internet to help give me a better idea how to help my boy and the others kids...that's all.

                Do I want my boy to win? No I want him to lose every game. What kind of stupid question is that? Do I want him to win so bad that I will let it hurt his arm? I think I answered that question above when I said I took him off the pitchers mound because the ump wouldn't let him warm up.

                Finally to answer your question. Can I help him reach his potential? The honest answer is no. I can't. I don't have the knowledge. I will say this; since he was old enough to walk I have gone to the back yard and thrown the ball with him. I have never said no when he asks. My work (I am a writer) allows me the position to give him all the time he needs and believe me he gets probably more time than he wants.
                In the end I hope we can find him a coach that can help him improve in areas that I can't. Till then I'll pick up the glove when he asks and I'll throw the ball.

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                • #23
                  53

                  Yesterday my area had a big get together for all of the area little league teams. It was an all day event and each team played two (two inning) games and we had a cookout and everything. It was a lot of fun.

                  At the end we had a homerun/pitching contest. My boy won the homerun derby and came in second on the pitching. He threw 53 mph (again he is ten years old). One boy who came from out of town threw 54 mph and beat him in the pitching. So it looks like my boy has a pretty good arm compared to all of the other kids his age. What is most important is that when he threw his pitches they were either strikes or very close. WE did not stipulate before the contest that the pitcher had to throw a strike so the boy who threw 54mph threw a pitch that hit 10 feet in front of home plate but we had to count the pitch. Regardless the boy did well.

                  We also had the same contest for the 11 and 12 year olds. If my boy had competed in that contest he would have one 3rd place in pitching and second place in hitting. The 11 and 12 year olds (at least in my city) didn't throw much harder than my boy does at 10 years old. We do have a 12 year old that did very well and threw 61 mph....he is probably the best player around here.

                  Anyway, just thought I would update the thread a little on everything.

                  We all had a great time at the event and I was very proud of my boy...

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    There's been a lot of chatter on this thread about this issue of 10 year olds and how hard they can throw. Someone way back suggested putting the radar gun away and that's the best advice you've been given so far. Please pay attention to it.
                    I have coached for many years and have seen many successes and many failures and alot has to do with coaching and parenting (especially when the two go together).

                    I agreed to help out a friend who selecting a group of players for an elite team. As an aside he showed me a young guy who was 13 years old trying out for the team (17 year olds) and was so impressed with this kid. He was huge for his age and was throwing 85mph. The kid played JV and I watched him at one of his games. The most impressive thing was the number of junior scouts with their guns on the kid. The next most impressive thing was watching this same kid about 3 years later. The same kid was throwing 83 mph and nobody was watching.

                    Did the guns ruin him? Almost certainly.
                    Baseball Drills

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Riverdog

                      The next most impressive thing was watching this same kid about 3 years later. The same kid was throwing 83 mph and nobody was watching.

                      Did the guns ruin him? Almost certainly.
                      I am not sure I follow you here. I am not advocating radar guns on young kids, but I am curious how they alone ruin a kid. Who is to say that he wasn't like so many other good 13 year olds and just more physically mature? He might have topped out. Did he long toss and lift weights?

                      Besides the radar gun, the other possibilities are that he was satisfied with himself, and got lazy, or he physically topped out, and went from juniors stud, to simply above average. Happens all the time.

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                      • #26
                        I agree about Radar guns to a degree. Hey, we don't have one at practice or anything. And we most of all don't use it at games. But, there is nothing wroing with a contest and yes I wanted to see how strong his arm is compared to other kids.

                        During games I call all of his pitches. I do not allow him to even practice throwing curve balls. He has two pitches, fastball and changeup. It blows his mind that he can strike other kids out by throwing the ball slower (the changeup). I'm trying to get him to think on the mound and to learn to pitch. He is taking to it like a duck to water. I remember the first game I called all his pitches he was reluctant to throw the changeup. After all, he was striking hids out with his fastball. I asked him to trust me. A real big kid came up who had hit the ball off of him the first inning. We threw one fastball and the boy was late and fouled it off. On the second pitch I called the changeup and my boy threw it. The hitter completely missed the ball. You should have seen my boys eyes....he couldn't believe it. After the game he told me he thought I would call for the changeup on the next pitch seeing how the boy missed it so bad. Nope, I called for the fastball and again the hitter fould it off. The third pitch I called for the changeup again and the hitter completely missed it and my struck him out.
                        That day he learned a tiny bit about pitching. He learned that if a kid is sitting on a 50mph fastball then it is almost impossible to hit a 43 mph changeup that has a little movement.

                        I agree with the other poster that the kid you were talking about wasn't ruined by the radar gun. It had to be many other factors.... and by the way 83mph isn't bad at all.

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                        • #27
                          I think that Mark's point is this. You do not learn control at a slower speed and then one day, once you have strikes down pat, suddenly step up the speed and keep your control. You learn control at the speed you practice at. There are a couple of dangers to saying to a ten-year old throw strikes and learn to throw fast later. One is that ten is the age they will let it all hang out whereas twelve year olds know what strikes are and will (incorrectly) ease up to attain control. If they have not learned to let it fly by then, it is hard to convince them to start. If they already throw strikes at a slower speed then they will be doubly hard to convince because they are having success ie. not walking people and will not want to give that up in a game situation. If you have little ones, teach them to throw correctly (mechanics) and let them loose. They will be wild, but they won't be as self-conscious as older children, and by the time they are self-conscious, they will be accurate.

                          One reason slow looks accurate is because anything thrown close to the zone will be hit. Throw one pitch in four within reach and you will generate hit balls, enough of which will be outs to make it look like you are doing it right.

                          Pitching and learning to pitch are not the same thing. In the end, accuracy is more important than speed but they are not mutually exclusive. In the beginning, pitcher will not be accurate at any speed, might as well start fast.

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                          • #28
                            Throwing Hard

                            Originally posted by wilson68
                            I think that Mark's point is this. You do not learn control at a slower speed and then one day, once you have strikes down pat, suddenly step up the speed and keep your control. ...and by the time they are self-conscious, they will be accurate.
                            Well put and I agree. Teach them to throw hard first. My thought on the radar gun is that it is a tool that should be introduced at an early age. I have twin 10 year olds and a 7 year old and they all know at what speeds they throw and they are all working on their mechanics and learning to throw harder. It is a feedback tool for us. If I do this, what happens? If I grip my change-up like this, what happens?

                            I'm not sure how knowing at what speed you throw at is going to hamper your development? That is like telling your 10 year old track star you are not going to time him in the 100 yard dash until he is 16.

                            If your son throws 53 and is the hardest (or second hardest) thrower in his LL, enjoy the moment. It might be one of the things that spurs him on to work on his game and try to improve (next year he'll want to beat that kid).

                            Good luck,

                            Joe
                            Last edited by jojab; 04-17-2006, 01:17 PM.

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                            • #29
                              Last night

                              Last night we had another game. My LL team is made up of a bunch of misfits (I call them the bad news bears). We are the 9 and 10 year olds but we have 3 players who are 8 years old because of lack of players. Most of my players have never played baseball before.

                              Last night we played one of the best teams in our area. We only had eight players and didn't have a center fielder. My boy pitched. All I can say is wow! It was a sight to see. We only played 4 innings because of time restrants. My boy struck out 12 batters in four innings. (yes he struck out the side in every inning) It was amazing.
                              We are a team of misfits and played with only eight players and we beat one of the best teams in our area.

                              My boy is learning the value of pitching smart. He has an amazing changeup and the other batters just cannot hit it once they see his fastball. The other teams biggest and best player came up to bat. My boy threw him a fast ball and he fouled it off. He threw a changeup and the boy pulled it foul. The next pitch my boy threw a changeup but let out a LOUD GRUNT when he threw it. I swear the boy fell down from swinging so hard and missed the ball by three feet.

                              Anyway, hated to come over here and brag but I've never had such a good time as I had last night. It was a blast.

                              I'm not one for giving advice but if your kid has a pretty good fastball you might want to consider teaching him the changeup. It's hard to get a kid to understand that they can get a hitter out by throwing slower but once they figure it out they will be amazed.

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                              • #30
                                Good info!

                                Is this rec. ball? If so, then it sounds like he is ready for the next level of select/club ball. My son, who's 11, got tired of being on rec. teams at 8 because there were boys who couldn't even catch. Since 9 he has been on a select/club team and it's the best decision we made. We have a great head coach and all 10 players are like a small family. It's the greatest experience for us and him whether we win or loose. The team has won it's share of tournaments and one National Title, but the coaches are there to help the boys learn the game and they are not out to win every game. He limits his pitchers pitch count in a game and everyone plays an important part in developing the team.

                                So, if your son is that good, then I would suggest playing on a club team.
                                And, I would say he has an above average fastball for that age! But, location, location, location cannot be stressed and keeping the batter guessing and off stride are key.
                                Elwood: I'm gonna quit work first thing in the morning.

                                Jake: And how are you gonna get to work Mr Lead Foot, Mr Hot Rod, Mr Motor Head? Those cops took your license away. They got your name, your address.

                                Elwood: No they don't got my address. I falsified my renewal. I put 1060 West Addison.

                                Jake: 1060 West Addison? That's Wrigley Field.

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