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Sparks Journey from Little League to College

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  • Hello

    Hello everyone, I haven't posted in a while so I thought I'd give an update on how things are going.

    My boy is playing football for the first time. He's also playing baseball and I'm surprised that he his able to do both at the same time. I told him as long as he keeps his grades up that it was ok by me.

    There are 83 players on my boys football team. My goodness, when I played I bet we didn't have 20. Out of the 83 players there are probably only 5 to 8 players who are my boys size or smaller. My boy isn't real small but he's a good 2 to 3 inches shorter than most of the kids. He's now 5'1" and it looks like most of the other kids are around 5'3" and higher.
    I told him to just have fun playing football and not to expect much. I knew it would be an uphill battle for him to get playing time seeing how he is so small, especially when there are 83 players.

    Our first game is tonight and he was told that he is the starting CornerBack on the defense. Pretty amazing and I'm very proud of him. I simply can't believe he made the starting lineup his first year of playing especially considering his size.

    Baseball is going well but once again he is on a very bad team. Bless his heart, I swear my boy can't get a break when it comes to baseball. Every single year he always gets on the worst team in the league. Of course he is the star of the team but he's gotten tired of that. He wants to win and it doesn't matter to him (anymore) if he is the star and they lose. He really loved playing on the All Star team this year. It was the first time he was on a very good team with incredible coaching. I think he misses the challenge that the All Star coaches forced him to do better.

    I'm told that school baseball tryouts are in a couple of months. Oddly enough, they tryout in November for baseball....I'm not sure why that is because they don't play until next year. It's pretty strange. I think it is good that he is playing fall baseball because it will help keep him sharp for when tryouts come up in a few weeks.

    At the beginning I told him he couldn't play both baseball and football because it would be to much on him. He just told me he loves baseball too much to give it up and that no matter what he wants to play baseball more than anything. He promised me that he would keep his grades up and he wanted to see if he had what it takes to play football. I gave in and I'm glad I did. He's so busy that he doesn't have time to get into trouble and I think it's good for his character to work hard at this age. I do know that he is the only kid in our area that is playing both baseball and football so I think it says something about my boy....at least I hope it does.

    I'm nervous about his first football game tonight. I just hope he has fun and doesn't get hurt. He is really enjoying football though and he told me he loves the physical fitness that they have to do. His team does a LOT OF RUNNING.

    Till next time,
    Sparks

    Comment


    • sounds familiar

      We've got the same thing going on - sports 7 days a week. Football MWF, baseball Tu&Th, football game on Saturday, doubleheader baseball games on Sunday.

      About 75% of the fall baseball team is playing football. So, baseball practice is treated as optional by the coaches. Most of the kids are making it to practice about once a week.

      My son is undersized in football too. He's very big for his age, but he's playing up in football against kids that are 2-3 years older, more physically mature (faster and stronger), and more skilled. He likes it and can see that next year and the year after it'll all come together and he'll be even bigger and stronger and will be on the other side of things in this league. Right now he's getting jacked up on a fairly regular basis, but he's staying aggressive. Though the success hasn't been there like baseball, I've told him I'm prouder watching him compete and take on the challenges.
      There are two kinds of losers.....Those that don't do what they are told, and those that do only what they are told.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Sparksdale View Post
        I have a question. I am coaching Little League again this year and i am wondering about my boy.
        He has what I think is an amazing arm and I recently clocked him throwing 50mph. He is ten years old.

        Does anyone know what is very good (speed) for a ten year old? Is 50mph just average, better than average, good, or great?

        Oh and BTW: Yes I do stress strikes. This is just something I am wondering about.

        Thanks
        Only time I use it is 1) if I think something is wrong 2) if I'm curious about difference is speeds on change ups. Rarely do I let kids know I'm doing it and usually keep it from them. I don't care about the other team's pitcher and don't radar them.
        Yogi Berra: Hank, you got the trademark facing the wrong way. Hank Arron: I didn't come up here to read.

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        • tryouts

          My how time goes by. My boy is now 13 and yesterday they had tryouts for his school baseball team. It was a brutal tryout. I think about 26 kids showed up to tryout on the 7th grade team. Some of the kids I knew from playing around here and others I had never seen before.
          The brutal part was this, at the end of the two hours the coaches cut 14 kids. One of the kids that was cut was one of the best players I had ever seen at one time. I was shocked that he was cut but he looked pretty bad. I'm not sure what happened to him. He is an incredible football player though and I think he can play football at a high level someday. He has the size and speed.

          One of the drills they did was to throw a ball from deep right field to second base. My boy and one other boy were the only kids out of all 26 that made the throw. I was shocked at the lack of arm strength by the other kids. It wasn't that hard of a throw but few of the other kids even got close. My boy told me that he barely threw the ball because he didn't think he was warm enough.

          Anyway, he will be playing school ball now. All the years of travel ball and playing little league and Ripken has come to this. I'm really excited for him and anxious to see how he does at this level.

          Football was a disappointment. He worked his tail off and hardly ever got to play. It's a long story but in the end I believe it all came down to his size. He was the starting corner when the season started and on the third play of the first game he missed a tackle and the coach took him out of the game and really never let him play again the rest of the year. He still seems to be small compared to the other kids his age. He's only 5ft tall and it looks like he is a good 3 to 5 inches shorter than some of the other players that he competes against. Who knows, maybe he just hasn't hit is growth spurt or maybe he will be small....there's really no way to tell I guess.

          I know when we were having tryouts I heard one of the dads say "who in the world is that little kid? My God he can't throw a ball that far as small as he is." Still, during travel ball I've seen some of the better pitchers that are his age and although my boy has an above average arm I've seen many boys his age who are just as good.

          Anyway, I'm excited that baseball is coming up. It looks like school ball starts at the middle of January and I think games will begin in early Feb.

          BTW: 13 year olds are weird. For some reason my boy thinks I'm the stupidest person who ever lived and he knows everything. Go figure......

          Sparks

          Comment


          • Sparks,
            Tryouts in Dec??
            "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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            • Yes...believe it or not. The season starts in Feb. with a few pre season games in late January.
              Believe me, it is very very cold but it appears that school ball around here is played in Feb. March and April.

              During tryouts Sat. the weather was about 35 degrees. Man it was cold cold cold.

              It's been a lifetime since I played school ball but I could swear we played in the summmer. It's really odd that they have baseball season this early at my boys school.

              sparks
              Last edited by Sparksdale; 12-08-2008, 08:54 AM.

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              • There is some good stuff in this thread. My son is 7 and very small (4' 50 lbs),
                but he got clocked at 45-50 this fall. No, I didn't ask, he throws very hard and a parent with a gun asked if he could clock him for the fun of it. He has excellent control for his age and I related with the poster who said what a joy it is to watch. That is how I feel when I watch my boys do anything, but especially baseball.

                Comment


                • Guys, the predispositions that seem to come along with your child's size aren't one sided. There was another thread here that got on the subject of how kids end up playing certain positions. Unfortunately, some prejudices and predispositions about size can play a fairly large part in it.

                  My son is quite big, especially for his age (11 y/o, 5'6" and 160). He is an excellent defensive player. He should be. I hit him 100s of ground balls and fly balls a week (weather permitting). No matter what kind of show he puts on in practice, he has played a lot of 1B. He's not rail thin therefore he's not athletic - that seems to be the mindset. So, he's become that much more entrenched in pitching. That's fine with him because he loves to pitch, but both he and I still hate the way coaches have a tendency to hang onto the misconception even after seeing his play on the field. MHO is that its a combination of his size and the need to position players that are on the opposite end of the spectrum.

                  Another reason to love fall ball. He actually got to play 2B for a couple of innings. Not often you see a big boy with an arm at 2B.
                  There are two kinds of losers.....Those that don't do what they are told, and those that do only what they are told.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Syx View Post
                    There is some good stuff in this thread. My son is 7 and very small (4' 50 lbs),
                    but he got clocked at 45-50 this fall. No, I didn't ask, he throws very hard and a parent with a gun asked if he could clock him for the fun of it. He has excellent control for his age and I related with the poster who said what a joy it is to watch. That is how I feel when I watch my boys do anything, but especially baseball.
                    Why is your son pitching at seven years old?

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by TG Coach View Post
                      Why is your son pitching at seven years old?
                      Well, he is very talented (natural) and he is playing "up" with 8, 9 and some 10's. He would not have gotten anything out of another year of coach pitch.
                      Funny thing is, if he had been born a few weeks later he would have been a "league 6". He never pitched more than 1 inning in any game until the playoffs, where he pitched (and closed out) 2 innings in both wins. He never threw more than 20 pitches in any regular season game or 30 pitches in either playoff game. For the season, he never allowed a runner past 2nd base. He was the best pitcher in the league. I had many parents tell me how much they enjoyed watching the youngest/smallest kid in the league pitch as if he was the oldest. This is a league (AA-Little League) where throwing strikes doesn't come easy. The games can be very boring and long with walk after walk. Why wouldn't I let him pitch? Trust me, I am not one of "those parents" who is writing his ticket to the big leagues. What I am is a parent who enjoys the heck out of watching his son excel.
                      Last edited by Syx; 12-09-2008, 05:02 AM.

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                      • Why wouldn't I let him pitch?

                        Because he'll end up with more mileage on his arm by the time he enters 13U than I had when I entered college ball. A lot of that mileage will be during growth spurts when bones and tendons become very vulnerable. Walks may be boring. But so is sitting out a season with a growth plate injury. Seven is way to young to be pitching on a regular basis.

                        Well, he is very talented (natural) and he is playing "up" with 8, 9 and some 10's.

                        It's nice he's having a good time. But being a "natural" at age seven means nothing. Playing up when kids can be physically plus or minus three years of their chronological age means nothing. I've seen plenty of preteen "naturals" fail when they got to the 60/90 field. My favorite story was parents who told me when their son was eleven he would attend high school at the best private school that offered him a scholarship. The kid was overwhelming on the mound. I would say he struck out an average of more than two an inning. He peaked at eleven. He didn't make any travel teams at 13U. He played rec ball until giving up the sport at fifteen.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by TG Coach View Post
                          Why wouldn't I let him pitch?

                          Because he'll end up with more mileage on his arm by the time he enters 13U than I had when I entered college ball. A lot of that mileage will be during growth spurts when bones and tendons become very vulnerable. Walks may be boring. But so is sitting out a season with a growth plate injury. Seven is way to young to be pitching on a regular basis.

                          Well, he is very talented (natural) and he is playing "up" with 8, 9 and some 10's.

                          It's nice he's having a good time. But being a "natural" at age seven means nothing. Playing up when kids can be physically plus or minus three years of their chronological age means nothing. I've seen plenty of preteen "naturals" fail when they got to the 60/90 field. My favorite story was parents who told me when their son was eleven he would attend high school at the best private school that offered him a scholarship. The kid was overwhelming on the mound. I would say he struck out an average of more than two an inning. He peaked at eleven. He didn't make any travel teams at 13U. He played rec ball until giving up the sport at fifteen.
                          Not too worried about the 30-40 pitches he throws per WEEK for 7-8 weeks destroying his arm.....most kids that i know throw more rocks than that in any given week.

                          As for playing up meaning something - Never said it did. Your own words.
                          I only mentioned it to show that he was not challenged at the lower level.
                          THAT is why he moved up. He loves to pitch and he is very good at it. THAT is why he pitched. You go ahead and enjoy your "favorite stories" about other kids failure.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Syx View Post
                            Not too worried about the 30-40 pitches he throws per WEEK for 7-8 weeks destroying his arm.....most kids that i know throw more rocks than that in any given week.

                            As for playing up meaning something - Never said it did. Your own words.
                            I only mentioned it to show that he was not challenged at the lower level.
                            THAT is why he moved up. He loves to pitch and he is very good at it. THAT is why he pitched. You go ahead and enjoy your "favorite stories" about other kids failure.
                            I've coached travel from 7/8 rec through 18U travel with my oldest who's playing college ball. I've coached 7/8 rec through 16U travel with my youngest. I've heard a lot of stories from parents. I've seen a lot go wrong with parents delusions. I've also coached plenty of kids now playing high school and college ball. Some of your statements come off like the overzealous dad of a young player who is his oldest child.

                            Not too worried about the 30-40 pitches he throws per WEEK for 7-8 weeks destroying his arm

                            He probably shouldn't be doing this until nine or ten.

                            I only mentioned it to show that he was not challenged at the lower level.

                            Seven year olds don't need challenges on the baseball field more than they should be playing with their friends in their grade.

                            he is very talented (natural) and he is playing "up" with 8, 9 and some 10's.

                            Looks like parental chest puffing to me.

                            He would not have gotten anything out of another year of coach pitch.

                            Except a lot of fun playing with his classmates. What is it he's supposed to be getting out of seven year old baseball other than fun?

                            I had many parents tell me how much they enjoyed watching the youngest/smallest kid in the league pitch as if he was the oldest.

                            There's that puffy chest again.

                            I'll bet by the time your son is ten there will be such a demand for him to pitch he'll be throwing six innings a week. You'll have him in travel since by then rec ball just won't be enough of a challenge for your son. I've been through the journey twice. I've seen a lot of dead arms on the side of the road belonging to early age pitching studs. Don't listen to me.

                            You don't have to do it my way. But this is what I did. I kept my son in machine pitch with his classmates in 7/8's. At nine he played rec and travel for a total of 40+ games. He pitched about twenty innings all season. No fall ball until 13U. At ten he did the same thing except pitched about forty innings. At eleven he didn't pitch more than three innings a week. In the summer his LL-all-star team played into August so there wasn't time for travel. He didn't pitch in all-stars since he was catching. I'm against kids pitching and catching. They needed him behind the plate. At twelve I let him pitch six a week in LL. In 7th to 9th grade school and travel he pitched about fifty innings a year in relief. Now as a high school sophomore he has a fresh arm. He's passed all the preteen years pitching studs in ability. He's throwing 80-82 with plenty of room to physically grow and develop more velocity. He's never had a sore arm. My oldest never had any interest in pitching.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by TG Coach View Post
                              You don't have to do it my way. But this is what I did. I kept my son in machine pitch with his classmates in 7/8's. At nine he played rec and travel for a total of 40+ games. He pitched about twenty innings all season. No fall ball until 13U. At ten he did the same thing except pitched about forty innings. At eleven he didn't pitch more than three innings a week. In the summer his LL-all-star team played into August so there wasn't time for travel. He didn't pitch in all-stars since he was catching. I'm against kids pitching and catching. They needed him behind the plate. At twelve I let him pitch six a week in LL. In 7th to 9th grade school and travel he pitched about fifty innings a year in relief. Now as a high school sophomore he has a fresh arm. He's passed all the preteen years pitching studs in ability. He's throwing 80-82 with plenty of room to physically grow and develop more velocity. He's never had a sore arm. My oldest never had any interest in pitching.
                              My son is 11 and we're thinking of getting him off breast feeding. What do you think TG? Too soon?
                              There are two kinds of losers.....Those that don't do what they are told, and those that do only what they are told.

                              Comment


                              • It's always the dads where the oldest is a preteen stud and hasn't been through the process who don't get it. : I'm not going to get into a war on how to do it even I've been through it, been through it with two of my own kids and teams full of players now playing high school and college ball. I lack knowledge and experience.

                                Here's my last statement on the subject: No one remembers the preteen studs by high school unless it's a conversation on how the kid blew his arm out pitching too much when he was younger.
                                Last edited by TG Coach; 12-09-2008, 12:55 PM.

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