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  • #46
    Mark,

    We may try to get him on a traveling team next season (or in the fall league). We are pretty new where we live and we really haven't been approached by any of the teams. I mean their not in the phone book.
    Again, if he wants to play on a traveling team that is fine....but I"m not going to push it. It's his choice. He loves his friends he playes with and they are having a ball.

    I'll tell you this....funny how this game can humble you. Last year my boy had a batting average of .933 over the short fall season. This year something has happened and he's not hitting near as good. I can't figure it out, we've worked and worked and his mechanics are good. For some reason he is hitting down on the ball and the ball hardly goes out of the infield. He works every day on his hitting but we cant' seem to solve the problem. Now try and figure this out..I can't. A couple of weeks ago all of the teams in our area had a big get together. At the end of the games we had a home run hitting contest. My boy won. It was the only ball he has hit "well" in several weeks and he hasn't hit a ball that good since. He has the ability but for some reason he isn't able to hit this year. His pitching is outstanding but his hitting isn't doing so well. Imagine at the beginning of this season, we were confident of his hitting but doubtful of his pitching. Now it is just the oposite.

    I'll tell you what changed his pitching. I bought the Cal Ripkin video on how to pitch. My boy took to it like a duck to water. Since he watched that video his pitching has been lights out and he has learned to throw his fastball for strikes and he has a changeup that is far better than mine. I don't know how he does it but his changeup moves...My changeup just sits in the air and begst to be hit hard.

    If anyone has any tips on why a kid keeps hitting down on the ball I'm all ears. He's not driving the ball like he was last year.

    Comment


    • #47
      easy sparky,,all i said is he better know how to throw,,cause if he cant throw hes done.must be nice knowing how a 10 yr old boy matures to make a statement that you KNOW your kids gonna make HS,,that is something you CANT control..Maybe he has a rotten tryout or God forbid he hurts himself before the tryouts..what I'm saying is ANYTHING can happen between now and then..making a STATEMENT like I KNOW he will make the HS team tells me you must be from a rather SMALL community..HECK you though he would make the travel team and he didnt...so maybe ease up on me.you are taking it the wrong way.I would love to see evry kid get to play until he WANTS to quit but being in a HS with near 4000 students REALITY can bite pretty hard.FWIW my boy never played a lick of travel ball and avg 16 games of park district ball per year and made the team..NOT ONE kid who had a sub par arm made the team.GOOD luck to you and junior,,and honestly travel ball is good but its not the CURE ALL for staying in the game.sorry if i come across rude in print,,I just read two ohfor comments and it must have rubbed off on me inadvertently
      Last edited by wogdoggy; 05-04-2006, 10:21 AM.

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      • #48
        I've heard two relevant comments from pro players. First, Cal Ripken said that he has never been able to tell whether a 12 yo had what it takes to play pro ball. Second, another, who posts on this board, said that hard work and dedication can get most kids to college ball, but beyond that requires genetics.

        So, yeh, your boy probably can make it to HS ball, if HE wants to. I've learned that you can't make a kid love baseball, you can only share your own love of the game.

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        • #49
          Yes, we live in a pretty small area. Where we are from most kids who want to play baseball will be allowed to play. I"m sure if we lived in a larger city or what ever I may have some concern if he makes the team. Hey, if I could make the high school team anyone can ;-)

          But yes, he knows how to throw, at least for a ten year old.

          Regardless, I enjoy talking about how good he is. Who knows, next year he may not be as good. Kids grow at different stages and their bodies change. Who knows how good he will be. I feel confident (going by family history) that he will be able to at least play any sport on the high school level as long as he wants to play. That's not that big of a deal around here. I said he could play high school, I didn't say he would be a star....I have no way of knowing that.

          Regarding the traveling teams; Ok, time to be totally honest. Most of those kids are as good as him. How will my boy respond when he plays on a team and isn't the best? That is a geniune concern of mine. Right now he is the star of the team and he works his tail off every day and tries to get better and better. What if he plays on a team where all the other kids have his skills? How will his young mind respond? He may get frustrated and give up. That is the last thing I want. I want him to have fun.... He has had a very tough childhood (due to family problems, serious family problems) and right now the last thing I want for him is to have a setback. So if he plays in a league that isn't as good but loves to play then that is fine by me. In a few years, after he has adjusted to the problems he has had, we may see about getting him to a higher level.

          It's hard raising a child and I don't want to push him too hard. After all he has been through you would not believe the feeling I get when I see him laughing and having a good time on the field. For me, that is what LL is all about. It's not about pushing your child so you can brag to other parents. It's about making sure they have fun and feel confident about themselves. Imagine how we felt when he played so well against that traveling team. The coach for the other team came over to me and said my boy had the best arm he had ever seen on a 9 year old (my boy was 9 at the time). Ok you could have hit me in the gut and I wouldn't have felt it because I was on cloud nine.

          At the end of this month our local college has a pitching camp. I'm going to send my boy and we'll get a better idea as to where his skills are compaired to other kids his age.

          Comment


          • #50
            Originally posted by Sparksdale
            Mark,

            We may try to get him on a traveling team next season (or in the fall league).
            Check USSSA, Super Series, Triple Crown. There are teams everywhere. Almost all of our good little leaguers seem to play, but here in SoCal travel isn't so bad.

            Originally posted by Sparksdale
            If anyone has any tips on why a kid keeps hitting down on the ball I'm all ears. He's not driving the ball like he was last year.
            Pay attention, this site has a lot of hitting talk. Make sure he isn't swinging down on the ball. Really it's kind of hard to cover without seeing a clip.

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            • #51
              Originally posted by Ohioteamz
              Check USSSA, Super Series, Triple Crown. There are teams everywhere. Almost all of our good little leaguers seem to play, but here in SoCal travel isn't so bad.



              Pay attention, this site has a lot of hitting talk. Make sure he isn't swinging down on the ball. Really it's kind of hard to cover without seeing a clip.

              try this sight..does he swing down?

              http://imageevent.com/siggy/hitting/...dv5krc1.lion_s

              Comment


              • #52
                No he doesn't swing down....that's what I can't figure. He has one of the best "looking" swings I've seen on a child. He does everything right (as far as I can tell). But for some darn reason he isn't hitting worth a darn this year.

                Get this. I ask him the other night why he wasn't hitting as well this year. God as my witness this was his answer. "Because they aren't throwing down the middle of the plate."

                I'm thinking his problem is mental. I think he is waiting on a perfect pitch and when he doesn't get it he swings so late that he hits the ball on the end of the bat and drives it straight into the ground. At least that is all I can figure...I'm sure I"m wrong though.

                I look at the site you posted......thanks...

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by Sparksdale
                  No he doesn't swing down....that's what I can't figure. He has one of the best "looking" swings I've seen on a child. He does everything right (as far as I can tell). But for some darn reason he isn't hitting worth a darn this year.

                  Get this. I ask him the other night why he wasn't hitting as well this year. God as my witness this was his answer. "Because they aren't throwing down the middle of the plate."

                  I'm thinking his problem is mental. I think he is waiting on a perfect pitch and when he doesn't get it he swings so late that he hits the ball on the end of the bat and drives it straight into the ground. At least that is all I can figure...I'm sure I"m wrong though.

                  I look at the site you posted......thanks...

                  try to post a vid of his swing up here..then you'll get some worthwhile feedback.

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by wogdoggy
                    At age 10 YOU have ZERO clue if your kid will make his HS team unless you are living in a small area with minimal kids.
                    Having coached hundreds of ball players I could not agree with Wogdoggy more. I have seen kids who at a young age looked promising only to peak out in Jr, High or Little League. I have also seen kids who look like they wouldn't go past Minor League become a great HS player. They key is - at 10 - Wog is right, at best you only have an inkling.
                    "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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                    • #55
                      Sparksdale:

                      Thanks for keeping us posted on your kid's doings. Bear in mind that the folks who have posted in response to your thoughts in many cases have coached or been involved in youth ball for many decades and have seen hundreds of kids and their fathers attack baseball. And, I think your posts give away more about your attitudes than you know.

                      There's nothing wrong about braggin' on your kid. I love to try to sneak in success stories about my son as well, though I find that posts about my shortcomings in trying to help guide him are much better learning tools for all of us than just talking about what he did right. But, you can say, "Oh, yeah, I just want him to have fun," but when you say your highest moment was when a coach said your son had the best arm he'd seen on a 10-year old, that tells us something too. My favorite moments in baseball usually come when I see teammates encouraging another teammate who's been struggling, or applauding one who's overcome inexperience or other shortcomings and had some success. I think the life lessons should come first, and having a strong throwing arm is down the list a ways.

                      There is a lot I could suggest, but much of it is in the same vein -- suggesting approaches that relate more to your role as a father than to your role as your son's de facto coach. And none of us probably know you well enough to go there too deeply. But I do feel comfortable saying, don't get too caught up in the ups and downs of day-to-day successes. What will drive you nuts will be the times when -- just when you think your kid has it "right" and has some success -- he'll change his batting stance or his pitching motion and look horrible. If you act like you're both in it for the long term and won't worry about success in a particular game, he'll relax more too.

                      Kids shouldn't take it too seriously. I've seen teams lose games in horrible fashion that they should have won, and the parents of the losing team stand in shock and look like they want to kick something. And then the players come up and say, "Where's the pizza. And can Jimmy [[a player on the other team]] come over and play XBox?" And that puts it into perspective.
                      ~~~~~~
                      War story alert: On Sunday, my son's 11/12 y/o team was playing a team that had already beat them twice this year, even though lower in the standings. So, everyone really wanted to avoid the ignominy of losing to them a third time. Our team had built a three-run lead going into the top of the sixth (we play 7 innings), but allowed the other team to tie. The parents were pacing; the tension was thick; and the bottom of our order was coming up.

                      And, all of a sudden, someone discovered that one of the players had a bag of mini chocolate bars in the bottom of his equipment bag, and everyone crowded around him trying to get a piece, even my son, who's usually the first to try to re-focus kids. I could tell most of the parents were thinking what I was: is this an utter lack of necessary focus, or is this a good sign that they're not too tight? Well, they went out and scored three runs, with impeccable judgment at the plate and on the bases (the runs scored on a wild pitch sandwiched between two infield outs), and we won. So, maybe they had a better perspective than the grownups. End of war story...
                      ~~~~~~

                      What else? I don't think you should shelter him from playing ball alongside kids who are at his skill level or higher. Sure, he shouldn't be in a situation where he is completely overmatched, but making him the big duck in a small pond is not the road to success. He'll just spend his life staying in small ponds. You get better by playing with people who are just a little better than you. Players who consistently get stuck with players who are weaker than they are often get bored and quit the game.

                      In a sense, I think you are lucky to have avoided the screaming travel ball coach. That's ridiculous at that age. But, there may be a lesson there. Sure, your kid may have thrown and hit the ball better than anyone, but it's possible that the coaches saw some flaws that they would have to revamp if the kid was to face higher-level competition. You indicate that your background in baseball is limited, but don't say what higher level coaching assistance you've called upon. I'd ask around (maybe through your local high school coach) and see if you can find some well-regarded coaches to look at his pitching and hitting motions. And, I can't echo too loudly what has been suggested in other posts here -- take some video of a couple of his pitches and two or three of his swings (with one a game swing, if possible), and let the folks here offer some assessment.

                      Oh, and speaking of perspective -- that fact that you and your son can share a passion for something is absolutely golden. One litmus test of it, though. If you're not laughing out loud about something -- maybe some kind of private joke -- at least twice an hour while you're doing it, you're probably taking it too seriously.

                      Thanks for sharing your feelings with us so eloquently.

                      UM
                      sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Originally posted by Sparksdale
                        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
                        Before I start... everyone who knows me (Via BF) knows I am not an advocate of a gun at the young ages.

                        I ran our Pitch, Hit, Run competition today. One of the Dads brought a gun, thinking speed and not accuracy was the criteria (actually not sure what he was thinking).

                        Long story short... the decent 12 y/o's pitchers were throwing 48-55 mph. the 11 y/o's pitchers were throwing 43-50 and a decent 10 y/o was throwing 40-46. My son Jonathan, 20 y/o and a former American Legion pitcher who hasn't thrown for a while threw 75MPH. I couldn't see the 75 MPH pitch (50 y/o eyes) and I could only throw 56 mph.

                        So to answer your original question "Does anyone know what is very good (speed) for a ten year old? Is 50mph just average, better than average, good, or great?" It seems that your son is on the better side of average (with regards to speed).

                        I put this on my list to either further investigate or further test. If I test I would conduct under a game like situation with the pitchers not knowing I was clocking them. I convinced the dads today to shut the gun down after the boys started to try and out-do each other.
                        "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


                        • #57
                          That would be using the gun the wrong way. I suggest reading anything you can find on the impact of immediate objective feedback in terms of motor learning. If you like I can give you a starting point.

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Originally posted by Jake Patterson
                            Before I start... everyone who knows me (Via BF) knows I am not an advocate of a gun at the young ages.

                            I ran our Pitch, Hit, Run competition today. One of the Dads brought a gun, thinking speed and not accuracy was the criteria (actually not sure what he was thinking).
                            I have thought about buying one, but primarily to track my son's progress on a weighted ball/long toss regimen. The gun would not be brought out for the general team.

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              I have a question about the changeup. (First, I don't know if I've said this before but I'm also the head coach on my boy's 9 and 10 LL team)
                              As I have said, my boy throws as high as 53mph...I figure his game speed is about 49mph on his fastball.
                              What would be the ideal speed for a changeup at the 10 year old level with a kid who's fastball is about 50mph?

                              In one game he was throwing the changeup very slow (maybe 35mph but just a guess). I worked with him in the backyard the other day and sure enough he consistantly threw 51 mph on his fastball but I clocked his changeup at 37mph. I feel this is too slow and allows the hitter to adjust. We worked on his changeup and now he throws it about 42-44mph and it has just a little movement but not much.

                              I realize the idea about arm speed and the arm speed on the changeup should be similar to the fastball. I'm just wondering what the general idea is for the change of speed. Most of the kids I see around in my area really tip off thier off speed pitches by slowing thier body and arms down. My boy doesn't do this, his arm speed is pretty close to his fastball.

                              BTW: I feel this is one ideal situation for a radar gun. It allows me and my boy to actually see the difference in speed on his two pitches (he only throws a fastball and changeup).

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                BTW: I made a decision today about my boy and his hitting. Last year when he hit for a .933 average I never gave him pointers....not one single time. My thinking was that I should just leave him alone while he is doing so well.

                                This year I've been working with him about spreading his feet out and stuff (I think he has his feet too close together) I made a decision today to just leave him alone and let him have fun. I think there comes a time when I need to step back and let him do what is natural. Well, today he got a hit off a good pitcher and walked his other two at bats.

                                I'm not sure if I'm doing the right thing here but I'm going to give this a try. Maybe he was thinking too much while in the batters box? I'm just going to leave him alone and see what happens.

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