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  • Originally posted by Jake Patterson View Post
    Argh!!! There is nothing a gun can provide at this age that a good coach can't see.... but I don't want to get off on a tangent... Root, re-read this thread there's good info provided.
    Can't agree with you here. There's always good info here, but I've used the gun for years and have never felt that anyone was trying to impress the gun. From reading your posts, I can also tell that you are of the opinion that travel ball is a waste of time and that the current trends in that direction are problematic. That's OK, but the fact of the matter is that travel ball is big time. The coaching is dramatically more sophisticated than it was 15 years ago and so is the strategy. That may not be the way alot of people would like to see things, but it's not going to end.
    A gun serves several uses. In a subsequent post you mention how many arms you've seen ruined by the radar gun. Could you elaborate? I'm just not seeing what you are seeing. Where were they used and for waht purpose? Is the implication that kids overthrow when the radar gun comes out? If so, is the implication that this is somehow more true at 11 than at 18? Also, I have my kids throwing their hardest at particular points of the game when I will call for "hard-hard." I'm not new at this and have been using it for years. I just haven't seen the problems I guess others are reporting.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Roothog66 View Post
      Can't agree with you here. There's always good info here, but I've used the gun for years and have never felt that anyone was trying to impress the gun.
      Root I understand that you believe that... but placing a young athlete in a competitive environment with a highly visible tool that evaluates only speed, the natural athlete will always look to compete. In this case it's throw faster/harder.

      From reading your posts, I can also tell that you are of the opinion that travel ball is a waste of time and that the current trends in that direction are problematic.
      To be clear - I believe youth TB and year-round TB are problematic. At some point it's necessary for those who wish to go on to HS and higher ball - I see this point at or somewhere around 13 y/o.

      That's OK, but the fact of the matter is that travel ball is big time.
      Agree... but its size and popularity is not a direct correlation to its potential benefit to the game or those who play it.
      I would also suggest - that when evaluating coaches at the youth athletics level - TB, AAU, USSSA, Etc., has more than their share of age inappropriate coaches. Most of the organizations themselves are age Inappropriate - Just visit the USSSA and take a look at their 4U National Championships,

      The coaching is dramatically more sophisticated than it was 15 years ago and so is the strategy.
      Having been involved with the game for more than 40 years I respectfully disagree. What strategies do you feel have changed???

      That may not be the way alot of people would like to see things, but it's not going to end.
      Agree
      A gun serves several uses. In a subsequent post you mention how many arms you've seen ruined by the radar gun. Could you elaborate? I'm just not seeing what you are seeing. Where were they used and for waht purpose? Is the implication that kids overthrow when the radar gun comes out? If so, is the implication that this is somehow more true at 11 than at 18? Also, I have my kids throwing their hardest at particular points of the game when I will call for "hard-hard." I'm not new at this and have been using it for years. I just haven't seen the problems I guess others are reporting.
      There is much information available from experts - much of it has been shared here at BBF. To answer your question above - YES ! ! there is a HUGE difference between prepubescent arms with exposed growth plates and post-pubescent mature arms with closed growth plates. NO kenesiologist or orthopedic doctor, surgeon, specialist disagrees with this. Search - Michael Joyce and his work. Also many pitching experts have expressed their opinion that arm speed in youth baseball is NO indication of future success and the priority at a younger age should be control. Steve Ellis did a nice piece on this. What does getting a few MPH's at the youth level really buy you???
      "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


      • OK. What does this have to do with radar guns? Do you believe that without radar guns, kids aren't interested in throwing hard under the age of 13? I do get your point on speed, but there are two points I would like to get across:

        1) The whole experience doesn't have to be about producing future major leaugers (or even future high school studs, for that matter). There is a lot of enjoyment from playing RIGHT NOW.

        2) When I was a kid, there was no organized ball at the younger ages. If you could make a Little League team at nine or ten, good for you. Otherwise, we played pickup games and we practiced throwing as hard as we could. We threw curve balls constantly to see what we could get on a ball and we did all this with no supervision. We did this sometimes until our arms were trashed. I prefer today's organized ball.

        To be safe, I do believe that if I think my kid is going to be some future baseball stud pitcher, the best idea would be not to let him pitch until his teens, but that isn't realistic. Should I do that at the expense of the other kids who would have to pick up the extra innings? Or should he just not play organized ball? The answer might be pitching machine, but I live in the real world where there are no 11-year-old pitching machine leagues. Yeah, we play alot of ball. We enjoy it for the sake of today - not high school.

        Yes, the strategies have changed. Fifteen years ago, LL was still king. With twelve-year-olds who don't lead off base. Six foot kids who throw from 46 feet. Today, thank God, some organizations have come to grips with how ridiculous that is. By 10, if you're in USSSA, Triple Crown, or the equivilant, you see kids that know how to hold runners on base. We have pitch counts that they used to not have. Nine to twelve year olds play a game that more resembles what adults play. That's the world we live in. There will be no going back to LL only.

        Back to the subject, what do any of your arguments have to do with RADAR GUNS? Are coaches who don't use them NOT emphasizing speed or changes of speed in their pitching philosophies? Do you have some tangible proof that if I pull out my radar gun, someone is going to get hurt (short of me chucking it to the mound)? I think your arguments are based on your dislike for younger kids playing travel ball and have nothing to do with the subject of radar guns.

        As far as the 4yo World Series on USSSA. Note that last season, only 150 teams signed up as 4yo on USSSA. Of those, only 15 actually played. Of those, ten were simply in a local USSSA T-Ball League. Of the rest, none played more than 8 games. Additionally, they didn't actually have a 4yo World series, it's just on the options. Nor did they have a 5yo W/S and the 6yo W/S only drew 3 teams.

        Inappropriate coaches? OK. That one, I'll have to give you. I've seen more than my share in travel ball.

        Comment


        • I can only ASSUME you're responding to Jake.

          Originally posted by Roothog66 View Post
          OK. What does this have to do with radar guns? Do you believe that without radar guns, kids aren't interested in throwing hard under the age of 13? I do get your point on speed, but there are two points I would like to get across:
          Of course kids are interested in throwing hard, because adults reward throwing hard. But its throwing hard that’s the issue, not the numbers on some gun! When you were a kid, did you know who threw hard and who didn’t? I was in LLI in 1956, and I guarantee you that every kid knew who the hard throwers were.

          1) The whole experience doesn't have to be about producing future major leaugers (or even future high school studs, for that matter). There is a lot of enjoyment from playing RIGHT NOW.
          Very true.

          2) When I was a kid, there was no organized ball at the younger ages. If you could make a Little League team at nine or ten, good for you. Otherwise, we played pickup games and we practiced throwing as hard as we could. We threw curve balls constantly to see what we could get on a ball and we did all this with no supervision. We did this sometimes until our arms were trashed. I prefer today's organized ball.
          Personally, until pitch counts became the norm, I think organized ball was by far more dangerous to the kids.

          To be safe, I do believe that if I think my kid is going to be some future baseball stud pitcher, the best idea would be not to let him pitch until his teens, but that isn't realistic. Should I do that at the expense of the other kids who would have to pick up the extra innings? Or should he just not play organized ball? The answer might be pitching machine, but I live in the real world where there are no 11-year-old pitching machine leagues. Yeah, we play alot of ball. We enjoy it for the sake of today - not high school.
          Why is the only choice not pitching at all or pitching a lot of innings? Why not just let every kid on the team pitch who wanted to? In a 20 game LLI season for a 12 player team, 10 of who wanted to pitch, it would be at very most, 12 innings per kid. The problem isn’t the math, its how you choose to use it.

          No one, not even Mike Marshall whom a lot of people call a crackpot, suggest kids don’t pitch until they’re 13 or their growth plates close. Its the propensity of coaches to have the kids they think are the best, pitch an inordinate amount of innings that’s the problem. Just spread out the workload and the problem for the most part goes away.

          Yes, the strategies have changed. Fifteen years ago, LL was still king. With twelve-year-olds who don't lead off base. Six foot kids who throw from 46 feet. Today, thank God, some organizations have come to grips with how ridiculous that is. By 10, if you're in USSSA, Triple Crown, or the equivilant, you see kids that know how to hold runners on base. We have pitch counts that they used to not have. Nine to twelve year olds play a game that more resembles what adults play. That's the world we live in. There will be no going back to LL only.
          So what? Why has this become a knock on LLI? Just what percentage of kids playing on the 46/60 field are 6 footers do you think there are?

          Back to the subject, what do any of your arguments have to do with RADAR GUNS? Are coaches who don't use them NOT emphasizing speed or changes of speed in their pitching philosophies? Do you have some tangible proof that if I pull out my radar gun, someone is going to get hurt (short of me chucking it to the mound)? I think your arguments are based on your dislike for younger kids playing travel ball and have nothing to do with the subject of radar guns.
          The argument isn’t that radar guns are necessarily causing injuries, as much as the demand for indiscriminate max effort, or that there’s simply no good reason anyone needs to know what velocity a pre-teenager throws.

          As far as the 4yo World Series on USSSA. Note that last season, only 150 teams signed up as 4yo on USSSA. Of those, only 15 actually played. Of those, ten were simply in a local USSSA T-Ball League. Of the rest, none played more than 8 games. Additionally, they didn't actually have a 4yo World series, it's just on the options. Nor did they have a 5yo W/S and the 6yo W/S only drew 3 teams.
          Even the thought of 4, 5, or 6 YO’s having a WS is despicable! What is the purpose? How does it make the kids or the game any better?
          The pitcher who’s afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

          Comment


          • Root, sorry... missed your reply....
            Originally posted by Roothog66 View Post
            OK. What does this have to do with radar guns? Do you believe that without radar guns, kids aren't interested in throwing hard under the age of 13? I do get your point on speed, but there are two points I would like to get across:

            1) The whole experience doesn't have to be about producing future major leaugers (or even future high school studs, for that matter). There is a lot of enjoyment from playing RIGHT NOW.
            Absolutely agree .... so why a gun?

            2) When I was a kid, there was no organized ball at the younger ages. If you could make a Little League team at nine or ten, good for you. Otherwise, we played pickup games and we practiced throwing as hard as we could. We threw curve balls constantly to see what we could get on a ball and we did all this with no supervision. We did this sometimes until our arms were trashed. I prefer today's organized ball.
            I am uncertain what this has to do with strategy in the game.... I agree with many experts who feel youth baseball as you describe above was more healthy.

            To be safe, I do believe that if I think my kid is going to be some future baseball stud pitcher, the best idea would be not to let him pitch until his teens, but that isn't realistic.
            I unfortunately agree with this.
            Should I do that at the expense of the other kids who would have to pick up the extra innings? Or should he just not play organized ball?
            There is definitely a rub here..
            The answer might be pitching machine, but I live in the real world where there are no 11-year-old pitching machine leagues. Yeah, we play alot of ball. We enjoy it for the sake of today - not high school.
            I feel we should use pitching machines longer than we do.

            Yes, the strategies have changed. Fifteen years ago, LL was still king. With twelve-year-olds who don't lead off base. Six foot kids who throw from 46 feet. Today, thank God, some organizations have come to grips with how ridiculous that is. By 10, if you're in USSSA, Triple Crown, or the equivilant, you see kids that know how to hold runners on base. We have pitch counts that they used to not have. Nine to twelve year olds play a game that more resembles what adults play. That's the world we live in. There will be no going back to LL only.
            I agree, but to delude yourself into thinking this is good for the game or the children who play it. As far as a 10 year old being able to hold a runner I tell youth coaches "so what?" Getting a six month head start on a cohort member at this age matters not. What they learn at 10 they can learn at 13 and be just as effective at 16

            Back to the subject, what do any of your arguments have to do with RADAR GUNS? Are coaches who don't use them NOT emphasizing speed or changes of speed in their pitching philosophies? Do you have some tangible proof that if I pull out my radar gun, someone is going to get hurt (short of me chucking it to the mound)? I think your arguments are based on your dislike for younger kids playing travel ball and have nothing to do with the subject of radar guns.
            No there is some real basis for my opinions... I ran clinics for ten years and anytime a gun was pulled out every athlete wanted to see what they could throw.

            As far as the 4yo World Series on USSSA. Note that last season, only 150 teams signed up as 4yo on USSSA. Of those, only 15 actually played. Of those, ten were simply in a local USSSA T-Ball League. Of the rest, none played more than 8 games. Additionally, they didn't actually have a 4yo World series, it's just on the options. Nor did they have a 5yo W/S and the 6yo W/S only drew 3 teams.
            My disgust is with the organizations who sponsor this... One only needs to Google the above to see how prevalent it really is. We have had parents bragging about their 4U National Champion.... I am NOT opposed to TB... Like I said earlier it is a necessity (I am still involved with Legion Ball - What I consider the best amateur ball for young players)... The problem is it's becoming more and more age inappropriate.

            Inappropriate coaches? OK. That one, I'll have to give you. I've seen more than my share in travel ball.
            See there is always common ground!
            "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


            • Originally posted by RootHog66
              Yes, the strategies have changed. Fifteen years ago, LL was still king. With twelve-year-olds who don't lead off base. Six foot kids who throw from 46 feet. Today, thank God, some organizations have come to grips with how ridiculous that is. By 10, if you're in USSSA, Triple Crown, or the equivilant, you see kids that know how to hold runners on base. We have pitch counts that they used to not have. Nine to twelve year olds play a game that more resembles what adults play. That's the world we live in. There will be no going back to LL only.
              Originally posted by Jake Patterson View Post
              I agree, but to delude yourself into thinking this is good for the game or the children who play it. As far as a 10 year old being able to hold a runner I tell youth coaches "so what?" Getting a six month head start on a cohort member at this age matters not. What they learn at 10 they can learn at 13 and be just as effective at 16.
              Only LL was "King" up to 15 years ago until the advent of TB? Where the heck have you guys been?

              In 1970 with my dad as league President and the others on the board with him . . . the league I played in, incorporated with PONY baseball (no girls softball at the time), and from the "Mustang" division (9/10 year olds) on up, all were playing "real baseball" with lead-offs, pick-offs, and base stealing, only on smaller fields.

              40 years ago most of the leagues around our area of SoCal were affiliated with PONY baseball, with a small smattering of LLs here and there . . . for those who thought they be coaching and playing in Williamsport on ABC's Wide World of Sports some day.

              So how you're figuring that youth baseball strategies have somehow suddenly changed in the past 15 years just becasue some greedy, for profit TB organizations showed up on the scene to bilk money from the pockets of some delusional and egotistical dads is beyond me . . .
              Last edited by mudvnine; 02-18-2011, 08:42 PM.
              In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

              Comment


              • Originally posted by mudvnine View Post
                Only LL was "King" up to 15 years ago until the advent of TB? Where the heck have you guys been?

                In 1970 with my dad as league President and the others on the board with him . . . the league I played in, incorporated with PONY baseball (no girls softball at the time), and the from the "Mustang" division (9/10 year olds) and up were all playing "real baseball" with lead-offs, pick-offs, and stealing only on smaller fields.

                40 years ago most of the leagues around our area of SoCal were affiliated with PONY baseball, with a small smattering of LLs here and there . . . for those who thought they be coaching and playing in Williamsport on Wide World of Sports some day.

                So how you're figuring that youth baseball strategies have somehow suddenly changed in the past 15 years just becasue some greedy, for profit TB organizations showed up on the scene to bilk money from the pockets of some delusional and egotistical dads is beyond me . . .
                OK. 15 years is too recent. It just makes me feel to old to recognize that it was more like 35 years ago. When I started coaching 15 or so years ago, most leagues in Arkansas, where I was at the time, mixed LL with Pony. They played LL through 12 and then switched to PONY. I've always thought PONY was a better organization. This comes from a former LL President. When I owned a Action Sports photography company we used to photograph the 6yo "World Series." It actually only consisted of a handful of teams who were from the city where it was held.

                Again, though, as far as holding on runners and the finer points of the game, its not always about getting an advantage for high school. It just makes for a more enjoyable game now.

                I'll also hold to my opinion that 12-year-olds should not be throwing from 46 feet or running 60-foot bases. BUut, I do realize that millions of kids play LL, so I'm in the minority.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Roothog66 View Post
                  . . . Again, though, as far as holding on runners and the finer points of the game, its not always about getting an advantage for high school. It just makes for a more enjoyable game now.
                  I’m sure you find it more “enjoyable”, but what you’re missing is, for a lot of us it doesn’t matter one whit.

                  I'll also hold to my opinion that 12-year-olds should not be throwing from 46 feet or running 60-foot bases. BUut, I do realize that millions of kids play LL, so I'm in the minority.
                  What you’re evidently not picking up on, is that most 12YO’s aren’t hulking, knuckle dragging monsters. For the vast majority of games on the 46/60 field, it’s the perfect sized field, and in fact for some, its probably too big.

                  LLI isn’t fine tuned for 12/13YO’s! Its trying to appeal to the broadest base possible, and that includes more “little guys” than “big-uns”.
                  Last edited by Jake Patterson; 02-19-2011, 09:04 AM. Reason: spelling
                  The pitcher who’s afraid to throw strikes, will soon be standing in the shower with the hitter who's afraid to swing.

                  Comment


                  • Our first game is tonight.... we play a double header.

                    Our Varsity team played a double header tonight and got killed..... Wow they played two of the top 6A teams in our state and were just demolished. The second game the other pitcher pitched a perfect game against them and struck out 13 of 16 batters (mercy rule kicked in and they called the game).

                    I know my boy is only a freshmen but after seeing what happened to our Varsity team "I KNOW HE ISN'T READY TO PLAY VARSITY YET!". Wow that is just a whole different level of talent than my boy is used too.

                    Anyway, can't wait till our games tonight.....

                    Sparks

                    Comment


                    • Sparks ...

                      When my son was a freshman the varsity was weak. Someone asked if I thought he could make varsity. My feeling was he was good enough relative to the talent at the high school, but not good enough to compete against what he would be facing. The next year he was ready. Maybe your son will be ready next year. Tell him to work hard and be enthusiastic about learning. Along with talent he'll get noticed.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by tg643 View Post
                        Sparks ...

                        When my son was a freshman the varsity was weak. Someone asked if I thought he could make varsity. My feeling was he was good enough relative to the talent at the high school, but not good enough to compete against what he would be facing. The next year he was ready. Maybe your son will be ready next year. Tell him to work hard and be enthusiastic about learning. Along with talent he'll get noticed.
                        tg,

                        Perfect advice and I 100% agree with you.

                        Sparks

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by scorekeeper View Post
                          I’m sure you find it more “enjoyable”, but what you’re missing is, for a lot of us it doesn’t matter one whit.



                          What you’re evidently not picking up on, is that most 12YO’s aren’t hulking, knuckle dragging monsters. For the vast majority of games on the 46/60 field, it’s the perfect sized field, and in fact for some, its probably too big.

                          LLI isn’t fine tuned for 12/13YO’s! Its trying to appeal to the broadest base possible, and that includes more “little guys” than “big-uns”.
                          This is true. I may have exaggerated a bit. My main problem with that distance at 12 is that they go stright from the 60' field to the big field with no time to adjust whereas USSSA, PONY, Cal Ripken, etc. make the move in steps. In USSSA, for example it's 40'/60' at 8, 46'/65' at 9 and 10, 50'/70' at 11 and 12, and moves up in increments. I think that just better prepares kids than the big jump that LL kids make.

                          Comment


                          • I'll also hold to my opinion that 12-year-olds should not be throwing from 46 feet or running 60-foot bases. BUut, I do realize that millions of kids play LL, so I'm in the minority.

                            LL is about to introduce the 50/70 option. Being far removed from LL I don't know the details. I'll guess random LL's apply for the trial. After it's considered a success all LL's will have the option.

                            Comment


                            • Great night

                              We played our first games of the year. It's my boys first game as a high school freshman.

                              We played a double header and my boy got the call to pitch the second game.

                              Dominate would be the word..... I personally think he pitched his best game EVER!

                              He pitched a complete game shutout.....gave up one hit and walked one! AND STRUCK OUT10!!!!!

                              He didn't hit very well but did hit a bomb to center that was caught for an out. I think he went 1 for 4 at the plate with a walk mixed in.

                              I didn't gun him but he was easily throwing faster than I've ever seen him throw. Most people around me were saying he was easily hitting 80mph (I think so too) . The ball was just jumping out of his hand.

                              It was a great night and our freshmen as we started the year winning both games.

                              Sparks

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Sparksdale View Post
                                We played our first games of the year. It's my boys first game as a high school freshman.

                                We played a double header and my boy got the call to pitch the second game.

                                Dominate would be the word..... I personally think he pitched his best game EVER!

                                He pitched a complete game shutout.....gave up one hit and walked one! AND STRUCK OUT10!!!!!

                                He didn't hit very well but did hit a bomb to center that was caught for an out. I think he went 1 for 4 at the plate with a walk mixed in.

                                I didn't gun him but he was easily throwing faster than I've ever seen him throw. Most people around me were saying he was easily hitting 80mph (I think so too) . The ball was just jumping out of his hand.

                                It was a great night and our freshmen as we started the year winning both games.

                                Sparks
                                Sparks,
                                You may need to let this play out a few more years, but maybe this thread could be the basis of another book? It's heart-warming and is a great story! I wish I was local... I'd love to see him play.
                                Thanks for the update!
                                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

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