As an eleven year old who throws a 54-59 mph fastball, and has a solid circle change, change, two seam, and cutter, what kind of future do I have. I play for a 11u AAU team, and our coach wants us to focus mainly on our fastball. I have good command and control and a 12-6 curve that I’ve thrown only a couple times but has good potential for the future. My DREAM is to go to the MLB, even the minors-anything because I LOVE ️ the sport more then you can imagine. I may not be the best pitcher on the team now, but I am the first one at the field and the last one to leave the field. When I am at home, I am constantly performing great, safe exercises for baseball. I also believe that a major growth spurt is bound to come my way, and when my arm is developed, I can start throwing the curve that I have been waiting to throw all of this time. If I continue to dedicate all of my out of school time to baseball, do you think that my baseball game can go somewhere? Please let me know your thoughts on what I had to say, and which ways I can improve as a player. BTW, last week I threw a great game in my league:5 innings, 1 ER, 6 hits, 71 pitches.
Just keep working hard, never lose passion for the game. Watch a lot of baseball, read about baseball, live baseball. Try the book The Mental Game of Baseball, and The Mental ABC’s of Pitching, they’re great for mastering the mental side of the game. Anyone is capable of anything with hard work and love for the game. Good luck!
Be careful not to overuse your arm. Overuse is the principal cause of injury in youth pitchers. I know a pitcher who had Tommy John surgery at 13, and two other pitchers who were diagnosed with osteochondritis dissecans of the elbow at 13 and 14. All three were treated by a top orthopedic surgeon who treats MLB players, and the good doctor determined the cause of their very serious injuries to be overuse from year round throwing. Play other sports and take time off from baseball. Follow the Pitch Smart guidelines prepared by MLB for youth pitchers like yourself, designed to make sure you are strong and healthy at 20 years of age. You can find the MLB Pitch Smart guidelines here.
Thank You for the confidence boost. all I’ve been doing lately is watching and thinking baseball.
You sound as though you have your compass set in a direction worth working for. You also sound as though that your intentions are well matched with reasonable expectations and assumptions.
For what it’s worth, I’d like to give you some advice that is based on my observations of those that have made it in professional baseball.
Consider this as a profession
Like any professional - lawyer, physician, certified public accountant, and so forth, it take years of study and dedication to the profession and the commitment to narrow one’s focus of that profession as one matures.
Your mentors as coaches
Planning for a career in professional baseball is the cruelest thing that a young man can commit himself to. The expectations of performance by those with little or not experience coaching the development and progression in this sport, will constantly nag your as get older. Your development will be of little concern while with these coaches, only your ability to fit into the self imposed image of these coaches as they are viewed by their contemporaries. You will find exceptions to those statements - but those exceptions will be rare are far between. So frustration with when and where you fit into the game plan can, and will be a test to your patience. However, improvement will be expected and that expectation will increase as your get older.
Unlike other professions that have formal schools, formal accreditation and certification, professional baseball has absolutely none. There are not degrees conferred, no diplomas, not even two-bits for a cup of Joe. So the benchmark by which other professionals - lawyers, CPA’s, engineers, and so forth, can be judged, does not exist for professional ball players. You must educate yourself, set forth your own level of education and proficiency, be judged by those whose qualifications vary widely - yet stick to you like glue, as your negotiate the waters of appraisal. You will sometimes find family and close relative that will find you former professionals that will offer coaching - for a price. Along with that finding will be the adult assumptions of this former pro turned coach, being there to introduce you to “who they know” in addition to showing you what they know. All adults live in that world of “who you know”, (even me) and you’ll become accustomed to that way of living soon enough. It’s a big part of the game/business.
When it clicks
Regardless of what I narrated above, many have made it. They’ve made it in spite of everything that worked against them and contrary to the odds. They made it by setting priorities, hard priorities that meant sacrifices, upon sacrifices. They were right there along side the buddies that trained to be professional hockey players - up at 4:30am to make it for ice time, then an hour and a half of ice time, shower and in the classroom between 7:45am and 8am. Only for the ball player, his training routes were tailored to baseball. Strick nutrition tables, time management, deliberate academic commitments, studying the rules of the game, personal conditioning and strength tailored to his age, his physical maturity, and stamina.
One of these days, regardless of who says what, you know you’ve got it. Things start to click! Your confidence is as much a part of you as your own name. You’re not the best in town, but everyone knows your in town when you take the field. You’ve made it! Now it’s just a matter of time (be patient) for the rest of the world to catch up to you. Catch up to you!
We’re here for you
You’ll find an impressive rank of coaches, players and others who will be right there with you, every step of the way. And although this medium is limited, there is so much that you can learn and apply from here. Add to that - everyone expects nothing in return - but, your improvement and enjoyment of this game.
I’ve said this many times that pitching is not for everyone. If it was, it’d be easy. It takes a special person to understand his limitations, his place in the pecking order of things, and his understanding that this life is not fair.
ONE - It take guts to want this.
TWO - It takes guts to work through that want.
**THREE -**It takes guts to wait your turn.
Got any questions? Refer to number ONE.
Thank you so much for being here right with me to work through this. I in fact do great it as a profession as I always have my mind on basball, and get my school reading done by reading The ABC’s of Pitching. I treat the game with seriousness and I’m always focused and ready to go. I believe that if I work hard enough throughout the years of my youth I might have a shot at my end goal.
Thank You very much for your feedback and I will continue to record my pitching reports!
You’ll do fine and you’ll look back sometimes and wonder how you managed to get good grades, learn the rules of this sport, physically condition yourself physically and mentally. You’ll also watch those that take shortcuts with grades at school thinking that sports will carry them through life - it doesn’t work that way.
Rich, you got a good head on your shoulders. Keep your focus and stay the course with your priorities.
KEEP YOUR OPTIONS OPEN
As you get older, keep your options open. The time line that you have to improve and develop your abilities will get compressed as you get beyond your 17th birthday. That’s not to say that you should wait till your 17 to get serious about your training and improvement.
For now, understand that a lot can happen to you during your travels. Your family situation can dictate a lot as well as your exposure to life itself. You may find it advantageous to look at other professions - this is all normal in the growing process. My mother thought I’d be a good doctor - the only problem to that was my adversity to seeing blood (still do).
There’s so much more to life than baseball. Exciting things in professions that you will come to know and find more than just curious. Ocean exploration, careers in the military, medicine, aviation, public service - city counselor/mayor/legislative aid, etc.
This world has so many opportunities to offer a young person with good judgement and goals.
I coached a young man who I thought had outstanding potential for a life in professional ball. Three years went into his progressive maturing in this sport and business. As it turned out he went on a tour to the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, and well … that was that. I hear from him from time to time. He’s now on a captain’s candidate list with a commercial cargo shipping company sailing all over the world.
So, as you turn 16, you’ll have to either put both feet in the water (sort of speak) and commit yourself to this life’s work. Just be on notice that anything less just won’t cut it. Also be on notice that you must be realistic of your ability(s), who and what and where your competition is going to be. One of major drawbacks to going full bore into this career( nothing less) is that if you don’t make it, there is very little to fall back on. Baseball is a very narrow resume builder for other careers outside the sport/business. There is an excellent selection of videos on YouTube on life in the minor leagues and life in the Independent Professional Leagues. I strongly suggest viewing these - it’s a real eye opener to what’s ahead of you…
Thank You. I believe if I An meant to be in the MLB, I will be in the MLB. I can train and work my hardest to increase my chances.