Doublebag, it will be reassuring to just about everybody who is involved with pitching—not only parents, but also coaches, managers, the kids themselves. They all need to be reminded that things don’t happen overnight; it takes time and effort.
I remember when, back in 1951, I asked Ed Lopat something about the slider—actually, I told him I just wanted to ask him something about the slider. His response was to take me aside and spend a few minutes showing me how to throw a good one; he showed me the offcenter grip, demonstrated the wrist action (easier than for a curve ball), then handed me the ball and said “Go ahead. Try it.” I got the hang of it in about ten minutes—but I knew that I wasn’t going to master that pitch in a week or a month, it would take eight or nine months before I felt comfortable enough with that pitch to use it in a game. I worked at it, and the following August I did use it in a game—in a relief appearance, and I rescued that game from disaster. That slider became my strikeout pitch. But I didn’t “get it” overnight.
Lopat, in an interview, said that you have to work hard at something if you want to get better at it—you can’t just sit and wait for it to be handed to you on a platter. Wise words indeed. It took him four years to get that screwball to the point where he was willing to let batters look at it—and try to hit it.
And Tom Gordon, a very good relief pitcher who spent a couple of years with the Yankees, had this to say regarding repertoire: “You don’t have to learn too many different pitches. Just try and make sure that you understand the pitches that you have, and be great with the stuff you have.” Something that not only kids but also more experienced pitchers would do well to keep in mind. 8) :baseballpitcher: