Advice on Son

I have a 13 year old son, who started pitching over the last year and a half. He’ll be in eighth grade this fall. He just plays spring and summer baseball with his friends on a low B level team. He’s a big strong kid, about 6’ around 170 pounds. He’s played baseball for fun and has never really expressed any interest in select ball or extremely competitive leagues, but this year he has said that he’s interested in playing High School baseball.

He’s had a bit of a breakthrough this year. I’ve been his coach over the last couple of years, and we’ve worked slowly and systematically on his throwing. We play catch a lot, short toss to long toss, and then he pitches in the back yard where we work on mechanics, letting his hand go low after breaking the set position, keeping his elbow up, using his legs and torso with the stride foot pointing to his target, finishing his throw. He’s limited to 10 pitches per year of age per week, including practice and warm up pitches.

He could always throw hard, but I never really knew how hard. He pitched in about six games. He was a bit wild in the first few games, but in the last three games things started to click. He gave up maybe three hits over the three games. In the last game, fans and coaches on both sides were commenting on his pitching. He was throwing so hard, and on every pitch he looked like he all of his momentum was coming off the mound at the batter. A coach on the other team had a radar gun; and said that on the last batter he faced, he threw three pitches 81, 82, and 84 mph.

Well, now his normal baseball season is over, and I don’t really know what to do with him. He’s gone beyond my expertise. He’s starting eighth grade this fall and wants to play in High School next year. I want him to have the best opportunity to do what he wants while trying to keep him from being over used or injured.

What should he do next?

Contact the national Pitching Assn. for information about some of their weekend camps in various areas around the country—they may have one close to where you live, and if so it would be a good idea to arrange for your son to attend one of them. You can be sure that he will get some top-level instruction and coaching. Also, if you’re anywhere near Los Angeles, you might get in touch with Tom House who is now the head pitching coach at USC and see what can be done about getting the kid some first-rate private instruction.
I remember many years ago—I had been playing with a high-level sandlot team in New York City which could almost have been called semipro except that nobody got paid. I had been thinking about adding the slider to my repertoire—I was sixteen at the time—and it was sheer good luck that I found a pitching coach; he was an active major-league pitcher who doubled as an extra pitching coach for the Yankees, and he saw where I was coming from and what I wanted to accomplish. He took me in hand and helped me become an even better pitcher than I already was. Now, I don’t know whether your son will run into sheer good luck like this, but through the NPA you will certainly find a good pitching coach who will work with the kid and teach him what he needs to know. Best of luck! :slight_smile: :baseballpitcher:

Find the NPA here:
http://www.nationalpitching.net

If he interested in hs ball you may want to contact the hs he’ll be attending and speak with the coach, many times hs’s have summer ball and generally look to prospect the rising 8th graders by putting them on the fresh or jv summer team…If your in Florida you may be late for that…my sons old school just finished their summer deal. It wouldn’t hurt though to touch base and see what is expected, if there is a possibility of conditioning with them, grades expectations, perhaps throw a bullpen for him…you never know…if you don’t like him or they have a shabby program it may provide you an opportunity to get to another school so he has a better shot.

A word to the wise…if it’s his dream/desire and the program stinks…forget about friends and personal relationships…he’ll find new ones, get him into a quality program where there is a known rep…it could save much frustration and heartaches at the back end when he and his “friends”, who played for a bad coach on a bad team get no looks from colleges…

[quote=“Roger”]Find the NPA here:
http://www.nationalpitching.net
[/quote]

Thanks for the information, I found a pitching coach from the link in my area.