Was talking to another coach about a scenario and it got me thinking about it, then I was curious what this group would have to say on the topic:
The scenario is this is a travel ball organization that travels quite frequently to play in competitive tournaments:
One of your better pitchers 11/12u age group has yet to really “show up” to team pitching workouts. Consists of stretch, work on certain aspects from week to week then throw short bullpen around 30 pitches not a strenuous amount of work. He shows puts in the work but at about 50-60% effort, and to be honest he doesn’t need to throw 100% balls out every week but 4 weeks before the first tourney and he hasn’t showed anywhere close to his usual stuff. Coaches have told him they want to see at least 95% he says ok still doesn’t do it, they encourage him to turn it loose for at least this week, still doesn’t do it. They have asked if he had hurt his arm, or if it was painful to throw the answer is no, asked if he doesn’t want to pitch any longer or was losing interest, no, asked if he is getting burnt out, no… Asked why he isn’t seeming to give a whole lot of effort in bullpens he shrugs and says “I don’t know” - gives this answer every week. Dad says same thing, the kid won’t talk to him and says every week he is going to go in and give 100% then doesn’t do it. The kid lights it up at hitting and fielding practice, so it is only the pitching aspect where he isn’t giving 100%.
Do you chalk this up to age, hormones, possibly starting puberty and let it play out until tourney time and then see what happens when he takes the mound for real? What would you do and how would you approach this situation?