Developing young pitchers

My son has been a pitcher going on his 3rd year now. This year he moved up to 11&12 yr olds. weve had 7 games and the coach only gave him a tot of 3 innings. The coaches sons pitch and my son isnt getting any mound time. Hes not going to develop. He always was in the starting, but now he is just getting shuffled back. I want to say something to the head coach but I dont want to be a complaining parent. Its not my style. My son is a good pitcher, he doesnt throw as fast as some of the other pitchers but he throws hittable balls. Their just looking to win and always looking for strikeouts and now my son is suffering and upset. I need some advice, I know this stuff happens all over.
Tom

PITCHING IS THROWING. I was completely swlf taught. Throw 3 times a week. Develope consistent mechanics. Also, don’t forget that pitching isn’t everything. I’m also a good CF and a good 1b.

Playing ball at that age and wanting to “be in it” from both you and your son’s point of view is natural. Parents who are pro active in their son’s and daughter’s life is a good thing. It’s also good to be at ground zero and follow every move that other people have towards your son or daughter’s experience in sports, school and social stuff.

May I suggest stepping back just a bit and consider the age group that your son is competing with, his ability to develop as time goes on, and this “time” in his life and all the years ahead of him. In this regard, I know you want to see his playing and progress at a much faster rate, and that’s kind of a universal thing with dads, but your son is getting a valuable lesson in being patient, waiting for his time in the sun, and a host of other “wait” scenarios that are very prevalent in the upper levels. Besides, no matter where he goes … and you follow, this kind of environment that you’re witnessing, takes on other forms … but… their for different reasons, although you may assume patronage, cronyism, etc.

I suggest putting on the gloves, playing catch with your boy in that age old right of passage of father and son in the back yard after supper, watching some high school and Legion games at your local ball parks, and so forth.

Constantly reinforce your son’s ability to be patient, learn the rules of the game, observe older players and what coaches expect of them, and most of all … share this precious time with your boy. He’ll be older, and playing in a higher league some day, and you’ll wonder where the time has gone.

Believe me dad, your son will develop on his own and with help from you and others. It might not be next Tuesday, but he’ll get there.

Coach B

By mentioning 11-12, it sounds like you’re talking about Little League Majors. And if he just moved up, then that implies he’ll have another year in the same league and probably on the same team with the same coaches (unless the coach’s kids are 12 in which case they’ll be moving on next year). I say that because here in Arizona, kids normally stay on the same team for both years in Little League Majors. So, it sounds like you could be facing the same situation next year.

One option I can suggest is to seek out private pitching instruction for your son. This would allow your son to continue to develop without getting mound time on his team. It would also be good if your son’s coaches really don’t know how to teach pitching in which case your son might actually develop faster. If you’re not sure about that, invest some time on this site reading old topics and ask questions to help educate yourself.

The Little League post-season tournaments often have schedules that demand more pitching. There are increased restrictions on pitching limits and days of rest. Teams that develop more pitching throughout the regular season are in a better position to succeed in the post-season. Maybe you could point this out to your son’s coaches as a way to get them to give your son more mound time. But only do this if you think the coaches are unfamiliar with the demands of the post-season.

Let me know if I’ve missed the boat and this isn’t Little League you’re talking about.

As a minor’s coach, I can tell you. Once a game is tense and other pitchers are having control problems, the coach will think of who can throw with control. As long as you keep practicing with your son, it will pay off.

I have seen kids that ask to pitch constantly, but never work on it. When a new kid gets better every time I see him in practice, and I know he is working with his parent regularly, I will give him a shot in a game.

One thing every coach needs is a consistent control pitcher. If you can get your son there, and he gets an inning with control, the coach will remember that.

Don’t get discouraged. Be prepared, because the time will come when a coach is desperate, and if he knows your son is willing and prepared, he will be happy to be surprised.

Great post rocket55, very well put! :hi:

the same thing is happenning to me this year and i agree with you not talking to the coach cuz if my dad did that i would be mad. just tell your son to hustle in practice and have a good attituude. also tell him to remind the coach every ounce in a while that hes been practicing. (assuming that he does)

It depends on how competitve your league is as well. If you are in a very competitive league some different things could be happening-but I hope they are not happening at age 12!

There are some coaches (mostly in select and high competitive rec leagues) that draft or take on pitchers (especially) in order to sit them on the bench so they are not used against them in tourneys or big games. In my humble opinion there is no hell hot enough for guys that do this!

Does your league allow trades? If so maybe you can get a win-win both for your son and the other team who might need something that your present team needs? I would be very careful about asking this one and contact the league office -not your coach initially! If no -see below, if so you might find out when the trade deadline is and approach the coach about a trade if your son is so unhappy that he doesn to want to play anymore.

Finally you have have to look in terms of next year. Should you look for another team at the end of the season? The best place to look is teams you play that struggle for pitching-your son might be an absolute god send! Talk to the other coaches about a tryout but be discreet if you decide to move on.

Sometimes coaches coach fall ball and your son might be on his way to a good season of pitching after all!

Most of All KEEP THROWING!

Ian