Eight year old


#1

My plan for my son is for him to enjoy himself and hopefully play baseball for as long as he wants. If he has the desire and ability to pitch, I want him to experience that part of the game. I have no desire to push him into any position. I would like him to have basic knowledge of pitching if his coach gives him a chance at that position. Any suggestions on how to introduce pitching to an eight year old?


#2

I agree that whether or not your son pursues pitching should be his decision. But there is nothing wrong with asking him if he would like to try it. And, if he does, let him do it in a non-competetive setting first. For example, while playing catch with him you could ask if he wants to try pitching. You can be his catcher and he can give it a try without any pressure.


#3

Thanks Roger. It is a very seamless way to go from playing catch purposeful pitching.


#4

My son just turned 9 and I have been coaching him in pitching since he was 7 1/2.

One thing for you to keep in mind, as your son starts to pitch with you as his catcher, is that eventually, one day, when he does pitch to a live batter in a live game, things will be different for him, and he is almost certain to pitch different (worse) than how he pitches to you.

Pitching to an old guy sitting on a bucket in a bullpen is simply very different from pitching to a little catcher behind home plate in a live game with a little kid by the plate swinging a bat.

When kids get in game situations, they tend to tense up and throw both slower and less accurate. I can’t count the number of times I’ve warmed up a young pitcher in the bullpen during a game and then watch him go out to the mound and throw nothing like he was throwing in the bullpen.

Just this past Fall Ball, when I managed a 9-12 team, I had a mom tell me that her little Johnny had been taking pitching lessons and practicing pitching at home and was throwing nothing but strikes and deserved to pitch. I knew better, but since it was Fall Ball, I let little Johnny pitch in two games: he walked every batter he faced, throwing two whole strikes in his two outings.

This dichotomy between bullpen performance and game performance is a frustrating part of youth pitching, but it’s only natural, so don’t get discouraged - or allow your son to get discouraged - when it does happen.

Work through it by practicing and by continuing to pitch in games, as there is no substitute for game experience.


#5

Rong hopefully you’ll have a coach who doesn’t set your son up to fail like this.
If you aren’t pushing him into any position then why not allow him to develop as he feels comfortable? My advice to you is to get him to a couple of clinics where he can learn some fundementals, let him enjoy the game, at 8 he just wants to have fun anyway. Now if he starts to show a desire and an eagerness to play a specific position…then allow him to move in that direction, do play catch and catch him…but let it be for fun, it doesn’t have to be formalized…cripe man squat and let him throw a couple it won’t hurt a thing or ruin him for the furture…certainly it is different for a dad to catch vs in a game situation…thats why a good coach will take a kid (particularly at this age) and allow him to develop…like allowing him to pitch in a practice or two or in a side pen or two with perhaps adding a batter or two after the kid shows aptitude…you know, lets an [size=18]8yr old[/size] get used to the mound before throwing him out there to the wolves. I would be particularly on the look out for this sort of behavior until your son is old enough to flip a [edited by admin] who would throw him to the wolves off and quit a sorry situation like that on his own.


#6

littlelefty
Thanks for your comments. I’m not sure that I would have thought about his difficulty in pitching to small batters and catchers. Great point. Also, my positive attitude will help him through the transition.


#7

[quote=“jdfromfla”][quote]Rong hopefully you’ll have a coach who doesn’t set your son up to fail like this.
If you aren’t pushing him into any position then why not allow him to develop as he feels comfortable? My advice to you is to get him to a couple of clinics where he can learn some fundementals, let him enjoy the game, at 8 he just wants to have fun anyway. Now if he starts to show a desire and an eagerness to play a specific position…then allow him to move in that direction, do play catch and catch him…but let it be for fun, it doesn’t have to be formalized…cripe man squat and let him throw a couple it won’t hurt a thing or ruin him for the furture…certainly it is different for a dad to catch vs in a game situation…thats why a good coach will take a kid (particularly at this age) and allow him to develop…like allowing him to pitch in a practice or two or in a side pen or two with perhaps adding a batter or two after the kid shows aptitude…you know, lets an [size=18]8yr old[/size] get used to the mound before throwing him out there to the wolves. I would be particularly on the look out for this sort of behavior until your son is old enough to flip a jerk who would throw him to the wolves off and quit a sorry situation like that on his own.[/quote]
[edited by admin]

You obviously don’t know what Fall Ball is.

So let me edify you.

It’s a time for kids to try new things. A new pitch. A new bat. A new glove. And, yes, new positions. In short, it’s a time to try new things and, yes, sometimes fail, as there are no winners, no losers, no standings, and no tournaments. Obviously you have no experience with Fall Ball.

This particular kid that I let pitch is 10 and is capable of throwing hard but has very poor mechanics. He wanted to pitch all season and so I let him pitch in two games (out of 16), each time for all of three batters. Three batters! That’s throwing him to the wolves? Get your facts straight next time before coming on here [edited by admin].

More, I told both him and his mother beforehand that pitching in a game is very different from pitching in the bullpen, and that he was going to go out on that mound and walk every batter and that I was going to pull him after two or three batters. They both understood and agreed, and that’s what happened. You have a problem with that? [edited by admin]

Because you know what? His mom emailed me after the season to thank me, telling me her son learned a lesson out there on that mound and is now committed to pitching, working out and taking weekly pitching lessons as he has seen that pitching is a lot harder than it had looked to him.

So I did the kid a favor, his mom has thanked me repeatedly (as have all parents of the players by the way), and I have created a kid with the drive to pitch after seeing what it takes to pitch.

Clearly, I set him up not to fail, but to succeed, as now he’s driven to succeed at pitching. Alas, you’re just too obtuse to see that.

[edited by admin]


#8

[quote=“Rong”]littlelefty
Thanks for your comments. I’m not sure that I would have thought about his difficulty in pitching to small batters and catchers. Great point. Also, my positive attitude will help him through the transition.[/quote]
Thanks Rong. Good luck to you and your son.

And please, hang around here. Not everyone is bitter like jdfromfla.


#9

littlelefty I see that jdfromfla is just making this comment to you based on your comments about “Little Johnny”, if it’s truely fall ball like you say then it shouldn’t make a difference if he didn’t even throw one strike, it was part of the process about becoming a pitcher, did “Little Johnny” have live time in practice, did he have the opportunities that your starters had to develop into a pitcher. Mommy saying he has been taking lessons just doesn’t do it, that is just “throwing him out there to the wolves”. If your comment was intended that “Little Johnny” had all the preparation to become a pitcher, bullpens, live practice, pre game preparation and then finally a game time situation I think jdfromfla’s comments would have been different, but that isn’t the way I read it too. If he did have all those then the kid just wasn’t ready to go even though he passed all the other tests, train him more if he still has the interest and throw him out there again in a few weeks.

I remember a kid who played with my 13 yr old kid that had everything to pitch but when the questions was asked (at 10 u) “Do you pitch?” the answer was “Wellll…” then the comment was, “well not on this team in tournaments but we will get you some bull pen time, some live batters and league time!” Daddy was happy, kid got to try and he never saw any mound time in league play until 11u and finally tournaments at 13u but he earned his way to the spot.

Pitching has so much mental work that it’s not for everyone. You have to evaluate this from the prespective of mental toughness and his ability to not let things rattle the kid.


#10

Well isn’t this:

Just a bit different from this:

[quote]This particular kid that I let pitch is 10 and is capable of throwing hard but has very poor mechanics. He wanted to pitch all season and so I let him pitch in two games (out of 16), each time for all of three batters. Three batters! That’s throwing him to the wolves? Get your facts straight next time before coming on here [edited by admin].

More, I told both him and his mother beforehand that pitching in a game is very different from pitching in the bullpen, and that he was going to go out on that mound and walk every batter and that I was going to pull him after two or three batters. They both understood and agreed, and that’s what happened. You have a problem with that? Well, [edited by admin][/quote]

They likely thanked and bowed to you cuz they don’t know they can get rid of you and are fearful of being stuck on your team next spring…who wants to be stuck with [edited by admin].


#11

buwhite,

  1. jd didn’t "just make a comment” - he accused me of impropriety without knowing the facts. jd has it in for me and is always lurking for something to pounce on. He’s not sincere of purpose.

  2. Yes, it was Fall Ball. Why would I lie?

  3. It did and didn’t make a difference whether the kid threw strikes: it didn’t make a difference to the team as it’s Fall Ball; but when a kid is struggling at something there’s no reason to leave him out there endlessly.

  4. Here, Fall Ball practices are very limited in duration and don’t allow much time for individual pitching instruction. In fact, our “starters” get almost all their pitching practice outside the team practice, with their dads and/or private lessons. So yes, this kid got as much pitching instruction from us coaches as anyone else.

  5. You too seem to not understand what Fall Ball is. Here, Fall Ball has the purpose of letting the kids play and experiment, and of exposing those kids coming up from the lower divisions to the full Little League field (46’ mound, 60’ base paths, etc.). My 12-and-under team had 14 players, although most were 9 and 10. Only one of my players - one! - had ever pitched from the Little League 46’ mound in a game (my son, who played “up” last season in LL Minors as an 8-year-old). So, following your logic of letting only “developed” pitchers pitch, I should have had my son pitch all 16 games, as he was the only pitcher properly “developed” on the 46’ mound, right? Uh huh.

  6. One of my assistant coaches in Fall Ball pitched for a D1 college in Texas and pitched in the Minors for 6 years. He was so pleased with my managing of the team that he has asked if he can coach with me again when our regular season starts up in January (yes, putting his son on my team). Well, obviously he doesn’t know what he’s doing, so I’ll make sure to direct him to your and jd’s criticisms of me. :lol:


#12

[quote=“jdfromfla”]Well isn’t this:

Just a bit different from this:

[quote]This particular kid that I let pitch is 10 and is capable of throwing hard but has very poor mechanics. He wanted to pitch all season and so I let him pitch in two games (out of 16), each time for all of three batters. Three batters! That’s throwing him to the wolves? Get your facts straight next time before coming on here [edited by admin].

More, I told both him and his mother beforehand that pitching in a game is very different from pitching in the bullpen, and that he was going to go out on that mound and walk every batter and that I was going to pull him after two or three batters. They both understood and agreed, and that’s what happened. You have a problem with that? Well, [edited by admin][/quote]
[/quote]

No, it’s not different, [edited by admin]. The second quote just expounds on the first, necessitated by your [edited by admin] intervention in this pleasant-until-you-showed-up thread.


#13

Rong, just to make sure you understand what I was saying…

A good coach does not predict failure like this…

A good coach will not lie or be vindictive (Or predict a players failure), they “coach” they let a kid come into a circumstance in which they can suceed and then encourage them to succeed (They do this by developing confidence and experience in practice), particularly at this age. I don’t want nor expect someone with no background in coaching to understand this, which is why I cautioned you to watch out for this sort of charactor.
What I did do was give you an idea on how a good coach should approach teaching/coaching your boy…if as mentioned in this [edited by admin] first post a coach just puts your kid out there after predicting his failure, in my experience, it would be much better to seek out another coach.
Now this fella is backpedalling and letting everyone know how great a coach he is…great…taken from his first post on this thread, I responded as I did and am not in the least bit concerned that this guy blew his top…maybe, I doubt it, he’ll think before he starts throwing all of that angst.


#14

[quote=“jdfromfla”]Rong, just to make sure you understand what I was saying…

A good coach does not predict failure like this…

There you go again. Parsing words looking for something to vent your bitterness on.

I wasn’t predicting failure. I don’t see the word “failure” in there. Failure exists only in your bitter mind.

Throwing balls in a youth pitcher’s first outing is not “failure”. Only a sick mind would consider that “failure”. Good thing you’re not coaching anymore. I wouldn’t let you within a mile of our league.

Throwing balls in a youth pitcher’s first outing is success. The kid went out there in two games, got on the mound, pitched to three batters, walked all three with a few strikes peppered in there, and came out of the game with a new appreciation for the rigors of pitching and a commitment to work on his pitching. That’s failure? Only in your sick mind.

Clearly, by me preparing him for what first-time 9 and 10 year old pitchers do in their first game 99% of the time, he was able to handle it well when it happened. He knew that what he did was common if not the norm and nothing to be ashamed of. That’s the “forward thinking” aspect of this that your feeble mind is incapable of grasping.

In fact the kid handled his two three-batter outings so well that he’s now committed himself to working out and taking private pitching lessons to become a better pitcher. That’s success. Only in your demented mind is this “failure”.

And by the way, his mom wants him back on my team this Spring, not your team. :lol:


#15

Let’s get this discussion back on-topic without the name-calling and foul language or it will be locked.

littlelefty,

While I didn’t intrepret your comments the way others did, I can see how they came up with those interpretations. You may know in your mind all of the details surrounding the young pitcher on your team. But I don’t think you communicated all of them and that left certain things open to interpretation.

My interpretation of your original post might also make you take offense. It sounded to me like you were saying a father catching for his son was a waste of time and that an 8yo should be practicing with catchers his own age and agaisnt batters his own age to better simulate a game situation. My reaction was that there is never anything wrong with father and son spending time together - especially for an 8yo.


#16

I agree, and my dad essentially did exactly this when I was 9 or 10. We’d pitch in the back yard until Mom called us in for dinner or one of us got bored :slight_smile: But, I took to it like most kids do who enjoy pitching …


#17

[quote=“Roger”]Let’s get this discussion back on-topic without the name-calling and foul language or it will be locked.

Great idea, but hard to do with jdfromfla lurking around.

littlelefty,

While I didn’t interpret your comments the way others did, I can see how they came up with those interpretations. You may know in your mind all of the details surrounding the young pitcher on your team. But I don’t think you communicated all of them and that left certain things open to interpretation.

[b][i]Great. I’m glad you didn’t see my comments that way. And, based on PMs I’ve received, you and me aren’t the only ones.

But if my post did not contain “all of the details surrounding the young pitcher on your team” (what post does?), and if jdfromfla did not know “all of the details surrounding the young pitcher on your team”, then perhaps jdfromfla should have first gotten his facts straight and refrained from his typical first resort to insults?[/i][/b]

My interpretation of your original post might also make you take offense. It sounded to me like you were saying a father catching for his son was a waste of time and that an 8yo should be practicing with catchers his own age and against batters his own age to better simulate a game situation. My reaction was that there is never anything wrong with father and son spending time together - especially for an 8yo.

[b][i]Wow. Your interpretation could not be further from the truth. But at least you asked and didn’t hurl insults like others do. Thanks. There appears to be a serious misunderstanding here, however, so allow me to explain.

I am a father of a 9-year-old lefty pitcher and I spend countless hours (just ask my wife) catching for him and instructing him in pitching. I don’t know how you arrived at your interpretation that I was saying a father catching for his son is a waste of time. Not only is it not a waste of time, it is something I do a LOT of, as it can be the best pitching experience of a boy’s life and very productive. I remember as much about pitching with my father in our backyard as I do about pitching in games through high school.

Your interpretation appears to be derived from my joke - which I post often here - about “kids throwing to old guys sitting on a bucket in a bullpen not being the same as pitching on the mound in a game”. Well, that’s true, bullpen pitching is very different from game pitching for youth pitchers, but it’s a joke, too, poking fun at us fathers - including me - who spend countless hours sitting on a bucket in the bullpen catching for our sons (and their teammates) (fortunately I can still catch from the squatting position and don’t use the bucket - yet - but many dads do). Again, it’s a joke! I was poking fun at me and all other fathers!

I guess the humor didn’t get through. Perhaps humor has no place here? :([/i][/b][/quote]