Been coaching Little League the last several years, and really enjoy it. My favorite part of the coaching end is working with the young pitchers. I’m from a area where most coaches preach to all of the 10-13 year old kids to just “throw the heat”. I know in theory this works out a lot of times with the younger small town teams we have in the area, but the trouble is it keeps a lot of the smaller kids around here from getting a chance to pitch and we all know that as the years go by it makes it harder for them to ever get the chance to one learn and then two to catch up.
Well, this year I am helping out a team in the town I am next to, and my 11 year old is playing with them. When I was asked to help out coach this team of 10 and 11 year old kids (playing in the 11-12 y/o div.) I jumped at the offer.
Well last night we faced the boys from my hometown team with many of the kids that I coached last year on it. They have mainly 12 y/o kids and are a very good team. What I enjoyed so much about last night was the fact that out of the total 11 runs scored from both teams only 2 were given up by the 2 pitchers with the slower fastballs of the whole group.
The eleven y/o who I have been working with on our new team is a joy for any coach. He listens, questions as to why we have changed his form (not to be smart but to learn and understand). He is tenacious as a little bulldog, will go right after them when told and knows how to paint the corners also. Right now he is throwing the fb, change, and cutter. My boy catches and moves him around the plate, the control this kid has is good enough to waste a pitch on a 2-2 count and get em for strike 3 with it full.
The boy from the other team I have worked with for the last couple years. Several coaches from my town told me 2 years ago that he just isn’t fast enough and would be done pitching shortly. This kid is 12 and has a average at best fastball, but again he moves it around throws the mix of 4 and 2 seam with the occasional cutter. But his strikeout pitch is a nifty little combo change up/screwball that when a kid can handle it is awesome.
Sorry for such a long first post. The only point I am trying to make here is for coaches to not give up on any young pitcher who shows promise just because of speed. It is our job to teach them that the legs and body give the power, and honestly during the early teen years some of the smaller thinner kids have growth spurts that catch or surpass their teammates. The eleven y/o spoke of earlier is gaining velocity it seems weekly.
Well you heard the fun, the hard was our 10 and 11 y/o’s lost 7-4 lol. But as many of the parents said last night in a game played as well as this one there were no losers.