Help - I have no idea what to do to help my 12 year old son. I guess I discovered my son’s natural ability and talent when he was three. He’s played baseball for five years now. Last year was his first year pitching - He only gave up two or three runs the entire season. Being a single woman and having never played baseball and no personal experiece- I am having to learn from the internet and books to teach my son, different pitches… I admit that I am probably in over my head . BUT with a starting year’s record like that, what is going on? WHen the new coach this year’s casting negative opinions of my son- Making comments that my son’s pitching, he claims is, " affectively wild"… When, from what I see - My son is not wild at all - He’s right on! In fact all last year he only hit one player at bat, that stepped in front of the ball. How do you keep those negative comments from breaking the self confidence of a pitcher? It’s almost like he’s being blackballed - picked apart by this coach that picks at his each and every movement the boy makes that aren’t even wrong - Favoring other picthers on the team that struggle after two innings just to get the ball over the plate. My son can’t let this man- get in his head - Help!
A lot of coaches at that level of the game seem to do this. Most are sad sad little men with deluded visions of granduer. If something isn’t done “their” way it is wrong. I think that is what you have here. The coach isn’t willing to admit that his way may not be the correct way, so he is taking it out on your son. That would also explain why he is favoring other pitchers. All you can do is help your son get better on areas that he can control. Even if he doesnt get the chance to pitch much this year, it is a good opportunity for him to learn about a good mental game… albeit under bad circumstances. Remind him of his past success, that he is a very good pitcher. After having a season like that last year, self confidence shouldnt be a problem. Have him work on visualizing what he wants to do on the mound, and then controlling his breathing when he is out there. None of this is mechanical, but it will let him be more successful in games.
And as far as this coach goes, I think you need to talk with him and at least give him a chance to apologize and explain himself. If he doesn’t do that, or if he continues to say negative things to your son then lodge a complaint with the league. They should do something, either giving a warning or suspending the coach a couple of games. This should never happen in youth baseball, and it’s sad to see it.
Coaches like that can make a boy quit baseball. What a tragedy. If your son is a talented pitcher then he, most likely, is talented in other positions. First let him enjoy playing. Batting and fielding are part of the game too. But don’t give up on pitching. Working with him on your own at home or on the field after a game is a great time you both can share. Then at a time when the coach needs a pitcher, or he gets a revelation that your son can pitch, he’s ready.
My son was in a similar position last year. I asked the coach to try him out at pitching but he blew it off. One day my son wanted the throw off of the mound after a game. He was throwing good and making the glove “pop.” I didn’t notice that the coach had been watching another game and came over to see him. He asked me “when did he start pitching?” I smiled and let him catch a few. A week later his star pitcher was having problems and so he brought my son in the game. He was ready and did well. The coach didn’t have to swallow his pride and my son began to pitch.
Support your son but try and keep him out of the conflict between you and his coach. Let him enjoy playing the greatest game in the world.
How many guys did your son walk? If it’s more than 1 or 2 an inning, then I could see the coach’s point of view (walks are death).
Otherwise, it sounds like the coach has got some hidden agenda (and I would consider switching teams).
One thing to keep in mind is that the coach may accidentally be doing your son a favor by not pitching him. The longer your son waits to start pitching, the less likely he is to permanently injure his arm. Assuming your son can tolerate the coach otherwise, this may not be as bad as you think.
Don’t believe the hype that you have to start pitching young to be any good. It’s not true.
I can’t say a certian number of walks but it couldn’t have been more than two or three, for the season. It was mostly three up- three down.
Secondly thanks for answering and it’s good to know that it’s not always necessary for a good pither to start so young. I do have concerns about him being mismanaged or over worked.