HS Rotation

How do your high schools manage their starters. Do you guys have rotation? if so, how many pitchers are in it? Or do your coaches put in pitchers he feels comfortable with.
my varsity isn’t deep with elite pitching so we have a 2 man rotation, if that even counts, one throws mid 80’s and the other low 80’s. we only have about 2 games a week of a a span of 2-3 months. im not sure what they do if they have 3 games or more.
im just interested in how other schools manage their pitchers, such as special treatment. At my school when we run poles our pitchers run about more.

At my son’s HS we have a rotation of four starters and four relievers. One of the starters also is used a a stopper to clean up innings if necessary. The same kid also closes if needed and he’s a couple days out from his next start.

There was really never a set routine for what pitchers did special since most played other positions. I’ve recently suggested a program to the coach set to help “wake up” the pitchers bodies before the throw any baseball. It’s a simple dynamic warmup which includes running and stretching before stretching with the team. Like most coaches, this head coach and his minions are reluctant to any change in their program.

Currently my kid and two other pitchers are doing this “wake up” routine before practice. Lo and behold it works. They are more attentive at practice, more on their toes and generally feel better throughout practice.

This short warm up was suggested by my kids pitching coach to simply jump start the body.

Turn22, I do the same thing with my son. When I’m not coaching him, I have him conduct a dynamic warm up just before we head over to the field or we get to the field ahead of the assigned time and do it.

So many coaches cold stretch their kids, and it really bothers me. When I challenge it, they look at me like I have grown an extra head or something and defend their program with sentences like, “This is exactly what they do in the Varsity program or the in the Majors.” or they say “stretching is an important way to prevent injuries.”

No pre-game stretching for my son and he has the strongest arm and has the most endurance on the team. His arm is never sore and he’s never experienced arm pain EXCEPT after pre-game stretching.

The very first time I was not coaching my son, his coach had the team circle up for stretching before the game saying they were getting older and needed to take things more seriously than before and pre-game or pre-practice stretching was vital to preventing injuries. First arm pain and only arm pain my son ever experienced. I was furious when I found out. From that point on the coach did not change his program, so my son would do dynamic warm up before practices. While the rest of his staff experienced arm issues over the summer, my son did not. He was the one kid not swallowing this coach’s kool-aid and he ended up being the the pitcher to throw the most innings over the summer. Still this guy will not discard his pre-practice cold stretch.

[quote]“This is exactly what they do in the Varsity program or the in the Majors.” or they say “stretching is an important way to prevent injuries.”
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Paul that is a sure sign that a coach has no idea what goes on in Varsity ball or in the Majors. I can’t stand when coaches use these kind of statements, like they are an expert.

We currently have two of those on my son’s HSV coaching staff. One rarely started in HS and the other played two seasons in short A ball. The one who didn’t play in HS looks to the one who played short A ball as a baseball god. The short A guy thinks he’s a pitching coach, although he never pitched, and routinely gives very poor advice.

Luckily most of the players see through the ignorance and defer any questions or ask for help from more knowledgable sources.

I have no idea where some of those guys get their notions about pregame preparation at any level—but one day Eddie Lopat and I were talking about mechanics and such, and he demonstrated one guy who had no idea what he was doing. I burst out laughing and said, “This guy must have learned to pitch in a bathtub—” and we both broke up as we explored the mechanics, or lack of same, of a guy learning to pitch in a bathtub.
If you have ever been at a Yankees game and you have seen how the team gets warmed up, you will notice that the players will run and stretch and then get together for a concentrated stretch. Getting warmed up prior to stretching not only prevents injury but also gets them set for batting and fielding practice. I’m surprised that the guy who “played short-A ball” had no awareness of how to set things up. Any Little Leaguer could have done better than that. If Lopat had had the chance he would have put together a nice little compendium of “How Not To Coach”. :roll: :o

Turn and/or CP - would you mind sharing what you are having your boys do prior to practice and games. My son is 13 and out coach does nothing for warm-ups so it is up to me to make sure he warms up prior to playing or practicing. Right now I am just having him do some banding work, but I know that is not nearly enough.

For their “wake up” my guys,
-Run two poles
-2 90 ft. sprints
-2 90 ft high knees
-2 90 ft cariocas
-2 90 ft side shuffles
-2 90 ft walking lunges
-2 90 ft walking toe touches
-2 90 ft walking straight leg kicks

Sounds like a lot but it really isn’t. The guys complete it in about 15 minutes. Everything is done in twos, 90 ft out and 90 ft back = 2.

Then they stretch and throw to warm up with the rest of the team.

For younger guys you could go 60 ft.

I wouldn’t have the sprints that early in the rotation, but looks excellent otherwise!

Reasoning for the early sprints is the legs are warm and loose after the poles and just felt they would get the most explosive sprints earlier in the routine, along with increasing the blood flow for the rest of the “waking up” process.

Warm up? That’s my whole workout, where did you find that?!

Son’s PC uses the warm up and works pretty well for my kid and other guys on the team.

My sons teams limits throwing to short “longtoss”…I would classify this more as just a warm up playing catch session a couple of times a week. One 20 pitch bullpen between starts. So, not nearly enough throwing. No real mechanical instruction. The dynamic warmup is ok…although the coach leaves the starting pitchers to warm up how they like. Weight room twice some weeks, not at all other weeks. So, basically, not organized, not consistant or challenging enough, not enough throwing. Had one pitcher start and throw a complete game, hasnt been back since because he arm has never recovered. Had another guy complain of having hip pain…coach made him run after practice (to run it out)…ended up on crutches for a week, partial hip dislocation. Take your kids training into your own hands, there is a high percentage chance his high school coach is a moron.

fearsomefour,

Most who know me would say I’m the last person who’d defend coaches, but when I read things like what you wrote, I can’t help but comment.

Before you complain about what a HS coach does or doesn’t do, you need to understand that they aren’t ML managers with all the things they have available, especially a pitching coach who really knows what he’s doing. And even if they did have a guy like that, when would all this supervised throwing and instruction take place?

Once a HS season begins, even with only 2 games a week, there’s little practice time available. And what there is comes between 2PM and maybe 7PM. How many good pitching coaches don’t have to work? In my experience, not many, so its really difficult to get away from a job to get to the field for more than an hour or so at best on practice days. And once he gets there, what are the chances that the pitchers have nothing at all to do other than get individual instruction? In the end, a HS coach can’t often do a lot of pitching development. About all they can do is make sure the pitchers don’t get hurt for some dumb reason, like throwing 100’s of pitches in a game with little rest.

I happen to agree wholeheartedly that a parent should take his child’s training into his own hands, but the reason is that’s a parent’s responsibility, not the coach’s. I also don’t happen to agree that there is a high percentage chance of a HS coach being a “moron”. The only thing moronic is that they give so much of their time for so little!

There are certainly bad ones out there, but overall all they have the time and capacity for is to take the kids they get and teach them top play as a team, not develop them into the next ML HOF’r.

[quote=“scorekeeper”]
I happen to agree wholeheartedly that a parent should take his child’s training into his own hands, but the reason is that’s a parent’s responsibility, not the coach’s.[/quote]

Can’t disagree there but what does a parent do when coaches don’t allow outside training. A nearby community (fairly large school with horrible baseball program) forbids outside instruction during season. I know a couple of parents & a very good instructor who aren’t happy with the policy.

Mike, I know that situation all too well.

IMO we as parents need to take our kids best interest as number one priority. I’m sure there has to be a way around this rule. If not, then I would have to decide if I was going to break the rule for the benfit of my kid.

In my case I would, especially for his PC.

[quote=“Turn 22”]Mike, I know that situation all too well.

IMO we as parents need to take our kids best interest as number one priority. I’m sure there has to be a way around this rule. If not, then I would have to decide if I was going to break the rule for the benfit of my kid.

In my case I would, especially for his PC.[/quote]

What’s happening is many parents are tranferring kids either one year before start of high school season or moving if they’ve already started high school.
Many of the better players are leaving, most are coming to our community.

That very thing happened to me with my son back in 2000. When the coach told him that and he told me, I contacted the coach, made an appointment to meet with him, and when we met I had him tell me the same thing. Once he’d done that, I went to the next school board meeting and asked the Supt of Schools what he thought of it. The school board members and the Supt were more than incensed, and the next day I got an apology from the principal, the AD, and the coach for trying to control what I as a parent did to raise my son in the way I saw fit. In turn, I agreed not to allow his private training to interfere with the coach’s training.

The result may not always come out as well as what mine did, but when you allow yourself to have your principles compromised and to be cowered by a HS coach for no good reason, its your fault and no one else’s. I was prepared to have him booted off the team by having a very good civil attorney briefed and ready to commence litigation. I think it was one of the best life lessons I taught my children.

Much respect, Scorekeeper. I truly love to hear stories of guys that go to the wall for their kids.

Believe me, I never saw it as anything other than me fighting against something that was wrong. I sure can empathize with those in similar situation who fear reprisals on their kids for doing similar in a similar situation, and some coaches count on that to keep doing what they do. The trick is to make sure you go through all the correct procedures to find out the truth of what’s going on, then present it to the powers who can do something about it without making themselves look bad.

That’s why I skipped the AD and the principal. Its not that they weren’t competent people, but the coach works for the AD, and the AD works for the principal, and no supervisor wants to admit a subordinate has made a mistake because it makes them look bad. The way I went, gave the AD and principal the opportunity to take care of the problem without causing a big stink because it was dealt with as a district policy that wasn’t clear enough.

Scorekeeper…

Re reading my post I do seem a bit grumpy. I think I was doing a bit of projecting my own experience out into the general population. Not a fair thing to do. There are many coaches that are good and competent, there are some that are terrible, most are probably in the middle somewhere. My sons high school baseball experience has been marked with 4 coaches in 4 years. In short a FUBAR experience to say the least. Taking the huge leap that most people will have an experience as bad was shortsighted for sure.

“Before you complain about what a HS coach does or doesn’t do, you need to understand that they aren’t ML managers with all the things they have available, especially a pitching coach who really knows what he’s doing.”

I think there is a pretty clear understanding that a public high school is not going to have the resources of a pro/college organization. This is very clear to me as my sons school does not have indoor batting cages or mounds (which all but one other school around here does have…the money that was set aside in the budget for this was pilfered for other things), very limited resources. For my part I have donated field equipment, maintence services, balls, a pitching machine ect. in an effort to provide some support to the program. I stopped giving money when all the money that was raised ended up gong to the boosters, who did not see fit to use it for baseball. Limited resources, I get that.
The thing that rubs me the wrong way is having a coach or using your example a pitching coach who is very busy PRETENDING he knows what he is doing. Much better to be upfront about ones personal limitations and take it from there.

““Once a HS season begins, even with only 2 games a week, there’s little practice time available. And what there is comes between 2PM and maybe 7PM. How many good pitching coaches don’t have to work?””

They play 3 days a week. They have 10 1/2-11 hours of practice time available per week. Your are correct that it is very difficult to find people who can show up on a consistant basis to coach mid-day. As someone who works 50+ hours most weeks I understand this. I certainly dont expect miracle workers, but, running an organized practice shouldnt be too much to ask. My sons coach did have a staff of four, two have since been alienated by this coach and bailed, leaving just himself and as assistant who is 21 years old and has never played baseball. Not ideal. However, running an organized, focused practice is certainly doable. With a decent number of the guys specified as PO players inputting a consistant, decent throwing program should not be too much to ask for any coach. Guys standing around is unacceptable to me.

““I happen to agree wholeheartedly that a parent should take his child’s training into his own hands, but the reason is that’s a parent’s responsibility, not the coach’s.””

About this we agree in total.

““I also don’t happen to agree that there is a high percentage chance of a HS coach being a “moron”. The only thing moronic is that they give so much of their time for so little!””

Me saying “moron” was misguided like I said above. As far as time invested and return, if it bugs them, then dont do it. As someone who has donated tons of time to various “not for profit” activities while working up to 70 hours a week at that time, yes, it can be frustrating. But, if lack of money, atta boys or whatever bugs someone that is doing this then they shouldnt do it.
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