Kid questioning

I am coaching a team that is a bunch of 13/14 year olds. The other coach and I had a kid from a local juco ask if he could help. I do the pitchers and help with everything else. Anyway, I was talking with him about preceived velocity and he said that he is not sure if there is a thing. I said that I am a firm believer in it and explained to him that it is the same principle as pitching from a shorter mound. You still throw the same speed, you just do it from a shorter distance and that cuts reaction time down which makes the pitch seem harder because it gets by you quicker. Then he questioned me in throwing a curveball or change on 2-1. I dont do it all the time, but i like to change it up during fastball counts just so they wont set fastball on certain counts. I explained that to him and he didnt seem to get it. I mean, I am the head coach so there is nothing he can change but I want to teach him too. It is like he is holding on to “the book” for dear life. Any advice?

You could do the math to show him the reduction in reaction time for a given speed and a shortened distance. But it doesn’t sound like that will get through either. Maybe a demonstration is in order. Throw him some BP and part way through move up closer to him and see how he reacts. Make sure to move up enough and throw hard enough that he struggles to hit the ball.

If you can command other pitches why throw what the batter is expecting? Also, why get in a pattern where you always throw fastballs in fastball counts? And what about the game situation? Maybe a weak grounder is needed to turn a double play. Maybe the scouting report on the batter says he can’t hit curve balls. Maybe the previous two pitches were fastballs so that’s where the batter’s attention lies. There are lots of legitimate reasons for not throwing a fastball in a 2-1 count.

You make me feel a little better cause I thought I may be going crazy. Like I said before, everyone around he goes by the book and anything other than that is labeled as crazy. I have actually seen some local coaches let a great young pitcher go to waste because they believe that he needs a lefty to teach him how to pitch because he is a lefty. Can you believe that? Throw in the fact that I was a position player in college and you get people wondering what I know. I will try that and see if I cant lay some knowledge on him.