Looking for guidence

[size=9]I’m 15 and just now starting my sophomore year in high school. My apologies if the questions that follow seem childish. I honestly haven’t pitched in a while, at least on a team, not since elementary school due to problems with finding a team but I really want to get back into it. I’ve been practicing for a few months now, going though drills, working on form, and trying new pitches I didn’t have before and I have very good control now. My main concern is what high school baseball is like and what exactly I should expect if I join the team and mostly try not to walk around like an idiot because I don’t know the correct process. I’m asking on here because none of my friends play baseball for the team either and the jocks that do won’t even talk to me.
What drills are run? I ask because I have exercise educed asthma and long running drills have left me collapsed on the ground before. That’s one reason I like baseball (like 80th on the list though :slight_smile: ) is that most running is a relatively short sprint which is within my abilities. And I know that for some reason high school coaches have in their minds that more running= better endurance which for me doesn’t work. Endurance is the longer and more efficiently you use energy. I just have a vascular issue that is viewed as an excuse to get out of running.
What typically happens with high school pitching? Varsity vs. JV? Pitch counts if any? does velocity matter? what kind of pitches are you expected to throw? Average time consumption? I’ve missed a lot and would like to know if I should do it or not or just keep pitching to a broken fence. Also anything else I should know would always be helpful.[/size]

Dragon27, there is no such thing as a stupid question. First off, let me just say that alot of what you are asking depends upon your school. Many coaches do different things. For example my coach always had us run poles at the end of every practice, we rarely ran sprints. Talk to the head coach at the school.

In regards to talent level, again it depends on alot of things: how big is your school, what kind of levels are there (is it just JV and Varsity or is there a 9th grade team?), and whats the talent like in the area.

But in regard to your skill level, the death of a high school pitcher is walks. It is not tolerated at all, nothing will get you pulled quicker. One of the biggest guarantees of success is the ability to throw a breaking ball for strikes. If you can throw get me over curves for first pitch strikes, you will be tough to hit.

Velocity is nice in high school ball, but is not absolute crucial. One of the best pitchers I ever faced threw about 80, but he commanded two off speed very well and kept out team off balance the entire game.

May I chime in?
I agree 100% about bases on balls—I don’t even like the intentional ones, and when I played I would avoid them whenever possible. On occasion someone has spoken about intentionally walking a very dangerous hitter who bats .400 to get at a very weak .200 hitter—but they failed to mention that this strategy will often backfire, because a pitcher can get very careless with a .200 hitter and feed him a cookie, and if that batter gets hold of said cookie it’s BLAM, over the fence! Many was the time I would come into a game in relief and find myself facing a particularly dangerous hitter, and I chose to go after him—to challenge him, so to speak, even though I didn’t have a fast ball—and I got him out, because he wasn’t expecting what I threw to him.
And it’s true, sheer speed doesn’t matter all that much, and those coaches who insist that velocity is the only thing are only fooling themselves. Unless the pitcher is someone like Joe Page—he was a Yankees relief ace who probably ushered in the era of the closer, and he had one pitch, a fast ball 97 or better—I would prefer to have on the mound someone who just barely hits 90 but who has good stuff and excellent command, because it can be a lot easier to deal with a batter who’s looking for a fast ball—and who gets everything but. This is true at all levels of the game, even in the major leagues—I remember guys like Harry Brecheen, Murry Dickson, Ed Lopat, Whitey Ford, and now Jamie Moyer; none of them were, and are, particularly fast, and do they ever make batters look stupid!
The rest, as you said, Priceless, is pretty much a matter of what the different coaches are looking for, what they expect. If a pitcher—and I am speaking from observation, because I never played high school ball but always played on a pretty much professional level, even in the sandlots—has what it takes and shows good stuff, good control, and a lot of moxie, there will always be a place on a team. :slight_smile: 8)

Welcome Dragon!

Yes, there is a ton of information to learn, but coming to a place like this is a great start.

For someone in your position, I would reach out to the coach if I can before the season and learn what expectations he has so they’re aren’t any surprises. It would also be an opportunity to explain any limitations you have (asthma is a completely reasonable thing).

As far as the baseball side, if you lay out where you are as sincerely as you did here, I would hope that any coach would understand, willing to help, and give you a chance.


Very true. A coach who is really worth his salt will take these things into consideration, will take the time to find out where you’re at and where would be a good place to start.
Ed Lopat was a guy who would take the time to work with any pitcher, from Little League to the majors, who was interested, who wanted to know and who was willing to work at it. The day I asked him about the slider, I thought I just wanted to know something about the pitch, but he sensed that I was really interested, actually serious, and that what I really wanted—actually needed—to know about that pitch was how to throw it, and so he took the time to show me how to throw it. And so began a wonderful pitching relationship; he took me in hand and worked with me, and I became a better pitcher as a result. When you find a coach like that, hang on for dear life. 8)