Dear Coach Ellis,
My 14 year old son plays rep baseball in Ontario, Canada. He plays center field, catcher and closing pitcher. Last week he attended tryouts for our area all-star team that will play this summer in the Ontario Summer Games. On the last day of tryouts the coaches had him pitch an inning. He throws hard and was clocked in the low 80’'s, toping out at 85mph. The coaches immediately started making notes and called us that night to sign him to the team. My question to you is: What should I be doing to develop his gift? He is a fast runner and a good hitter so I would hate to limit him to just pitching. Any ideas and suggestions would be welcome.
Dear Coach Ellis,
First off welcome to the boards, always nice to see a fellow Canadian!
Couple questions first,
What distance is he pitching at? It’s been a while I can’t remember the Bantam distances.
When you asked about developing his gift, does he want to pursue Baseball? Make sure this is something he wants to do nothing worse then forcing it into him.
As far as how to develop him, make sure to get some quality instruction i.e. private lessons for both his hitting and pitching.
At that age its a good thing to develop both, once he climbs higher it will be harder and harder for him to balance both and eventually if he’s a pitcher they will take the bat out of his hand and vice versa.
I won’t be the last to tell you this, but I might be the first, if he truly wants to be a Pitcher, I strongly recommend he stop catching, the reason being its completely different mechanics to throw the ball. I had a friend in College he would catch 8 innings and then close the game out in the ninth. This lead to arm problems that ended his career shortly after he turned pro.
Get your son on a routine that includes time for baseball and school work. A major thing that is over looked is time management.
Get him on a weight lifting program that is BASEBALL specific.
Make sure he’s getting proper nutrition and rest.
Monitor his innings pitched and his overall throwing, check out the ASMI website for more details.
Be as supportive as you can it’s a long journey. Make sure he doesn’t get too high or too low. It really is a roller coaster ride.
I hope this helps.
If your 14 year old son really can throw 85, I’d say your son is doing a lot right already.
watch his pitch counts, a kid i knew threw that hard when he was young and coaches pitched him so much that it hurt his arm instead of building it. Id say 50 pitch maximum per outing for a 14 year old.
85, sign him up for some college showcase tournaments, at that speed he would be able to handle the stiffer competition…he is way above the norm. for 14u pitchers. Why is he only a closer, need to develop that speed into a starters role!