Pitching and other sports

My son just turned 11 and we have just finished with all-stars about 2 weeks ago.He now is the quarterback on the school football team.My question is should we still pitch baseball some through the week or just wait till football is over?

Good question. I was in a similar boat. My son will be turning 10 and after finishing all stars last month, we started our AAU Travel team. He is also playing football and it looked like he was going to be the quarterback. However, they have an 11 year old that is the QB. I was concerned about the different mechanics in throwing a football vs. throwing a baseball. During the early football practices, when he practiced at QB, I noticed a definite change in his pitching mechanics. Surprisingly, I was concerned about arm overuse, but his arm actually appears to be in great shape and getting stronger. In my experience, throwing the football did effect his pitching delivery.

I’d be interested in hearing from Steve and others on this topic.

Jon (10) is playing Fall Ball and football. Even though he shows talent at pitching, he can’t throw a spiral to save his life. Now I’m wondering if it is because of the difference in mechanics. I’m not too concerned though; Jon loves the defensive line and plays to hit hard and have fun. This winter he will play basketball and, ironically, he puts about as much arc on his free throws as a fastball! Baseball is his passion, all other sports are just fun.

From the age of 8-13, I played baseball in the spring and summer, soccer in the fall and basketball in the winter. Toward the end of the winter, I’d play a lot of catch to get the arm ready for the spring baseball season.

From the age of 14-17, I dropped basketball. I played baseball in the spring and summer. Soccer in the fall. In the winter I long-tossed and strength trained before school (at 6 a.m.).

During each season, I focused on one sport. So if I was playing soccer in the fall, that’s all I did. The benefit of that for me was that I continued to develop into a well-conditioned athlete, was able to utilize and develop different muscle groups (especially cardiovascular with all the running that took place on the soccer field), and avoided burning out on baseball.

So, is it OK to put the ball and glove on the shelf and play other sports at different points during the year? You bet!

Hi Everyone,

This is a good question that every good athlete has to deal with, especially pitchers.

My opinion:
Yes, the motion is different for quarterbacks and pitchers and yes, this will impact their throwing. However, playing multiple sports has a large number of other advantages that I think override this drawback. For this reason, I would let this concern go and let your son enjoy football. There will be plenty of time after the football season for him to get back in the swing of things with his pitching motion in baseball. In fact, to best avoid burnout and to keep his interest level in baseball high, it is probably best to forget about baseball until after football season.

Hope this helps,
Jack Elliott
Baseball Pitching Tips
http://www.baseballtrainingtechniques.com/Baseball-Pitching/

When I watch the top QB’s, their arm motion looks strikingly similar to a pitcher. Of course, they break their hands higher, but the rest is the same except for the follow-through. And that is only because they have all of those players standing in their way.

he should still pitch some. At the very least keep him throwing.

Yes the throwing motions are different. I played QB for 2 years in high school. I only concentrated on football during that season and once the season was over I concentrated on my pitching. It’s all about muscle memory. I also played third base, but when I played there my throwing motion was identical to me throwing a football. This is because playing the field and playing QB you both need a quick release. As a pitcher this is not the case. Also the throwing of the football will help him build arm strength due to the change in the weight.

Let him do what he’s comfortable doing…If he wants to get out and catch with the old man…go head.

If he doesn’t mention it…don’t force the issue. He’s eleven…the time will come when maybe he shows more promise in one sport than the other and you can concentrate on that. The three sport athlete is an endangered species. Let him find his niche and enjoy every minute that you can catching with him (football or baseball or snowballs for that matter) or watching him participate.

This is the fun part of being a dad…Keep it loose.

IMHO

don’t worry too much about how he does in fall ball because it’s hard to throw enough to stay sharp in the fall when you are playing and practicing football daily. fall ball is a time to work on a pitch, try out for teams in the spring, and work on new skills like switch hitting or a new position.

i would not throw after fall ball ends usually at the end of oct, until jan. then it’s time to get serious. long toss and bullpens every other day working into short cage games by the beginning of feb. this will get them ready to pitch in march. most guys will not do this but this is what it takes to be good.

when he hits 14 it’s time to begin serious weight training specific to baseball. you will need a gym membership and about 45 minutes 4 to 6 days per week if you want to run with the big dogs. it’s no big secret just enormous amounts of hard work.

nice comments, dusty!

i have a question that relates to this post.
Do college and pro scouts find it as a plus if a kid played or plays two sports?

my dearest friend is a full time scout for the royals and previously a national pitching cross-checker for the cardinals. he signed hearon who still calls him.

they are looking for great arms, simply raw materials, arm strength and size, good pitches and a loose motion. if you play other sports fine, but can you or can you not throw. he is honest with me about my son who is probably going to be about 6’ tall and right handed. that is marginal for a pitcher but if he can catch he is extra special. we are working endlessly on catching right now and pitch to help the team.

the only reason to try and blaze a new trail or lower percentage option (like pitching in the big leagues as an undersize righty) is if you have no other options.

this is the cold, honest truth in my opinon. that is one of the reasons it is so difficult to make it. don’t get discouraged, just know what you are up against. and anytime you can increase your odds, i would do it.

Wow, I like that…that’s exactly where we are with my son, now 10. Spring baseball, summer various camps, fall soccer, and winter basketball. Baseball is his favorite and best sport, and I get him out once a week to play catch or pitch or hit just to remember what it’s like. This fall he will also play in a very low-key once-a-week no practice Winterball (pretty funny here in SoCal when it can hit 90-100 some of the days) from Sept-Nov.

After my son’s Little League season, he was asked to try out for or join some club/travel baseball teams, and more than once I heard the “if you want him to make his high school baseball team, he needs to play baseball year round and drop other sports”. WRONG answer as far as I’m concerned. One, right now, I really don’t care if he makes his HS baseball team…I want him to be a kid, learn and love the game, and expose him to a variety of activities…and heaven forbid, they might not even all be sports! And two, you can’t tell me that soccer (or swimming or tennis, etc.) won’t be good for him athletically and help him in baseball.

My biggest frustration with youth sports is with parents who take it too seriously and push their kids too hard. Let them have fun…make it enjoyable for them.

[quote]After my son’s Little League season, he was asked to try out for or join some club/travel baseball teams, and more than once I heard the “if you want him to make his high school baseball team, he needs to play baseball year round and drop other sports”. WRONG answer as far as I’m concerned. One, right now, I really don’t care if he makes his HS baseball team…I want him to be a kid, learn and love the game, and expose him to a variety of activities…and heaven forbid, they might not even all be sports! And two, you can’t tell me that soccer (or swimming or tennis, etc.) won’t be good for him athletically and help him in baseball.

My biggest frustration with youth sports is with parents who take it too seriously and push their kids too hard. Let them have fun…make it enjoyable for them.[/quote]

Careful or you’ll be accused of ranting :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
This is a nice perspective and I’m hoping it catches on.

One year i took all fall for football and didnt throw till early jan, i wished i would of had thrown so if i was in this situation i would just let him throw not really pitch often but definately throw since the motions are different.

Nolan Ryan writes that he threw a football during most of his throwing workouts for about 15 min or so. The pronation required to throw a perfect spiral will most definitely program muscle memory that would be very useful in dialing up a good change-up or sinker. Watch all pro quarterbacks, when they throw their thumb ends up point down.

I heard Nolan Ryan also speak of using a football to get loose before games. If the throwing of a football messed up throwing a baseball, there is no way Nolan Ryan would have done it.

I also read a book by Nolan Ryan called Kings of the Hill where he tells how he was introduced to using a football to help his pitching.

I believe it was something that Tom Morgan suggested to him in 1992. Ryan was very skeptical at first, but tried it, and it worked. He had over 20 years in the game, yet was not against trying something new.

Furthermore, to quote Ryan from his book, “So now I throw a football between starts more than I throw a baseball.” Tom’s theory is that you can’t throw a spiral unless you have the proper mechanics. “…so even on the nights I start, I throw the football for about 5 minutes before I take my regular warm-ups.”

As a coach, I always have a football in my team bag. The boys have fun with it before practice as kids arrive to the field. I also use it for the youth outfielders as part of organized practice. At this age, any good arms are in the infield, so having my outfielders throw the football really helps them get the weirdness out of their throwing motion. They just think we’re having fun with a football. One critical thing is to be sure it’s the proper sized ball for the kids you are coaching.

I highly recommend it to be in everyone’s team bag!

[quote=“the_K_king#2”]i have a question that relates to this post.
Do college and pro scouts find it as a plus if a kid played or plays two sports?[/quote] Probably because it makes them more well rounded.