Playing above your level

Do you think it’s a benefit or a detriment to my pitching to be pitching in a league where the talent level is higher than where I currently am?
Im 16, and Im playing in a 16 and up league, with a lot of varsity players, legion players, college players, and guys who used to play in college or w/e.
I pitched once so far, went 3.2 innings, gave up 6 ER. The score is deceptive though. They found holes with ground balls and bloop hits, and I was killed by a bases loaded triple. Then got yanked, and the next pitcher let in my runner on 3rd. Ump screwed me over with the strike zone, and I got into some walk trouble.

It depends cause if you weren’t being challenged in any other league then theres no way you can get better. So by playing these type of ballplayers your going to have to improve your skills as a pitcher which is going to make u better. So I see no problem in it as long as you can’t find competiiton in a league for younger ball players. And just remember that everyone has bad games just come back your next start and show them you belong there.

As long as your aren’t loosing playing time I think playing up a level can be great.

Personally I saw my greatest improvements my playing years when I was with others well above my level.

Everyone has a bad game. Give it a good shot. In fall ball last year, it was majority varsity players. I started off like 0-8 then got 5 consecutive hits once I found my grove, even pitched successfully for some innings.

Another thing is I would assume guys on your team are older and/or above your skill level. This can be great, for one it generally means better gloves behind you, and for two I have often seen players play up or down to the level of talent around them.

After playing with those guys, think of how much better you’ll be when you go back to playing guys your own age.

One more thing is use the experienced players around you to your advantage. Watch them when they pitch and learn from them. They will probably be more than happy to help you improve your game.

I think you being in a league above you level could be a very good thing.I stress “COULD BE” because you are on a league where people are older and more importantly more experienced. Try learning everything you can to improve your game.

Yeah, currently I play on my towns Mickey Mantle (15-16yrs) and we’re in the State finals, and on this team, thats 16+. Im actually the only minor on the team lol, and there are only 3 teenagers. me (16) and two 19 yr olds. The catcher has been helpful, and the firstbase man was really helpful when I got into trouble he realized a mechanical flaw (shoulders opening too soon) and I think it was just because I was tiring.

get as much as you can out of the experience

In my experiences playing up a level is a good thing as long as you can compete at that level and you are getting the correct amount of playing time. When i was 16 instead of playing with the team i had been on for the past few years i went up to 18 and under in a real competitive league to try to get myself better. That year i got ripped around a few times in some big tournaments. My record was probably something like 4-5 while taking some beatings from some really good teams. It was a good learning experience for me though the next year against the same teams i was able to learn from my mistakes and had a really solid summer. It helped also alot that i had a strong off season in terms of preparing myself for the season.

My 13yr old is currently playing in the JV Summer AAU team and doing a great job batting leadoff and pitching. Even though he gets hit more than he does at his regular age level he is gaining alot of experience working the count and also keeping base runners on. He recently went to Steamboat where he then played with his regular age 13U players. Needless to say he dominated in pitching and also hit the ball very hard. There is no doubt in my mind that the 16u experience has helped him tremendously!

Took maybe about 30 or so pitches to adjust to the mound distance though.

For playing up to be worthwhile, you need to be able to handle it mentally, you need to be able to handle it physically (if playing up means moving up to a bigger infield), and you need to not sacrifice playing time. There’s no substitute for playing time.

Very Good quote, couldn’t agree with you more. :stuck_out_tongue:

Many moons ago I got in with a very high-level team which could almost have been called semipro if everyone had gotten paid. I was 14, and the other guys were somewhat older, mostly in their 20s, and they didn’t mind one bit because even with the limited stuff I had at the time I was getting the batters out. Over the next few years I acquired more stuff, and the fielders behind me did their job superbly, and we kept on winning games. It didn’t hurt that I had an absolutely incredible pitching coach—an active major leaguer—who helped me refine my stuff and become a better pitcher.
So I would say that playing “beyond your level” can be a most enriching experience. It was for me. We played major league rules all the way, which I liked, and it was a sad day when I had to stop playing because my work schedule had caught up with me—seventeen years later. 8)