[quote=“AidansDad”]My son is a 12 year old non-travelling player. My son’s Coach has told him that when he pitches to never throw anything other than a 4SFB. My son is an advanced pitcher who can throw 4 pitches for strikes and is developing a 5th. Does anyone agree with this? Also how do I bring it up with the coach without looking like the overbearing Dad?
If you are wondering, Aidan throws a 4SFB, 2SFB, OKChange, Knuckleball and is working on a KnuckleCurve or SpikedCurve.[/quote]
What I’ve done to shred the overbearing dad tag is to help out the coach in any little way he needs, and be the team’s pitching coach.
Regarding the coaches stance on only 4SFB, could it be his concern revolves more around throwing strikes and limiting the number of walks than anything else. Maybe from his experience he hasn’t had much luck with kids throwing strikes and being a pitcher. Only way to find out what the foundational issue is would be to talk with the coach.
I also recommended each of our returning pitchers to focus on the 4SFB and 2SFB and forget the other pitches. Why? None of these 12 YO had command of any pitch, and the velocity difference between their 4SFB and the off-speed pitches was non-existent. They are talented athletes, but they’re not yet pitchers. But, I would never say never pitch anything but a 4SFB. A good change up is needed to make the 4SFB effective. The problem I’ve seen with only 4SFB is it’s too easy to tee off on if it’s the only pitch and is thrown straight without any movement. The 2SFB is a good balance at his age, but seems harder for most to control.
On the other hand, this is the 1st year in the Majors for my two sons, and both will have the chance to pitch. It is also the 1st year for my 12 YO to be a pitcher. We’ve worked quite a bit in the back yard this spring on mechanics and having a pitcher’s attitude. In this short time he has gained command of an average 4SFB, 2SFB, palm ball and a nasty sinker. For him, the sinker is the strike-out pitch that came easily for him and the palm ball keeps the hitter honest. The four pitches work well together keeping the hitter off-balance. His 4SFB isn’t good enough to get the best hitters out, but when he mixes it in with the off-speed palm and the sinker, he can keep the hitters off-balance and is very effective. And it was the unexpected command of the sinker that put him in the rotation. My 10 YO has the leagues best 4SFB, and an excellent 2SFB. He’s getting more comfortable with the knuckle-curve, but doesn’t use it yet. Since he’s only 10, he goes straight at the hitters with the 4SFB and nothing else. His 1st game this year he struck out all the hitters he faced, including a couple of the best TT hitters in the area.