Should 12 year old with Travel and one yr of LL left play for the Schools Modified Team?


#1

I have a 12 year old who plays for 3 travel teams (2 for tournaments only) and still has a year of eligibility in LL. I have heard some horror stories about making the transition from the smaller field to the “big” field and how it can be frustrating. Timing for hitting can get messed up and pitching that extra 10’ can have an effect as well.

He is a fantastic pitcher and will be heading to Cooperstown twice this year as well as several higher end tournaments. Just interested in some opinions / experiences that anyone has had. I don’t want to say he CAN’T play, but I want him to understand that it could possibly lead to a frustrating season on both fields if he were to play modified.

Thank you!


#2

Unless he’s bouncing back and forth between the two field sizes, let him play. As long as he’s not pitching too much, go for it. Hitters usually adjust faster. Lots of pitchers get weeded out when the jump is made . increased pitching distance leads to accuracy issues coming into focus.


#3

Thanks for the feedback! Yeah, he would be. Modified season runs during May, same as LL and Travel ball starts in April. He has played on the big field and has even practiced with our college team on the big field for several years but he is already showing sign of struggling with command at 60’. He pitched well last year in the fall from 60’ playing with a 15u team. I am just worried that the frustration factor is a bigger issue. As a coach and an umpire would you say more kids struggle or make the adjustment to the transition?


#4

Small errors in accuracy are magnified over distance. A strike over the outer third at 46 feet is a ball at 60. One half degree variance is 1 foot of miss. One thing I do with pitchers is start throwing at 30-40 ft then extend out to 90 feet as they get loose, then reduce down to 60 to finish. That usually helps accuracy.


#5

I just might begin incorporating that in his warm ups. I do have him hit spots when he is warming up but that is only between 30 and 40 feet and only 3 upper left middle left and lower left and then the right side. Extending it out after may indeed be helpful! Thank you!