What would you do?


#1

My son is 12 and the current team he is on used him in a tournament last summer to catch a whole game, pitch a whole game, and then catch another complete game in one day. We were relatively new to this team and I contacted the coaches and let them know that I have a different philosophy on pitching and that type of use is not what I want for my son. He was 11 at that time. Coaches assured me this type of thing would not happen again. In an early tournament this season my son pitched in 34 degree weather throwing approx 60 pitches. He was brought back the next day to throw again and he started off with 45 pitches in the first inning. He wasn’t pulled. He went on to throw about 12 pitches an inning into the fourth so he came back. He threw 45 in the first because a few batters took him full count and fought off quite a few pitches. I asked him how many curveballs and change ups he threw. Of about 75 pitches he thought he threw 15 or so curves and 2 changeups. He was sore the following day in his elbow and I met with our doc and he said it didn’t appear to be serious but to watch it. I told the coaches that I did not want him throwing curves and if he couldn’t get by on change ups, so be it. Another tournament a few weeks ago he threw about 70 in a complete game and was brought back to catch the next day. Again cold weather both days. He had a sore shoulder that day and told the coach but the coach left him in to catch for one more inning.

So, my question to you is how would you handle this situation? Not a big deal? Am I making too much of this?


#2

Travel team coaches hate this, but here it is …

http://www.abe.msstate.edu/Tools/baseball/articles/Prevention%20of%20Arm%20Injury%20in%20Youth%20Baseball%20Pitchers.pdf

This too, which addresses catching and pitching, but it’s only an abstract, you need to subscribe for the full text:

http://ajs.sagepub.com/content/39/2/253.abstract?rss=1

Incidentally, I have full text pdf versions of the above two articles. It would be nice if this board allowed attaching documents to our posts. If anyone wants either or both of these articles, let me know and I can email them to you.


#3

Without having to read what I’m sure validates this thought…run! Get the heck away from those moronic coaches.
ASMI also has made statements about this sort of ABUSE of a kids arm.
Always as a parent listen to your gut, you know they are using him wrong…it isn’t your fault if they cannot recruit enough players. Don’t let your son cover for their failure.
People try to portray Travel Squads as elite and thusly “worth” the wear and tear and sacrifice…Bull Dookey…I will say this every single chance I get…travel that early has very negative consequences that are hidden from view until it is way too late. Particularly for kids who catch and pitch. Most of those kids won’t get half way through high school before they finally trip off-line…knees, elbows, shoulder…I reallly hope that if you stay this course that you A) Get to know a very good Orthopedic surgeon, B) start a very high tier Medical savings account so which ever surgery he has to endure doesn’t put ya’ll into foreclosure and C) Don’t forget the additional alternate career plan.
Kids are supposed to have fun playing this game…what he experienced may have been painted that way but…well as your doctor said…watch it.


#4

As a dad of a 11U son who throws very hard, I am following the suggestion provided above in these threads and can honestly say limiting my son’s pitch count and exposure to “success” has not hindered his development.

He pitched a two-inning scrimmage last week, throwing 16 of 20 pitches for strikes, 5 Ks and no walks. And the four pitches he missed with were off by inches. He has more fun playing baseball (and basketball and drawing and singing, etc.) than any travel kid we know.

But there’s a lure to travel team ball that cries from every corner of the community, and the kid that’s not part of a travel team world is thought of as a “nothing” in this world. It is what it is. It’s not going to change in the near future. I’m fine with my “nothing” dominating their “somebody” It is what it is. Tonight’s scrimmage my “nobody” will face the greatest of all “somebody” the east has ever seen (according to TT groupies). And, my “nobody” already knows the outcome. It will be a “K”. And life will go on. The earth will continue to orbit the sun. The sun will continue to rise from the east and set in the west. The TT “somebody” will spend their $$, time and arms gathering bragging rights, and will walk away from the batters box several times a year with their heads down, depressed and rejected, 'cause they couldn’t hit a “nobody.” And they will get the same lecture from their dad as they did last year when they struck out against the “nobody”. My “nobody” will hang out with the worse kid on the team, and even their little brothers. The “somebody” are too important to stoop to my son’s level. We pamper “somebody”. “Nobody” has to make it on their own successes and failures. We live by our choices and beliefs.

This is my personal observation about travel ball kids and families. It is not necessarily the opinion of anyone else on this board. It may be different is different parts, but here, if you want your phenom (whether he is or isn’t is not relevant) to be “somebody”, then he must play travel ball.

Update: The two TT kids we played against tonight could play and hit as well as any I’ve seen. They’re the real deal. They’ve been taught excellent mechanics and can hit the ball. My son didn’t strike them out, and he was quite upset at his performance. They each hit a slow roller to an infielder for outs. He pitched two innings, 28 pitches, 20 strikes and 4Ks. No walks again, and no hitter received more than two balls on a count. One batter reached 1st on an infield error.


#5

I feel sorry for a couple of the posters in this thread and their experience with travel ball. I can assure you it’s not what it is portrayed here (this board) everywhere.

On our team the pitchers aren’t used as catchers, aren’t asked to throw to many innings (even if it means a loss), and there’s no “win at all cost” mentality.

It is an opportunity for some of the stronger players from the area to play the stronger players from other areas. Nothing more.

Look for another team. Surly ours isn’t the only one not run by Satan and his minions.


#6

I don’t think anyone is satan necessarily…but even you see how crazy this is Some…
I mean YOU modified your sons baseball behavior after giving it consideration.
The problem as you well know is the peer pressure and the inference that your kid isn’t in the top tier if he doesn’t play travel. I didn’t create that impression…and btw my personal experience with travel was absolutely positive…but we didn’t travel until he was 16 and getting serious college looks (And of course he was completely healthy, no lingering injury and he was still hungry to play and compete)…do you think those colleges gave a flying poop as to what he did acheivement wise pre-puberty? Well…yes they sort of did…some coaches drop a kid in his place level because of over-use. My comments come from 30 years of watching the industry start up until now…lots of money, a whole bunch of baggage and the final bottom line is nagging injury, poor attitude and an early end…do exceptions happen??? Very certainly they do…you have just as much chance at any game of chance…but your kids future physical capabilities aren’t on the line.
Some, you’ve convinced me that you are indeed the exception to the rule when it comes to coaching and parenting in this area. 1 out of hundreds who won’t hesitate to do the crap this kid had pulled on him or the going back to back or back to back to back or any number of the abuse scenarios out there. It doesn’t change what “normally” happens, nor will it alter my attempts to at least inform people that they may want to at least consider it, as you did and perhaps drop one of the teams or amount of innings so early in the kids path.


#7

And by the way Some you aren’t the only Travel Coach/Parent here…Mr. Roger Tomas also coaches Travel, but imo he does it correctly also.


#8

Original poster–
I think some here are jumping to conclusions without knowing more of the situation? Tell me more about the curveballs you are concerned about? 75 pitches in a day for 12 year olds is about right assuming 16 appearances in a calendar year. The ASMI wants 1200 or fewer “live” pitches from the mound, and our metrics they have provided us for that age as a guide say 73/outing off full rest, for your average kid. 15 curveballs equates to 20% of the pitches thrown, so not an incredible number either. Tell me, are his coaches teaching him to finish in pronation? If so, and he is doing it correctly, then that seems very reasonable, and actually conservative from most youth coaches. What is your concern there? If thrown with a finish in pronation, the curveball has no ill effects compared to a fastball.

Also, tell me more abou the catching situation. The arm is not what I’m concerned with for a catcher because the throw to 2b is no different than a throw from 3b to 1b. Was your son physically drained in the legs? Would it have been more beneficial to just have him sit out completely after P for his 5 days? Just curious there as to what you wanted to see or would be expecting. To me as a coach, I’d be more concerned if he was catching the day after pitching in 95 degrees and his body was worn down from the day before


#9

[quote=“CoachA”]Original poster–
I think some here are jumping to conclusions without knowing more of the situation? Tell me more about the curveballs you are concerned about? 75 pitches in a day for 12 year olds is about right assuming 16 appearances in a calendar year. The ASMI wants 1200 or fewer “live” pitches from the mound, and our metrics they have provided us for that age as a guide say 73/outing off full rest, for your average kid. 15 curveballs equates to 20% of the pitches thrown, so not an incredible number either. Tell me, are his coaches teaching him to finish in pronation? If so, and he is doing it correctly, then that seems very reasonable, and actually conservative from most youth coaches. What is your concern there? If thrown with a finish in pronation, the curveball has no ill effects compared to a fastball.

Also, tell me more abou the catching situation. The arm is not what I’m concerned with for a catcher because the throw to 2b is no different than a throw from 3b to 1b. Was your son physically drained in the legs? Would it have been more beneficial to just have him sit out completely after P for his 5 days? Just curious there as to what you wanted to see or would be expecting. To me as a coach, I’d be more concerned if he was catching the day after pitching in 95 degrees and his body was worn down from the day before[/quote]

On the curveball issue, I am in no way saying that throwing a curveball caused his elbow to hurt. I just feel that at 12 years old if he can’t get by on his changeup then he shouldn’t be pitching. We spend no time on the curveball when we practice - my son and I. He gets no time in team practice to work on a curveball. He like most 12 year olds cannot and will not master the curve so I have him focus on changeups, 4 seams and 2 seams and he gets by fine with that alone.

On the 75 pitches in one day, he threw about 60 the day before. Keep in mind on this team we have 5 + catchers and every kid pitches. I was a little concerned about that but what concerned me more was 45 pitches in one inning.

When it comes to catching I am not concerned about throwing down to 2nd at all. I caught throughout my time playing and I have always taught my kid that catchers go balls out every time. He blocks hard, he chases hard, he covers hard and he throws back hard. It’s hard to change that mentality and tell him “well in this case just don’t go so hard”. Again, this team has 5 catchers. But the main concern here was he told the coach his shoulder was sore and they caught him for one more inning after knowing he was sore.

As for the first instance of catch, pitch and catch in the same day there is not one person anywhere that could justify that for an 11 year old kid. This is in the Midwest in the end of June, 85 - 90 degrees, 90% humidity, etc.


#10

[quote=“ttarney”][quote=“CoachA”]Original poster–
I think some here are jumping to conclusions without knowing more of the situation? Tell me more about the curveballs you are concerned about? 75 pitches in a day for 12 year olds is about right assuming 16 appearances in a calendar year. The ASMI wants 1200 or fewer “live” pitches from the mound, and our metrics they have provided us for that age as a guide say 73/outing off full rest, for your average kid. 15 curveballs equates to 20% of the pitches thrown, so not an incredible number either. Tell me, are his coaches teaching him to finish in pronation? If so, and he is doing it correctly, then that seems very reasonable, and actually conservative from most youth coaches. What is your concern there? If thrown with a finish in pronation, the curveball has no ill effects compared to a fastball.

Also, tell me more abou the catching situation. The arm is not what I’m concerned with for a catcher because the throw to 2b is no different than a throw from 3b to 1b. Was your son physically drained in the legs? Would it have been more beneficial to just have him sit out completely after P for his 5 days? Just curious there as to what you wanted to see or would be expecting. To me as a coach, I’d be more concerned if he was catching the day after pitching in 95 degrees and his body was worn down from the day before[/quote]

On the curveball issue, I am in no way saying that throwing a curveball caused his elbow to hurt. I just feel that at 12 years old if he can’t get by on his changeup then he shouldn’t be pitching. We spend no time on the curveball when we practice - my son and I. He gets no time in team practice to work on a curveball. He like most 12 year olds cannot and will not master the curve so I have him focus on changeups, 4 seams and 2 seams and he gets by fine with that alone.

On the 75 pitches in one day, he threw about 60 the day before. Keep in mind on this team we have 5 + catchers and every kid pitches. I was a little concerned about that but what concerned me more was 45 pitches in one inning.

When it comes to catching I am not concerned about throwing down to 2nd at all. I caught throughout my time playing and I have always taught my kid that catchers go balls out every time. He blocks hard, he chases hard, he covers hard and he throws back hard. It’s hard to change that mentality and tell him “well in this case just don’t go so hard”. Again, this team has 5 catchers. But the main concern here was he told the coach his shoulder was sore and they caught him for one more inning after knowing he was sore.

As for the first instance of catch, pitch and catch in the same day there is not one person anywhere that could justify that for an 11 year old kid. This is in the Midwest in the end of June, 85 - 90 degrees, 90% humidity, etc.[/quote]

That’s what I was asking for, more context. To each their own in terms of what you’d like to see your son throw. I agree completely that not enough kids master the changeup, and it should be worked on at a much higher rate for youth. I don’t believe you’re correct that a 12-year old can’t master a curveball however, as I’ve coached more than 1 who has thrown it safely, and accurately with real spin and bite. I do believe that changeups are a more important pitch to work on in practice, but I certainly wouldn’t hold it against a coach if he called 15 curveballs in 75 pitches. That’s a safe regimen…

In terms of catching/pitching/catching in a summer day, I think we all can agree that is an incredible workload on a body, and one most coaches would avoid. Was that the first time that has ever happened or has it happened with other kids as well on this team?

Given that is how you have taught your kid, I’m sure he plays that hard from every position. As long as his legs and body aren’t showing fatigue, I think he is okay catching the day after pitching. Describe the soreness in the arm, or what he said to the coach? Was it the back of the shoulder or front? Tightness or what? That makes a big difference in terms of “what” is causing the soreness, and sometimes its lactic acid that can be worked off by playing catch. Did the soreness linger for the next few days throwing after?


#11

What isn’t understood about this madness?

Or maybe you think this is ok?;

Please explain what it is that people aren’t getting here instead of just acting like people don’t somehow have the grip you do.


#12

Let me say this, this is the top select team in our state - granted not that big of a deal in our state but it is what it is. We have 12 kids and all can pitch, 5+ can catch. No top select team should have this issue. Our top 4 kids are all about equal and the next tier is about equal and so on.

So when you are on a select team this statement just doesn’t make sense. He’s sore and it doesn’t matter how sore, where he’s sore or any of that when you put him behind the plate. He plays 3rd, catches, 1B, Pitches and left field…#1 option is to sit him in my opinion, 2nd option is 1B, after that there are no more options for a 12 year old with a sore shoulder…period, especially behind the plate. Again, a select team with 5+ catchers.


#13

What isn’t understood about this madness?

Or maybe you think this is ok?;

Please explain what it is that people aren’t getting here instead of just acting like people don’t somehow have the grip you do.[/quote]

It is safe to say, and I’ve already said it, that catching/pitching/catching is not a theory I’d subscribe to. That is why I asked is this something that happens commonly, to other kids, etc? Or was this a one-time event. I’ve coached for 12 years, and have done my best to work around situations like this one. Since this was addressed already, I have stemmed my questions in other directions. Some people here are saying RUN right away. Meanwhile, I’m more interested in the details of other parts of his post. We can all agree a C/P/C situation in 3 games for 1 day is a workload that is above and beyond ideal.

For the second piece of this, there is more context needed. What was his workload coming into that weekend? How about after? Did he have a full 5 day rest? Is this a common occurrence? Was he throwing off a full-sized mound, which is what the AMSI guidelines build off of, or was it flat ground, which literally makes minimal impact to the arm (ie- why Peyton Manning can throw hundreds of passes a day, infielders can take hundreds of ground balls, etc.) I’ve been around baseball and coaching for too long to just blanket statement something as “bad”, without more context. I’m asking the original poster to explain what he’s looking for, and give us the full details, before giving an opinion. Not sure why some of you haven’t done the same and just jump to a conclusion.


#14

I appreciate everyones input on this. I want you to know that I didn’t want to get in any details and just really wanted to give you the highest details just to see what you all thought. There are issues on both sides but without knowing all of the low level details of what has happened I just wanted an opinion on those highlights what you thought about those things for an 11 / 12 year old.

CoachA I understand your wanting to question this but at 12 years old sore is sore. Throwing back to back days when 12 didn’t sit with me. Throwing 45 pitches in an inning when 12 doesn’t sit with me. And obviously C/P/C in one day definately doesn’t.

One thing I was looking for was if anyone saw a pattern. Granted the C/P/C thing hasn’t happened after I questioned it but these other things signal a pattern with me and I was curious if anyone would see that also.

Thanks again.


#15

See I don’t get the waffleing…there isn’t any ambiguity here…this is bad, no other adjective fits…abuse, though used works also.
When you speak of context, you are correct and I’d agree…this instance though isn’t one of those instances. We see a continual disregard for the health of this kids arm…as a 12 year verteran coach you likely haven’t seen a Travel Squad working off of a flat ground situation (As in my 30 years of coaching I have not seen this, with Illinois being one state where associations generally use flat ground situations until high school but not travel teams).

So it is your opinion that there may be some context where pitching a kid in a tourney situation…in the cold for 65 pitches on one day and return to throw 75 the very next??? What context would make this ok?


#16

Fair enough original poster. Without getting into the “details” that we want to leave out here, I’d take a look at the questions I posed regarding pitching, ESPECIALLY the flat ground/minimal mound vs. full size mound, and then what his work load was directly after that, before getting into it too much. 43 pitches in one inning means your boy was struggling a touch, and is a large load for one setting off a full size mound. If it was flat ground/virtually no elevation, then its not as big of a deal. Those are important details before calling foul that most don’t see. 135 in one weekend is too many at 12 off a fullsize mound, we can all agree there.

As for the soreness, I think I’d have to ask the question of “when” did your son bring up that he was sore? And if it was general shoulder stiffness caused by lactic acid, its safe to say throwing is a great way to alleviate it. That’s why I asked what the next few days felt like. There is a huge gap between “lactic soreness” and “ligament soreness”, and they mean two totally different things.

Good Luck to your son and his teammates!


#17

See I don’t get the waffleing…there isn’t any ambiguity here…this is bad, no other adjective fits…abuse, though used works also.
When you speak of context, you are correct and I’d agree…this instance though isn’t one of those instances. We see a continual disregard for the health of this kids arm…as a 12 year verteran coach you likely haven’t seen a Travel Squad working off of a flat ground situation (As in my 30 years of coaching I have not seen this, with Illinois being one state where associations generally use flat ground situations until high school but not travel teams).

So it is your opinion that there may be some context where pitching a kid in a tourney situation…in the cold for 65 pitches on one day and return to throw 75 the very next??? What context would make this ok?[/quote]

I haven’t waffled once on the C/P/C situation. I just didn’t address it directly without asking if that was a pattern, or a one-time instance, and if it was only his kid who dealt with that. As for pitching 135 pitches, yes, I do believe there is context there per my post above. I’ve coached in tournaments that do utilize small portable mounds that are similar to flat ground setting. Throwing from a flat ground setting adjusts pitch counts. In your 30-years of coaching, I’m surprised you haven’t seen the portables that are 1" elevated with no real downward angle. Tournament complexes around here have almost nothing but those…


#18

[quote=“CoachA”]As for the soreness, I think I’d have to ask the question of “when” did your son bring up that he was sore? And if it was general shoulder stiffness caused by lactic acid, its safe to say throwing is a great way to alleviate it. That’s why I asked what the next few days felt like. There is a huge gap between “lactic soreness” and “ligament soreness”, and they mean two totally different things.

[/quote]

I think have pretty much summed up my thoughts. The next few days? He’s 12, he told the coach his shoulder was sore and until we have a team doctor/trainer to evaluate him sore is sore and he shouldn’t be throwing. I think everyone else gets the point. I think you need to realize these are kids and someone earlier mentioned to go with my gut and I am going to do that.


#19

I’ve seen portables…not one I’ve ever thought were a “good” thing as imo it doesn’t provide a solid enough base to work from and it is impossible to get real “purchase” with vinyl cleats on those things.
Coach, I wasn’t, and don’t wish, to beat on anyone (Particularly a new poster…Welcome :smiley: , we appreciate your input and perspective) but I feel this was as unambiguous a situation for a 12u kid as I’ve seen…taken without the first scenario…the second would still bring huge warning flags out…taken together, it is an indication to me that the “coaches” will go to that well any time it is convienient…now a parent with the experience of Somebaseball Dad would have told those supposed coaches to pound sand…I wished to provide enough validation for this parent/poster to also have that power…so I’m not being very charitable to the scenario painted…
Just so you know where I’m coming from here.


#20

I haven’t been coaching for 12, or 30 years but it doesn’t take that experience to tell that’s a lot of throwing. I wouldn’t allow that many arm swings.

Given that I’d expect there to be some soreness, but sore is different than hurting. Heck after a 80 pitch weekend my son’s arm is sore. But nothing a little protein, some running, and a little rest won’t cure. That’s also one of the reason’s we don’t do LL. Just to much load. Now once the weekend is over I control when and how much he throws again.

This statement I don’t get, especially when delivered in the same post as you being a top TT in your state. Because here 12’s have very good to excellent control of their curves. I find it to be a very valuable pitch for my son. The idea to me is to get through the game with as few pitches as possible, and the curve definitely helps accomplish that.