[quote=“jdfromfla”]I’d mitigate his heavy arm usage in favor of a measured approach, the jump can really stress a pitchers arm. Build to it, so a variety of position opportunities that still let him get in “some” mound time is what I’d recommend. I consider this the most dangerous time for young pitchers and really don’t like to see them catch or pitch as the #1 period in that age range on the 60’6" field, get some pubescent muscle growth, build to it…nothing in these years means squat…he won’t make money or get a scholly…who cares about trophies particularly if the kid has the fever and some obvious talent.
Take the time to explain it so he understands.[/quote]
Good advice. Junior High School years mean diddly in the big picture. At 13U, my son pitched a total of 30 innings last year, and that includes scrimmages. He ended up the year as the 12th man on an elevan man team. The most wastefull, pathetic year imaginable.
Eight months later, as a freshman this year, he’s competing on the JV team with kids who throw upper 70’s to mid-80’s. These kids were all #1’s for their team. They’ve pitched a lot of innings and have all had arm injuries. Power, but wild and no control of their emotions. What the coaches are looking for is can the kid get outs, and handle the mental part of the game. During the early spring practice, my son has risen from the #5, to the #4, to the #3 and is already pushing the #1 kid to be the team ace.
In the coaches eye, it doesn’t matter that he only pitched 30 innings the previouos year, or sat the bench and watched his team pathetically lose game after game; he’s being graded on what he does now.
I should add, the High School coaches are too busy to see any JH games. They haven’t a clue of what the kids can do until they see them in practice.
I recommend getting him started on Dorfman’s books about the Mental Game of Baseball and the Mental ABC’s of Pitching. (I forget the exact name of the books, but look up Dorfman. You won’t be disappointed.)