What would you value more as a parent


#1

As a parent, what would you value more for your child making the jump from the smaller diamond at 12U to the 90 foot diamond at 13U, staying with the same team your son is comfortable with or going to a new team that would allow your son to do more than just pitch and play catcher. Coaching is about equal. Only pitching and catching creates a dilemma about playing time because as I parent I won’t let him pitch and catch in the same game, so he ends up sitting on the bench more than other kids. Looking to next year already, son is already making comments about playing time and not really enjoying sitting watching baseball games several innings at a clip. Really asking as a parenting decision, which is more valuable in hindsight?


#2

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.


#3

Agree whole-heartedly with this being “the most dangerous time”. Many players around us (in the northeast in fact), including my son, had significant elbow issues during this age. Some with growth plate separation, some even had growth plate pinning/surgery. Surgery often performed because players (read: fathers) wanted quicker recovery. Totally meaningless age to determine or expect performance. Understandably difficult to prioritize “less (stressful) throwing” as more important than “playing time”. My 2 cents.


#4

[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.)


#5

Son was asked to catch in 12U, was already a pitcher. A wise man (& former catcher) told us at 12 years old time to decide between pitching & catching. Too much load on the arm & different throwing motions. Promptly gave up catching with no regrets.


#6

I’d favor the opportunity to play additional positions and get more playing time. 12/13 is too young, IMHO, to specialize in a position.


#7

Agree 100% should be playing multiple positions at that age. Don’t think they should be both a pitcher & catcher though.


#8

At 12/13, I don’t have a problem with pitching and catching as long as it is managed well which means also considering the jump in field size and lightening the throwing workload by mixing in time at other positions. The main reason I don’t like limiting young kids is because too much can change going through puberty and you can’t predict the position for which the resulting body type will be best.