Who else thinks 13U is the toughest year

My son is playing 13U this year and man, what a mixture of boys and men. Our team has always been a little on the small side, but this year has really been tough going up against some man sized teams. We have a couple of kids that have gone through puberty (or at least I assume they have!), and due to their strength and size are getting a majority of the innings on the mound. My son is right in the middle of it now. Getting growth spurts here and there is really playing havoc with his coordination. He’s figuring it out though. Along with growing bodies you throw in the jump in base/pitching distance and, boy, what challenge for a young man. Oh, and don’t forget about the girls catching their eyes and taking their attention away from practicing! I guess it really doesn’t get any easier here on out does it?

Yes it does get easier. Once the later blooming boys get deeper into puberty they will start to catch up with the larger boys and also reacquire some of their earlier coordination. Sometimes the internal drive picks up a bit too and they begin working more on their own and enjoying the rather immediate response their body has to their efforts. I think 13u is easily the hardest year for many boys

Best of luck to yours,


I’ll agree 100% particularly for pitchers adjusting to being numba 1 in 12u…find at the new distance they are getting rocked…or can’t find the zone…oh yah big heapin helpings of humility dished out at 13 :shock:

Way toughest year.

Toughest part for my 13U son this year playing 14U ball is dealing with giving up runs. As he says, it doesn’t matter how they score, a run is a run. Through his first 16 inning, he’s given up 16 hits, and all are infield hits! Add in another dozen base runners due to infield errors, and some walks, pass balls, a few wild pitches, and mental mistakes by everyone, and every pitch is a stressful pitch. Of the 3 hits he gave up last night, all three were slow rollers that the defense gave up on. AUGH! He’s still getting the K’s, six last night in 3 innings, but it’s all of the stressful pitches and runs that is messing up his mind. It doesn’t matter that only two balls have left the infield all year, and both were caught. It’s the runs!

I’m beginning to wonder if he’ll make it through the year.

Big difference from striking out everyone at 12U.

Is there value to return to the wind up at this age. A little more velocity for the distance. Kids stealing less? My son pitches out of the stretch only.

Large diamond + slow to the plate deliveries= futility behind the plate. Runners stealing at will and advancing on passed balls and wild pitches galore. Umpires expanding the zone so much that hitters can’t tell the difference between strikes and balls. 4’ 70 lbs on the field with 6’4" 220 lbs and a full beard. 13u is just crazy.

I can only say that puberty, whether one is male or female or a two-headed green Martian, is like the measles or the chickenpox. It’s rough as heck, but usually we survive it. Those kids who can’t find the plate to save themselves will get through it. I remember when I was twelve and had been exposed to the mumps, and two weeks after I saw my first game—a doubleheader—I came down with it; fortunately it was so mild that I could even drink pineapple juice with no discomfort, and the doctor said that because it was early July, if I stayed quiet I could stay outdoors and sit in the sun.
And I got back into playing baseball as soon as I got over the inconvenience ofthe mumps. 8)

Best description yet!

Oh, and when I was talking about “doesn’t get any better” I was referring to the girls pulling their attention away. :slight_smile:

I’ve heard elementary school teachers say that 7th grade is the worst to teach - probably because of much the same stuff going on.

I can really relate to this because I was recently cut from my baseball team for being to small. I am 13 as well. Based on skill, effort and smarts I should have made it but they really wanted bigger kids. They have just motivated me more. Back when everyone was my size I could hit the furthest and throw the fastest but now that everyone has hit puberty and I haven’t I am considered under sized. It’s definitely a tough age but I just have to keep working hard until I grow.

Strong arm and anything resembling decent contact at the plate (without lunging at the ball) and your spot is secure. :smiley:

I’m gonna say the toughest for me was freshman year in hs. I mean I was a freshman on varsity and it was a growing process… It’s not an easy adjustment.

yes. i can attest to that. i taught 7th grade. I taught 8th graders also and surprisingly the 8th graders seemed so chilled and relaxed whereas my 7th graders were wild and crazy. They were nuts, never a dull moment to be sure.


I would have to say that Freshman year in HS may be tougher, if the pitcher is starting varsity games.

I was beginning to wonder if it was just our team!!! I’m 6’3", and two of the other coaches on the team are my height or taller…I’m fairly certain our boys will be about our height at some point…but currently, the only ones that tall seem to be on the other team.

One thing hard for us is we play our kids by the grade the grade they are in (7th grade going into 8th), but other teams just want to win and stack older kids on their teams…but truth is, we’re not the best team out there, but we just won our state tournament (against the 6 footers)…and baseball, fortunately, is not football…size can matter, but doesn’t have to.