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Old 11-14-2023, 04:27 PM
 
Location: USA
509 posts, read 780,656 times
Reputation: 460

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Quote:
Originally Posted by CorporateCowboy View Post
Nine is young; his velocity should improve (and be more consistent) in a year or two, particularly as he grows/gains body weight. There are other things he can do to improve relative to technique, posture and so on as well.

That said, who is teaching/guiding him - anyone? I’d be more concerned about poor advice and bad habits than speed at this point. Also, is he having fun and showing an interest of his own? I started pitching at a relatively young age myself, and I saw it take its toll on a few kids over the years as there’s a balance between optimal performance/development vs. the limited window/timeframe one has i.e. he will want to make the most of it sans risk for injury (and pressure from parents as well).

Physical maturation and muscular development is key relative to curveballs and sliders; he has a few years before thinking about that i.e. 14 or so. I’d recommend the next pitch (by about 10 or 11) be a change up.
Who is teaching him - mainly just his little league coach and his parents (me and his mom). But I don't give him much details since I never pitched. I just play catch with him and just try to get him acclimated to pitching in terms of seeing a batter and aiming and basic stuff like that. So I guess the one thing I do differently is that I stand there as the batter when he is practicing pitching so that he gets used to a human being there. So when a real batter steps up he's not thrown a new variable to think about. I see kids pitching strikes in warm up but then when the batter steps up it's wild pitches.

But this Spring when he pitches the batters will be better, so just a basic throw in the strike zone will result in a lot of hits, so I'm wondering how he can add a new element to throw off the stronger batters a bit.

Yes he's having fun. He likes pitcher over the other positions. Probably because he gets more action and he has a lot of energy so he likes action.

I've thought about getting him a pitching coach. But idk if it's worth it at this stage. He plays other sports too so has a good athletic foundation. He weighs about 63 lbs; kinda small for his age.
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Old 11-14-2023, 05:31 PM
 
Location: SF/Mill Valley
8,658 posts, read 3,853,671 times
Reputation: 5946
Quote:
Originally Posted by dustin183 View Post
Who is teaching him - mainly just his little league coach and his parents (me and his mom). But I don't give him much details since I never pitched.
You’ve asked some specific questions re: his next pitch and the like; hence, it appeared you were taking it to a level beyond Little League (or anticipated he wanted to); else, you’d be asking his LL coach (or not thinking about it at all).

Quote:
Originally Posted by dustin183 View Post
I've thought about getting him a pitching coach. But idk if it's worth it at this stage.
It depends on how much talent/interest he has. That said, I wouldn’t focus on a personal pitching coach; rather, there are leagues that lean more heavily into development/instruction at an earlier age that might help to determine such, if he’s interested. By 12 or so, many are playing elite/club ball. He may have no interest in such, but the direction is something to consider if there’s a possibility he’s headed in that direction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dustin183 View Post
He plays other sports too so has a good athletic foundation.
This is great, but your thread sounds as though you’re thinking about more than that; hence the reason I asked how he feels about it. :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
When my son played it bothered me how many Little League coaches favored kids who threw hard over kids with control.
Keep in mind they have to work with what they have, lol; when I was growing up, I didn’t have many teammates who wanted to pitch or catch - particularly 8u. My parents would tell me how I sort of fell into it by default. :-)
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Old 11-15-2023, 12:44 AM
 
Location: USA
509 posts, read 780,656 times
Reputation: 460
Quote:
Originally Posted by CorporateCowboy View Post
You’ve asked some specific questions re: his next pitch and the like; hence, it appeared you were taking it to a level beyond Little League (or anticipated he wanted to); else, you’d be asking his LL coach (or not thinking about it at all).

Little League gets kinda serious around here. Not in the fall but in the spring.
A lot of serious kids do travel ball in the fall and Little League in the Spring.

I know one coach who is unabashed about wanting to get to the Little League World Series.

I think the league does well in keeping things chill, but yeah from what I've heard from parents it gets serious in the Spring. They track scores and they all want to win the division and more.

No idea how serious my kid might end up with it. Soccer is his main sport now but he likes baseball, and his mom really likes baseball so she kinda pushes it.

For the next year or two I think he should keep trying different sports, but I know that kids have to specialize these days usually around age 13 if they are taking it serious. Be it baseball or soccer or basketball.

I think its good to try different sports between ages 5-10 let's say. This way they build up a good foundation of athleticism. Stuff like coordination, balance, reaction, speed, etc.
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Old 11-15-2023, 08:16 AM
 
Location: SF/Mill Valley
8,658 posts, read 3,853,671 times
Reputation: 5946
Quote:
Originally Posted by dustin183 View Post
Little League gets kinda serious around here. Not in the fall but in the spring.
At your kid’s age, I doubt it’s ‘serious’ for many. :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by dustin183 View Post
I know one coach who is unabashed about wanting to get to the Little League World Series.
Helicopter parenting (or thinking in terms of the parents’ goals) is not the same as seriously or realistically assessing a kid’s talent or interest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dustin183 View Post
For the next year or two I think he should keep trying different sports, but I know that kids have to specialize these days usually around age 13 if they are taking it serious. Be it baseball or soccer or basketball.
There’s no need to ‘specialize’; a good athlete tends to be good, no matter the sport - particularly relative to a high-school team; there’s a lot of crossover, but coaches (or parents) can play a significant part in influencing such a decision relative to scholarships and whatnot. I’m fortunate I had a positive experience overall; a few guys I know did not.

In other words, don’t be thinking about where your kid should ‘specialize’ (or what his next pitch should be); let him have fun i.e. he is nine! Consider the volume of kids who play on Little League vs. the number who play on their high-school team. You sound as though you mean well, but it can be a lot of unnecessary pressure at this point.
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