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What should you do if a baseball coach won’t allow your kid to pitch?
My son plays baseball for a non try out team ages 10-11. This is the age group that the players start pitching for the first time. Younger levels a pitching machine is used. My son has asked the coach if he could pitch in a game and the coach’s reply was no. At the beginning of the year he did assessments/metrics to look at abilities of the players. This was my son’s first time out practicing other than the two times he and I went out to throw the ball around(snow was still on the ground). He was quite rusty and performed average.
I really like the coach. He provides praise to all kids for their efforts. This has been passed on to all the players. They support each other and cheer one another on regardless of performance. This is awesome. The problem that I have(and correct me if I am wrong), at this age level I think all players should get a chance to play in every position. They may love that position and want to strive to perform better there or they may say no that is not something that I like.
I talked briefly to the coach after a game and his position was that not everybody gets the chance to pitch or catch. He said he is willing to try to develope kids into these positions but not during game time. At this age isn’t it important to have them feel like they are given a chance and help facilitate s love for the game. Let the kids make mistakes this is where they learn from. Without the experience of playing a position how will they grow and get better. The coach comes from a highly competitive(AA and AAA) background and is concerned about making the cities. The season is a week away from being half over.
My son is quite patient but is very upset that he is not even being given a chance to pitch in a game. Should I press this matter with the coach or is this how baseball leagues a run now.
Thanks for the question. I really think a big point of consideration here is what is the mission of the team/league. If it’s a highly competitive travel team, while I’m not sure I would do it the same way, it seems like it’s the coaches choice to make. If it’s a rec league, I vehemently disagree with his approach.
As a coach, I see it as my primary responsibility to give kids the opportunity to learn the game and make sure they have enough fun that they want to play again next year. Pitching is probably the number one thing all kids want to do.
I currently coach a travel team in a fairly competitive league. To avoid the issue you are having, I schedule practice games to make sure all of my players get the opportunity to do things they want to try in an atmosphere that won’t affect our chances to win our division or a tournament. I also have all of our players train his pitchers during the off-season. Again this is because I think that is what is best for the kids. Plus, younger players can quickly progress from a pitcher who struggles to a pitcher you want in your rotation with a few lessons or just by simply practicing at home.
My final thought on this is issues like this can be avoided with good communication. I think coaches and leagues should be very clear with what their objectives are before tryouts or sign-ups. I try to communicate with our families so they know what to expect. My hope is that will avoid hurt feelings and help them communicate with their player what to expect from my team.
And one tip, make sure he’s ready when he gets his chance. Make sure he’s pitching on a regular schedule in your yard. And make sure he understands and knows as much as he can learn about pitching. if you haven’t checked it out already, I would start with our ultimate guide on pitching.
I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have anymore questions or if I can help in anyway.
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