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Thread: 10u Rec. Pitching - How Much Suffering Is Too Much?

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    I'm a fan robertc3's Avatar
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    Default 10u Rec. Pitching - How Much Suffering Is Too Much?

    I am gearing up for my first season as head coach of a 10u rec team (Little League Minors). I have been the head coach at various lower levels for the last four seasons, but this will be my first year coaching full time player pitch. I have no idea what I will have for pitching as we are still a couple of weeks away from tryouts, but I expect there will be times when the girls struggle to throw strikes!! I really donít care if we post a 15-1 or a 1-15 regular season record. That being said, it isnít in anyoneís best interest to let a nine year old suffer through an eight walk (we have a five run limit) inning. How have others handled this issue? I am not looking forward to the prospect of pulling a pitcher in the middle of an inning, nor to watching everyone loose interest in the game as the pitcher struggles to throw strikes. Three of the girls who will likely be my pitchers, one of them being my daughter, take pitching lessons together and I am the catcher for the group. They are making progress, but I can see that at the beginning of the season there will be some struggles. Any experiences you can share are appreciated.

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    I can talk softball all day inde53546's Avatar
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    We donT allow walks in Rec. coach pitch after ball four. Frustrating at times. Some kids do just sit expecting a walk and wait for the coach to come in though.

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    We brought in the coach after four balls last year, but this year that is not an option. Last year I think our players got maybe eight hits and a couple of strike outs off of the opposing pitcher. It was nice for the pitchers because there was no real disappointment if the coach had to come in, but the pitching was so poor that made it really hard to teach the girls to hit someone other than me.

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    Super Moderator Amy in AZ.'s Avatar
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    10U are quite capable of pitching. Get Bill Hillhouse's DVD and teach them. Does your own daughter have a pitching coach?

    Also, there is nothing wrong with pulling a pitcher, mid inning. Do it often enough and they will get used to it. Always have a 2nd girl warmed up and ready to go, though. As a pitcher's mom, If she didn't deserve to be in the circle, I didn't want her out there.
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    I eat, sleep and breathe softball GOINGDEEP's Avatar
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    I agree with Amy. And if it makes you feel any better, mine is 17 and I have pulled her in a heartbeat her whole life if she is "off". You're just going to need to get use to pulls, they do get easier.

    Now in our rec years I might have to just eat an inning on walks, to get to my next pitcher and keep her eligible per restrictions.

    In rec the pitching is all over the chart. The good, the bad, and the ugly. I assume your rec will have pitching restrictions via innings or pitch counts. The main difference in your next adventure is learning to manage the innings for the most productive outcome. We were limited to 8 innings a week per pitcher, we had 2 good and 1 ok pitchers. So we ran a 2-2-2 every game. Each pitcher threw 2 innings each game.

    It worked really well for how rec ( talent ) is set up. I had a pretty good feeling my 2 good could hold the runs down to a minimal, the 1 ok might give up a few. So for us that 2-2-2 won many more games than those teams who threw their best an entire game and were ineligible to pitch after the first of the week due to inning restrictions. All 3 of mine could pitch from Sunday to Saturday with our set up.
    Last edited by GOINGDEEP; 01-22-2013 at 09:41 PM.
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    Certified softball maniac nanotech14's Avatar
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    In LL minors it is sink or swim, no more coaches pitch. If you have young first year pitchers it can be a nightmare. But if you have 2nd year girls it is much better. Just remember it is still a training league in LL.. Don't be to quick to pull the pitcher, let her try to work out of it. If you don't they will miss a valuable lesson. You will know when to pull them.

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    I can talk softball all day Coachmom's Avatar
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    I agree that there is nothing wrong with pulling a pitcher mid-inning.
    Sometimes I prep everyone for it in advance by telling them Girl 1 will pitch to 3 or 4 batters. After that we decide whether the next pitcher comes in. If they are doing well then go for another batter. If not make the change. Then they're not unprepared for the event and it simply becomes the next girls turn to pitch.

    You should drop your run limit to 4 per inning too. 5 seems high for 10U.

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    Softball Junkie T.J.'s Avatar
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    Little League (Rec) is about development. IF, and I repeat IF, your pitcher is reaching the plate, has some sort of basic pitching motion, bascially knows what she is doing then you need to leave her in; don't take her out if she "can't find the plate".

    If you have a player that keeps begging you to pitch and you decide to put her in, and she is trowing grounders to teh plate, or balls behind the batter and over the back-stop, then by all means take her out.

    Once again...When you have a pitcher who kind of knows what she is doing, keeps trying, but is struggling a little but still has good form, and like you said just "can't find the plate"....don't tell her to pitch slower, don't tell her to focus on strikes; keep encouraging & supporting her efforts by enforcing & assuring her that she "has good form, keep doing what you're doing, the strikes will come". My advice is......Don't take her out.

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    Certified softball maniac knightsb's Avatar
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    In Rec, first and foremost, help them develop a love of the sport. In hindsight, I was too competitive when I coached my Rec teams I learned the errors of my ways here at DFP. Enjoy the season, the pitching will probably stink, some games will be a walkfest. You'll run into the sandbagging team that should have already made the move to TB, just laugh. Watch the face of your pitchers has they get their very first strike out. At 10U Rec, celebrate the small victories and enjoy the snacks after the game.

    With the run rule in place, I usually made my switches between innings....

    ...oh, and thanks for coaching...
    Last edited by knightsb; 01-23-2013 at 07:40 AM.

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    I'm a fan Phandle's Avatar
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    The problem in 10u is everyone wants to pitch, but 99% of them will not practice at home. The parents think that their kids should be able to pitch great with one hr practice per week. This is reason why most of the time the coache's DD would be the pitcher, because the coach would work with her everyday.

    If you have a good pitcher in your team and you decide to give chance to someone who rolls the ball in the ground or hits 10ft in the back stop, be ready to hear from the opposing coach and parents.

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