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12u asked to pitch 14 showcase

May 31, 2018
Been debating for past 2 months after 14u coaches keep wanting her to play up this upcoming spring. She turns 13 March 19. I’m critical of her so think she still needs “athlete” time, and not just pitch. However, watching her play at the showcase and from 43ft, she played against San Jose Sting and pitched 2 1/3 with 4 hits, 1 Run, 2 BB, 2 Ks....next up West bay warriors 1 2/3 3 hits (HARD HITS though), 1 rum, 2 Ks and no walks. Other coach mentioned her curve was being talked about in the dugout by his team and they were shocked she was 12.lol. ....I guess the decision just got harder to move up or not...proud of her!

Only batted 3 times, 1 pop up, 2 Ks, but good contact. West bay pitch had wicked fast pitch.lol. Proud of that kid staying in there and pitching away..
Jun 29, 2012
i am not a fan of playing up. in your case much depends upon if the team is actually 13u or 14u. no matter how good a player is, they need to be surrounded by kids their own age to really enjoy there games. my problem here is the lack of good 12u teams. my girl has played 5 yrs of travel ball and is trying to stay in her own age group. she actually played 16u this fall. but i was on the coaching staff and her older sister played s well. she actually did quite well. we have 14u offers. but she doesnt want to play up.
We are struggling with same situation what I am seeing is my dd has always played up. This year everyone aged up and she stayed 12u. Usually there are at least 2-3 older girls that are better than her which pushes her to work harder to get better. Now she is definitely the leader on the team and I’m seeing a lot of goofing around and more having fun. I guess my point is what is your dd striving for. Moving up will mean more work but will probably have big benefits in her playing skills and abilities. Staying down will benefit from less pressure can work on leadership skills have more fun but doesn’t drop her away from her age level of progression . Good luck to you and her in her journey sounds like she’s off to a great start.
Apr 20, 2015
I think it depends. Staying age level is not necessarily a problem if the team is good enough. I would say if your child will be the best player on every 12u team available to her then move up. If there's an age appropriate team where she would be upper part of the middle that should be fine.

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Dec 18, 2014
For just a showcase or permanently? My daughter played up at 12U in a couple 14U games as a pitcher. It was a great experience for her, especially the 3 foot difference. She did quite well, but there was plenty of good competition at her 12U level which she played for the majority of her time. If your DD is dominating at the 12U level, then and only then am I fan of playing up.
Jul 16, 2013
Playing up is an individual decision. In DD's case, not only did she enjoy playing up, but I think it helped her throughout her career.

* As a freshman in high school, she already knew many of the juniors and seniors because she had played against them in travel ball. More importantly, they knew who she was. She seemed to fit right in from the very first practice, while some of the other freshmen seemed to struggle with the transition.
* This past summer she was still 18u eligible but decided to play 23u. She looked at it as a great way to prepare for college tryouts. And she had the opportunity to play against some really good players. Her favorite moment was smashing a line drive to the gap against a pitcher from the ACC. When she arrived at college tryouts, she said she felt comfortable. She felt like she fit right in.

This said, I have seen some other girls struggle with playing up. They may have had the talent, but they didn't seem ready mentally. Being on the field with the older girls just seemed to be too much for them. In those cases, playing up can be detrimental.
May 18, 2009
Age 13-14 is when girls have their big growth spurt typically. 12U and 14U are very similar unless you face an older 14U team. Some of the older 14U teams play trophy hunts. Those teams can be a hurdle. My DD played up her last year of 12U and she will play up in 16U this year. That still gave her two years of 14U play. There was a big difference in her play on first year of 14's and 2nd year of 14's. My DD was similar in her birth month to your DD. The big difference for my DD was the growth spurt. She was 105 lbs the first fall we played 14U and now she's around 125lbs. She went from 5'-6" to 5'-9". Zero home runs first year of 14's to 16 home runs in 2nd year. I think your DD will be fine making the transition!

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