Discouraging advice for new pitcher (13yo in 14u)

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Jan 8, 2022
2
3
Looking for opinions and guidance:

My dd just turned 13 in December 2021.

She’s pitched since she was 10. We never put too much emphasis on developing her in this area as she was simply thrown out there as relief because she could get the ball across the plate. She gained some decent momentum in first year 12u and we opened up to the idea of investing in some formal training. Enter Covid. Ugh!

Once the game got up and running again she was second year 12u. Her main position is 2nd base and excels there, and once again, ended up fulfilling the team’s need of relieving the #1 pitcher for the season. She was pretty consistent and reliable, but pretty much winging it out there.

We are now embarking on her first year 14u. We opted to stick with our rec league for the circle time and to really give pitching a go. I reached out to a softball training organization to get the ball rolling on some formal pitching instruction. The advice I received has my head spinning.

I spoke with the owner who said it’s too late for her to seriously jump into pitching as other girls at her level are already pitching FAST and developing/perfecting their 3rd pitch. It was also stated that her birthday puts her at a disadvantage coupled with being a grade lower (currently 7th grade) than 14u competitors. She said she’ll never pitch in travel so what’s the point of doing lessons for 1 season of rec?

I need some opinions on the advice I received. I don’t want my girl to invest her time/energy in an area that is slated for dead-end. She is extremely self motivated and disciplined and willing to work toward her goals. Ultimately her short term goal is to play in high school.

Do we scrap the pitching development at this point? Is it really too late to give this a shot?
 
Oct 9, 2018
401
63
Texas
"Do we scrap the pitching development at this point? Is it really too late to give this a shot?"

It is not to late.

"My dd just turned 13 in December 2021."

This is an issue for travel ball but an asset for high school.

"so what’s the point of doing lessons for 1 season of rec?"

Because it is fun and she wants to learn is the only reason anyone should be taking lessons.
 
Jun 8, 2016
16,118
113
Looking for opinions and guidance:

My dd just turned 13 in December 2021.

She’s pitched since she was 10. We never put too much emphasis on developing her in this area as she was simply thrown out there as relief because she could get the ball across the plate. She gained some decent momentum in first year 12u and we opened up to the idea of investing in some formal training. Enter Covid. Ugh!

Once the game got up and running again she was second year 12u. Her main position is 2nd base and excels there, and once again, ended up fulfilling the team’s need of relieving the #1 pitcher for the season. She was pretty consistent and reliable, but pretty much winging it out there.

We are now embarking on her first year 14u. We opted to stick with our rec league for the circle time and to really give pitching a go. I reached out to a softball training organization to get the ball rolling on some formal pitching instruction. The advice I received has my head spinning.

I spoke with the owner who said it’s too late for her to seriously jump into pitching as other girls at her level are already pitching FAST and developing/perfecting their 3rd pitch. It was also stated that her birthday puts her at a disadvantage coupled with being a grade lower (currently 7th grade) than 14u competitors. She said she’ll never pitch in travel so what’s the point of doing lessons for 1 season of rec?

I need some opinions on the advice I received. I don’t want my girl to invest her time/energy in an area that is slated for dead-end. She is extremely self motivated and disciplined and willing to work toward her goals. Ultimately her short term goal is to play in high school.

Do we scrap the pitching development at this point? Is it really too late to give this a shot?
Sounds like after a few sentences a “Sorry, dialed the wrong number, my apologies” would have been appropriate..
 

Strike2

Allergic to BS
Nov 14, 2014
2,049
113
Call someone else and don't look back. Discard everything you were told.

If she has the motivation and some talent, you won't be wasting your time. Don't give up the job at 2B, but any competent pitcher can find a spot on a competitive / travel ball team and, later, at least a JUCO-level college team.
 
Jul 31, 2015
761
93
Don't let the bozos get you down.

***************************************************

His advice is terrible, and it says more about that coach and his ego than it does about your DD and her abilities.
Most college pitchers really only have one solid pitch, nevermind 3.

If your DD wants to pitch, then by all means, have her take some lessons (from someone else). Good that she's on a team where she'll get plenty of circle time. Being able to play a position and pitch is a huge asset at any level. Don't worry about her birthday, nothing you can do about it. Just go for it!

PS -
If she wants to play in college, or even thinks she might want to, you should consider moving up to a TB team after this summer to get to a higher level of competition. It should be obvious from there whether or not she has the ability/desire to continue to pitch going forward.
Good luck.
 
Last edited:
Aug 21, 2020
115
28
Yikes. It’s definitely not too late. I’m reading the response you got as, “At this level, we don’t want to work on mechanics, only pitchers over 60 MPH need apply.”

My oldest DD works with someone that coaches in their basement. Cheaper than the big facility and has fixed so much of her mechanics. Is there anyone in your softball network that does work like that?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Nov 20, 2020
998
93
SW Missouri
In terms of whether it’s too late to learn or not…. I learned how to pitch at the age of 35 to better help my DD. I pitched my first mens league game this Summer. Against teams who have been playing together for years. It’s never too late.

Don’t get discouraged. Continue searching around for a pitching instructor. Facebook. Message boards. Contact other coaches of teams to see who their pitchers are using.

Bill Hillhouse has some great videos that cover everything she’d need to get started. Could be a starting point until you find a local instructor. We used them for DD when she decided pitching was something she wanted to pursue.
 
Jun 6, 2016
2,724
113
Chicago
Most of my high school pitchers did not pitch prior to high school. None of them developed into stud college pitchers, but some of them became good-enough-for-us high school pitchers. The one with the most potential didn't have the work ethic to make the most of her ability (she threw 45 without trying/getting good instruction).

It's never too late to be something. Maybe she doesn't develop into a D1 ace. So what? Maybe she just gets good enough to be the best rec league pitcher. If you two are willing to invest the time and money for that purpose, do it. If she wants to get better so she can be successful at the level she plays, then it's worth it to have that experience.

There is more to this than playing on the best possible team at the highest possible level.
 
Last edited:
May 10, 2021
149
43
I will just add to the support and say don't give up! If your DD loves to pitch there are places to pitch and instructors for improvement.

My daughter is similar to yours she didn't start pitching until 11years old at a rec level. She has a December birthday.

Last year was her first 14U team as a 7th grader and she got circle time until June when the 9th graders came back from school ball. She only started to really get individual regular pitching instruction in May of this past year. In fairness the only reason we even got into this PC was because of her FORMER TB coach. Talk about building bridges! And yes her PC said he wishes she would have started at 9 years old.......lol

This year she is an 8th grader on a 9th grade dominated team because of the age issue. This fall she received 50% of the circle time and there are only 2 pitchers on this team. She loves to pitch and that makes me happy too! It is not a national team for sure but it is the right fit for us now.

She wants to play travel, MS and LL if she can. I told my friend this and he said I was a lucky man. :)
I will just keep feeding the fire and enjoy the ride. Not everyone can be a P5 player either.

As long as your DD wants to pitch I say make path for her.
 
May 11, 2014
275
43
Michele Smith:
"I didn't start to pitch though until my sophomore year in high school. That was very interesting, because most young athletes start pitching nowadays when they're eight, nine years old. So I didn't really start to pitch until I was 15".
 

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