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Faith in your pitching coach

Sep 7, 2008
I have a dilema. My dd started taking pitching lessons around age 8, she is 11. Earlier this year we changed pitching coaches. At her evaluation we were told she is "gifted", she has tremendous potential, she is going to be exceptional. First thought I had was is he feeding me a line, says this to all new kids to hook you? This guy is experienced and has many students, has had many go on to receive scholarships. We made the change. My daughter had a very successful season. He has advised us to hold off on travel for a while until he says she is ready. Says when coaches get a look at her they will fall all over us. She is being recruited by a couple of coaches. One coach in particular is being very aggressive about her. BUT, says she is not special just adequate. But still wants committment now. Can't understand how we were told to wait to try to get her on a team. Then proceeded to tell me what a bad reputation our pitching coach has. That he fills his kids heads with ideas that they are brilliant just to keep control of them and keep them coming to him. I have asked the pitching coach a few times about travel and he laid into me but good! To top it off, I had a friend take her daughter for an evaluation and she was told almost verbatim what I was told - gifted child, etc. It kind of makes me feel that his statement about my daughter is not that credible. I'm not sure what to think. Is this stuff typical softball politics? How much faith should I put into this coach?
May 15, 2008
Eastern Long Island
It doesn't sound good to me. There is no reason I can think of not play travel right away if she has talent. I would be more inclined to trust the travel coach's judgement because he has no financial investment. The travel coach may want your daughter because he does not have enough pitchers.


Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
Dallas, Texas
Remember how much you wanted to shave when you were growing up? Then, one day you started shaving, and then you realized that you were going to be shaving for the rest of your life, and then you realized it wasn't that big of a deal.

Travel softball is the same, only more grueling. 65+ games a year, with your entire summer shot. No vacations, no weekends off, just softball, softball and more softball. And, if your DD is good, you will be doing this until she turns 19 YOA. (Nothing beats staying at a run down Motel 6 on a rainy Saturday waiting for the sun to come out.)

The truth: No one will know if your DD will be good until her hips spread and she stops growing, so your pitching coach is blowing smoke up your a** about how 'great' your daughter is. Until she matures, everything is just a hunch. Good 12U pitchers come and go with the wind.

*BUT* by the same reasoning, your pitching coach has a point about your DD and travel ball. Being a good 12U pitcher does not help the pitcher develop. Why put yourself and her through the grueling 60-70 games of travel ball, risking an injury or "burn out"?

There is a point where she needs to learn to pitch in a game. To learn how to pitch at an advanced level, she *must* play travel ball by the time she turns 13. There is no substitute.

War stories and true confessions:

My DD-1 ended up being an all-conference D1 pitcher. She didn't play travel ball until she was 12. But, she started playing travel ball at 12 YOA for a good 16U travel team. She was playing 18U at 14.

DD-2, who had twice the talent of DD-1 for pitching, followed the usual 12U-14U travel ball route. She became frustrated with her coach (the same one who coached DD-1) and quit. Why? She didn't like the BS surrounding softball . And, because she was such a tremendous athlete (she lettered in 4 (not 3) sports at a HS of 4,000 students) that being good at sports wasn't (and still isn't) a big deal to her

Did I push DD-2 too much? Perhaps if I hadn't pushed her into travel ball so early, she would have loved the game more and would have been willing to put up with crazy coaches in order to play.
May 7, 2008
(sarcastic) I assume you have eyes. If so, bring a gatorade down to a local tournament and watch a few 12U games. Then...compare what you see to what your DD is like. Seems pretty simple to me.

May 25, 2008
Pickerington Ohio
Luvsoftball, Bigdaddy is correct. See how DD stacks up against travel players. You can tell if she is ready. If she has the velocity, movement and accuracy needed to be competitive at at travel level go for it. There are a lot of travel teams at a lot of different levels. Community based, rec leagues that take the best players from their program and form travel teams, state wide teams that recruit college potential players and everything in between. If she wants to play travel have her try out for at least three different teams or with 6 on 6 indoor coming up in a couple of months (at least up here in the north) have her play in a game with the team she is interested in joining before you commit to see if she fits. Just be smart, do your homework and if she's ready you can find a travel team that makes sense for her.
I think the best advice I can give you is do what you think is best for your own child. You are your daughter's #1 advocate, you care about her more than any pitching coach or travel coach does! I am a pitching coach and I am always getting asked from my clients where they should play. I always tell them to evaluate the pro's and con's and then make the best decision for your kid even if it means you don't play on the best available team. My oldest is only 4 so I haven't entered the sports world as a parent yet but my son does have autism. I had a doctor who said we should accept it your kid will never be normal. Do you think I did that heck no I went to several more doctors and researched every possibility to get whats best for my kid. I am not saying leave the pitching coach but do ask around. Look in to it and do whats best for your kid.

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