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Frustration

Jul 14, 2018
468
63
DD was in a similar situation as a first-year 12U. She was on a decent B-level team, where she was the #3 pitcher. She worked hard, did lessons every week, pitched in Rec, but never pitched for her TB team. The coach played his #1 and #2 pitchers for every pool game and the brackets. DD spent most of the season in the dugout.

We knew we had to leave, and DD found a place on another 12B team where she eventually earned the #1 pitcher spot. Just keep your daughter working on her game and she'll find the right fit.

As others have said, a 12C coach who is all about winning trophies is bad news. But if you don't have many other options, and your daughter enjoys every other aspect of the team, you can stick it out. Honestly though, with only 8-9 permanent players at 12C with a coach who 'loses his sh*t' at a mental error, the team will be lucky to make it through the spring.
 
Apr 17, 2019
41
8
My daughter plays on a C class 12-u team. She is not the best player, and to be honest she is probably one of the lower ones right now. She is shy and not outspoken, she does not like to speak in a loud voice. We are working with her on that but its not something fixed quickly.

She will work hard, and she loves to bat. She goes to batting lessons 2 times a week and bats off the tee at the house on her own throughout the week.

She goes to pitching lesson twice a week from a former D-1 National champion pitcher. The lady knows her stuff and has successfully trained several college level pitchers.

Her pitching coach says she needs mound time, but I do not know how to get it for her. Her travel coach refuses to give her a shot on the mound in a pool game. Every time he looks at her pitching she is nervous and her arm circle slows down some, but she still throws strikes. Just does not have the speed she has in practice.

The travel coach will always pick up a player to pitch as we have 8-9 permanent girls on the team and only 1 bracket pitcher. One tournament he picked a 10 year old up to pitch, and she was inaccurate and slow, but he refuses to look at my kid.

Batting wise she hits well in practice and was doing OK in the games, not crushing the ball but making contact. Then the coach started calling bunts for her. Last tournament 5 out of 7 AB he called her a bunt. First bunt she popped the ball up and the catcher makes a dive across the plate as she is leaving the box and the umpire calls her for interference, a couple bunts later she popped it up again and she froze up and didn't know what to do, they got her out. The coaches lost their crap over this play and was chewing her out over it.

I guess we should just be thankful that she is on a travel team and she is improving every week but it is just frustrating.
When your DD tried out for the team was she picked up as a pitcher? You only have 8 or 9 kids on the team, with a 1 bracket pitcher? Why do you only have 8 or 9, did you start with more and some left already? How many kids on the team pitch?

If the coach is bringing in other pitchers to pitch over your DD as a sub that should tell you something right there. He cares nothing about developing the kids he has and only cares about trophies. If your DD is constantly seeing other kids (subs) coming in and pitching over her, what is that doing for her confidence? Right now you describe to me a kid who is so concerned with doing good so she can get some mound time, she can't get out of her own way. It's time to move on and either just play some rec ball or find a team where the coaches genuinely care about your kid and her development.
 
Apr 21, 2016
2
1
All I can say is you're not alone. My DD is in a similar situation except she is an excellent batter. Which in a way makes the situation worse because she gets all kinds of promises of mound time that never come to fruition. Then when she tries to move on she gets more promises of mound time. It's also hard to get a "fresh look" when the coaching pool in your area is limited. They seem to have a fixated opinion of her pitching ability from several years ago when she was not nearly as fast nor accurate.
 
Apr 28, 2014
1,549
83
The majority of 12U pitchers who get the most time rarely end up pitching in high school. We keep reading here that mound time is so important. Yes I guess but what's more important? Having a plan. Lets talk High School for a minute. If your pitcher is 12 years old and wants to pitch in HS whats the plan? Who else is in the pipeline and how do you get your DD to be ready to be the pitcher on opening day her freshman year?
The real first question is how committed is the family (yes family) to the journey of pitching? Ask most college pitchers and they will tell you that it was a family effort and much sacrifice and time was spent as a family pounding the stone to become great. It's a lot easier to turn over a check and expect that a travel team will help your kid in the circle versus running her all over the state for lessons, but run her you must do to find that special pitching coach!
Travel organizations have access to a ton of data today, between game changer and USSSA stats, Youtube video of games etc. They know even at 14U who the list of pitchers are in your area. In our area there are probably less than a dozen girls who can pitch at the 18U gold level. And these girls don't need to try out and compete for time. I have been where you are and can tell you that we made a few mistakes but overall did what we needed to do to position our DD in a good spot to achieve her goals. Here is what I would do if we were back in 12U and DD was not getting much pitching time on her travel team.

#1 Is she good enough to be the #1 or #2 pitcher on the team? If yes go to #7 if "no" go to #2

#2 She needs to get better.. How? Working hard pitching 4 -5 times per week for 60-90 minutes each time. Running sprints each day, conditioning her body to be ready for extra innings when others won't be.

#3 Does she have a good pitching coach? Not you or Mom but a coach who has a track record of developing girls to play at the level that she wants to play at in College. DD goes to a great coach who tells her everything that I say but she listens to him. It's like a reverse shrink relationship, I pay him for her to listen to what I want her to hear. :)

#4 She needs time in the circle - In addition to her travel team she needs to play on a REC team where she will get innings and a lot of them. She will be a leader on this REC team and will build confidence while she learns to throw her pitches. A REC team parent won't care if your kid blows a 3 run lead in a game, but in travel the parents will ignore you in the elevator that night if she does. She needs to play on her Middle School team no matter how bad they are. And she needs to throw 4-5 times per week for 60-90 minutes each and run sprints 10 100 yard sprints when she gets home from school.

#5 Does she have the head to pitch. This is a bit controversial but from what I've seen some kids have it and some don't. To be a great pitcher a kid needs to have the mental make up to keep her head up and shoulders squared when she's getting barreled up and balls are being dropped left and right in the outfield . She needs to have the fortitude to throw a 3-2 change up in a 0-0 game in the 7th with the bases loaded. The skill to do that can be learned however I believe the nerves to do it are part of her DNA. I have seen countless kids with the skills who fail when the lights are on them. If she doesn't that's not a flaw, there are 8 other positions that she could easily excel at.

#6 Does she love to pitch, I mean really love to pitch? If yes than I don't care about anything else she will outwork everyone else. She will do what others won't so she will get where others can't. When DD was around 14 this all started to make sense to me. And I knew that DD loved to pitch and as the years went on I could see other kids who liked to pitch starting to fall off while the kids who loved to pitch keep after it. Don't let her get frustrated she needs to go through the desert! That's the way she will become great, it's through failure that she will learn the lessons needed to take her game to the next level.

#7 IF you answered "yes" to question #1 are you really sure that she is that good? If still yes than find a new team but...... Do you homework so you don't end up in the same place you are today. Pitching at the travel level is a meritocracy and should be about competing for the #1 spot. Stats don't lie so use them. But if you go to a new team our rule of thumb was always to trust the coach implicitly for at least 12 months. If you trusted her enough to give her your check then give her 12 months.
 
Last edited:
Oct 4, 2018
1,491
113
The majority of 12U pitchers who get the most time rarely end up pitching in high school.
Not entirely sure I buy this.

I've certainly seen 12U pitchers get the mound time in travel and then be the starting high school pitcher.
 

Strike2

Allergic to BS
Nov 14, 2014
824
43
Not entirely sure I buy this.

I've certainly seen 12U pitchers get the mound time in travel and then be the starting high school pitcher.
I'm sure you have. However, at 12U there are many teams. Every one of them has a pitcher or two getting the most mound time. Many areas only have a couple of high schools, or perhaps just one. The funnel really narrows as they get older, and typically, only the best of those 12Us will end up pitching in HS. So, it is true that the majority of #1 pitchers at 12U won't end up pitching in HS.
 
Oct 4, 2018
1,491
113
I'm sure you have. However, at 12U there are many teams. Every one of them has a pitcher or two getting the most mound time. Many areas only have a couple of high schools, or perhaps just one. The funnel really narrows as they get older, and typically, only the best of those 12Us will end up pitching in HS. So, it is true that the majority of #1 pitchers at 12U won't end up pitching in HS.
Ah, gotcha. Yes, makes perfect sense.

I was thinking along a completely different line of thought, in that you were saying the future pitchers of high school teams aren't currently pitching today in 12U.
 
Last edited:
Nov 22, 2019
145
28
Minnesota, USA
Right now the PC has her working on a changeup, Curve and fastball.
I am by no means a pitching expert but this caught my eye. Three pitches is quite a tall task for a developing pitcher. Does she hit 80% strikes with her fastball? If not, I would focus on dialing in one at a time.

Sounds to me like your daughter is willing to work her butt off which is great and hopefully pays off in the end, after all, she's only in 12U and has a lot of softball left to play.
 
Nov 6, 2019
22
3
I am by no means a pitching expert but this caught my eye. Three pitches is quite a tall task for a developing pitcher. Does she hit 80% strikes with her fastball? If not, I would focus on dialing in one at a time.

Sounds to me like your daughter is willing to work her butt off which is great and hopefully pays off in the end, after all, she's only in 12U and has a lot of softball left to play.
The majority of her lessons 2x per week with a quality PC are focused on mechanics getting her glove up driving off the rubber, staying tall etc. but yes she does also work with her on the curve and change up.

We work twice a week with a pc and 2 more times in the yard. She will be playing league and right now we will stick with our current travel team until after league play this spring.
 
Apr 23, 2014
298
28
East Jabib
Does she hit 80% strikes with her fastball? If not, I would focus on dialing in one at a time.
This quote got me to thinking about my daughter’s (15 YO) recent response to her travel ball coach when asked about her pitching strategy. Her response was “I’m not trying to throw strikes. Not in the sense of putting the ball over the white of the plate. I’m always starting in the river and working in as needed based on the ump’s zone. My goal is to have the batters swing at MY pitch and the ump to call MY strike. I like when we are home because I can watch the ump at the top of the inning and see what his zone is like so I’m prepared when I pitch in the bottom half of the first inning.”

I think that’s been a big part of her success. She’s not a flamethrower but she sure does keep batters off balance and she has the best stats and gets more K’s than the other pitchers who throw faster on her team. I think she’s evolved from being a thrower to a pitcher in this sense.



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