I’m sure you heard this question many times before, but here goes.
First, here’s some background info
10 years old
Cal Ripkin league- No pitchers mound
Average pitch speed 56mph
Top speed 63mph
Pitched to 103 batters, 77 strikeouts, 24 walks,2 hits with a pitch
No hits. Only 2 foul balls
Only 2 pitches-fastball, changeup No junk
I taught him how to pitch using sound fundamentals, and good mechanics. We play catch every day because he wants to.
So here’s my question. He plays fall league at a large sports facility, and people come over to our game to watch him pitch. They all say he has no visible mechanics problems, perfect delivery, and I should find a good coach because he has much potential for his future. Come on. He’s only 10. Am I making a mistake just continuing as we are, and not taking it to this extreme? I realize that we are quickly approaching a time where he will need a more knowledgeable coach than me. But I’m no dummy. I have been to coaches training at the Olympic Training Center at Lake Placid, and a national coach in junior Olympic archery. And if we should look for a coach, how do you know who is good? Just because someone played ball in college or the minors, doesn’t mean that they are a good coach. Youth sports are never lacking in self-proclaimed experts.
I just don’t know what to do.
Thanks for listening,
You present a very interesting question and commentary. With all the physical facts that you listed the boy obviously has some talent for a 10-year-old and I repeat for a 10-year-old. And I certainly appreciate your comments and your knowledge about coaches, some of your own self-limitations the most impressed with a statement “Come on. He’s only 10” you’re exactly right.
To tell you the truth I don’t know that I would do anything to be having this kind of success as a 10-year-old except let him enjoy it because what you described to me physically is a good-sized 12-year-old. My impression is that you and his coach that he is playing for right now have enough knowledge to continue on with what’s happening then as a 12-year-old or even a 13-year-old when he moves up into very competitive travel ball then you need to see how he has matured and has become competitive.
The only thing I would watch a young man like this that he doesn’t become overly impressed with himself, or that you don’t try to push him up the ladder too fast. If he doesn’t think he’s all that great, but in truth, he is great and you got the best accommodations to let him be a big fish in a small pond and enjoy success nothing breeds success like success. We just can’t have too big of an opinion about ourselves because in truth there is a lot of this kind of kids out there and parents in the road of enjoyment and success by trying to create success.
As far as a coach goes yes it’s very difficult, but your best bet to go to the teaching Academy somewhere, and ask for some references of kids that he’s worked with and see what kind of success they have.
I leave you with this in 40 years of coaching I’ve seen a lot of kids that are exceptional for their age group, but when they become the youngest in the next age group success is not near as easy to come by. If the boy 10 years old that means he’s going to have to move up to 12 and under next year and he’ll be facing some kids that are 12 -year-old and even some kids will probably turn 13 during the season this will be a big jump. When he goes on the mound it should help but he’ll also be facing much better hitters. The statistics you told me are close to unbelievable, to tell me that no one has got hit and 103 batters are like telling me that he’s pitched eight or nine straight no-hitters, luck would tell me that somebody had to get the bat on the ball and get a hit.
My advice is don’t do anything until he is 12 years old except let them have a good time, be successful, and not become self-important. Have him play other positions so he learns the game.
Let me know how it all works out like I told you right off the bat is a very interesting question and on paper a very impressive kid.
Coach Arnald Swift