How much of a bubble did you put your talented pitcher in off the field?

I have a 2020, he's been told that pitching is his future and that it is a very VERY bright future.  While he does contribute in the outfield and at the plate coaches are starting to make comments like what if you broke your collar bone laying out for a flyball?  What if you jammed your fingers sliding into a base? What if you got hit by a pitch?

It is making him reconsider his roles in baseball.  Now I'm wondering about the rest of his life.  The pick up basketball games, the roller skating, the millions of other things kids do because they are kids.  Where is the line between cautious and not letting him be a kid?

How much of a bubble did you put your talented pitcher in off the field?

Original Post

I set the limits at: No Skiing; No Chain Saws & No Motorcycles & let him have at the rest....

I hate to speculate here but I will. These coaches are probably politely trying to tell you that they are not really interested in him as a position player as "he is simply too valuable on the mound." If he were a stud 2 way player I think the fear of a hangnail sliding into 2B would somehow vanish...

 

I think the bigger issue is how much do you put him in bubble wrap within Baseball

It is very very rare for talented pitchers to not get overused.   Most talented pitchers don't take 3 or even better 4 continuous months off from throwing each year.   If you (the Dad) are not 6'5" 275 pounds of muscle or extremely intimidating or a member of a biker gang, good luck getting his coaches to keep him on a very conservative pitch count limit and days of rest in between outings limit.

Steve A. posted:

I set the limits at: No Skiing; No Chain Saws & No Motorcycles & let him have at the rest....

I hate to speculate here but I will. These coaches are probably politely trying to tell you that they are not really interested in him as a position player as "he is simply too valuable on the mound." If he were a stud 2 way player I think the fear of a hangnail sliding into 2B would somehow vanish...

 

NO TRAMPOLINES!  lol

Let's play devil's advocate with the crowd.

My goal for me and my kids is to find out what we're really good at, and then start doing it.

He's really good at pitching, so why continue the search?

Does he really want to be 30 years old and say to himself, "man if I hadn't injured myself playing XYZ, I could have played baseball for ..."?

 

Steve A. posted:

I set the limits at: No Skiing; No Chain Saws & No Motorcycles & let him have at the rest....

I hate to speculate here but I will. These coaches are probably politely trying to tell you that they are not really interested in him as a position player as "he is simply too valuable on the mound." If he were a stud 2 way player I think the fear of a hangnail sliding into 2B would somehow vanish...

 

It was actually his pitching instructor that said something like in this sport you have to go with what you are best at and it's just not possible you are as good of an outfielder or hitter as you are a pitcher.

Okay, so, so far the vote is no bubble wrap whatsoever.  Got it!

SultanofSwat posted:

Let's play devil's advocate with the crowd.

My goal for me and my kids is to find out what we're really good at, and then start doing it.

He's really good at pitching, so why continue the search?

Does he really want to be 30 years old and say to himself, "man if I hadn't injured myself playing XYZ, I could have played baseball for ..."?

 

We were typing at the same time, YES, that is what the pitching coach was saying.  You have already found your thing, go with THAT stop trying to do the other things that can get you hurt.

SultanofSwat posted:

Let's play devil's advocate with the crowd.

My goal for me and my kids is to find out what we're really good at, and then start doing it.

He's really good at pitching, so why continue the search?

Does he really want to be 30 years old and say to himself, "man if I hadn't injured myself playing XYZ, I could have played baseball for ..."?

 

On the other hand does he want to be 30 and not playing ball and say. "man, i wished i lived life a little more when i was a kid".  

Always a great topic...  

The son who ended up playing college ball liked doing WAY too many things.  At the end of the day, we supported doing what you have passion for, exposing our kids to lots of different activities and interests, having fun being kids, balance, etc.  Boy, did he take advantage....  But better to have a life too full with no regrets than a life too narrow with too many "i wonder if.." or " i shoulda.."

That said, had he been throwing high 80's as an underclassman with high projectability, it would have been much more difficult, I'm sure, to maintain that approach.   The offset, of course, is to remember that baseball can end at any time for a variety of reasons.  You don't want your son to be left not otherwise having had a fulfilling and well rounded life as a HS kid. 

There are certainly sports and activities that are generally higher risk than others...  we lose a few in our HS program each year consistently to either football, snowboarding or skateboarding.  Other common season-ending injuires come from wakeboarding, bmx, dirtbiking and rodeo.  Still, if those sports are what they really love doing...

Injuries are going to be part of the equation, no matter how big the bubble.  3and2 makes a very good point about being over-pitched as probably the biggest concern you will have to watch out for.

If he is a real prospect, those comments are going to come... mostly from baseball people who's primary interest is to see him succeed in baseball (edit to add - it sounds like in this case, a pitching coach more interested in seeing him succeed in pitching).  There is some merit and warrants consideration but keep in mind that they are less concerned to see him succeed in life in general as you.

Educate them.  Help them make reasonably smart decisions and choices.  But let them live.

My questions to son would be:

 Do you enjoy playing positions, hitting?? Do you think you will get time at these spots if you put in the work?  Do you feel that putting in this work will diminish your pitching potential? Are you ready to narrow the focus to PO?

Based upon these answers I think you craft a plan.

As my son got older (15U) and closer to college age, I think he put on some self-imposed bubble wrap.  Sure my wife and I monitored how much he threw as most of us do.  My son wanted to take part in other throwing/shoulder centric activities like tennis, so he taught himself how to throw /play left handed.  He was protecting his throwing arm.  It was his own solution.   He was a right handed pitcher, and a left handed hitter.   Throughout his high school, and travel games he wore an elbow protector on his right arm.  

Fast forward to two weeks before he is leaving for college, and we are visiting my best friend down in Georgia at his lake house.   Everybody is going waterskiing except my son.  We didn't say a word to him about it, but he didn't want to water ski for fear of hurting his arm or shoulder before his college career began.   Again, it was his call and he declined to take the risk.

Cherokeeplayer posted:

I have a 2020, he's been told that pitching is his future and that it is a very VERY bright future.  While he does contribute in the outfield and at the plate coaches are starting to make comments like what if you broke your collar bone laying out for a flyball?  What if you jammed your fingers sliding into a base? What if you got hit by a pitch?

It is making him reconsider his roles in baseball.  Now I'm wondering about the rest of his life.  The pick up basketball games, the roller skating, the millions of other things kids do because they are kids.  Where is the line between cautious and not letting him be a kid?

How much of a bubble did you put your talented pitcher in off the field?

Do a quick search for Todd Marinovich...let him be a kid.

Steve A. posted:

My questions to son would be:

 Do you enjoy playing positions, hitting?? Do you think you will get time at these spots if you put in the work?  Do you feel that putting in this work will diminish your pitching potential? Are you ready to narrow the focus to PO?

Based upon these answers I think you craft a plan.

Great answer. If the bat plays at the next level, I don't think you put down the bat, even if the pitching currently projects higher. If the bat doesn't play at the next level . . . focus on pitching.

Is your pitching instructor being realistic.....or does he want your son to take more pitching lessons and stop hitting lessons    I'm kidding, but only half heartedly.  He's a sophomore to be....let him keep playing both ways.  What are his measurables at this point?  RHP or LHP?  Velo?   60 or 40 time?  Exit Velo, OF velo?   Have any college coaches seen him play?   Until you hear a college coach say PO, I'd stay away from that option as long as possible.  What if he blows out his elbow pitching?  He may still be viable as an OF....it's just way too early to tell.  Let him keep playing and keep doing the stuff that kids do.  Heck, I was more concerned with my son getting hurt pitching....either arm injury or comebacker to the face than I was when he played varsity soccer or CYO basketball (though he did break his thumb playing basketball).   Kids get hurt, it happens...you can't control how or where.

Baseball ended after college for my son. His spare time now is all about basketball, water skiing, snowboarding and golf. It's the rest of his life. He could have injured himself for baseball doing any of these things. 

He gave up skateboarding at fourteen when he got real good and started doing crazy stuff. One time the board went under the car ok. He didn't clear jumping over the hood. He gave up football in high school. Friday banging didn't mix well with fall ball weekends. 

Mine wanted a longboard when he was 15 or 16. At that point, we knew he was pretty good on the mound. I said no. It was a big deal. I stuck to my guns. He rode a friends anyway and had a few spills, nothing serious. He jumped off of cliffs up in the mountains into the swimming hole below. Who knows what else he did and what "risks" he took being a boy. 

Shoveit4Ks posted:

Mine wanted a longboard when he was 15 or 16. At that point, we knew he was pretty good on the mound. I said no. It was a big deal. I stuck to my guns. He rode a friends anyway and had a few spills, nothing serious. He jumped off of cliffs up in the mountains into the swimming hole below. Who knows what else he did and what "risks" he took being a boy. 

To completely change the subject, how is his Cape experience going??

Shoveit4Ks posted:

Mine wanted a longboard when he was 15 or 16. At that point, we knew he was pretty good on the mound. I said no. It was a big deal. I stuck to my guns. He rode a friends anyway and had a few spills, nothing serious. He jumped off of cliffs up in the mountains into the swimming hole below. Who knows what else he did and what "risks" he took being a boy. 

Yeah, I think sometimes the biggest issue is the mentality of the teen.  I just had a kid text me that he won't make bullpens tonight because he stepped on some glass at the beach and cut his foot.  Wouldn't be surprised if someone saw the glass and dared him to walk across it.  This kid probably hurt himself thirty times in the last year, 29 of them being from doing something just really stupid, regardless of what type of sport or activity.  Look at me!  Look at what I just did!

Shoveit4Ks posted:

Mine wanted a longboard when he was 15 or 16. At that point, we knew he was pretty good on the mound. I said no. It was a big deal. I stuck to my guns. He rode a friends anyway and had a few spills, nothing serious. He jumped off of cliffs up in the mountains into the swimming hole below. Who knows what else he did and what "risks" he took being a boy. 

There's a place we used to jump off a cliff into the lake. It was forty, fifty feet. With eyes closed the fall seemed like forever. It was necessary to jump out at least three feet to clear rocks at the bottom. One time I got bored and dove. It wasn't a real good dive. I went over a little. I never made that mistake again. 

I took a friend one time who wouldn't jump after me. He finally went the third time. He decided to jump because I went three times and didn't die. Years later the cliff is now marked off as an illegal place to dive for safety reasons (someone died).

When my son was three I let him jump off a ten foot platform with a preserver on while I waited in the water. One time he dove. He had no clue how to dive other than hands go first. "I got bored jumping." Like father, like son. 

I sometimes get shivers thinking back on some of the stuff I did. We would hike Tuckerman's Ravine and ski down. There's a long list at the top of Mount Washington of people who died on the mountain including skiing Tuckermans.

My boys free dive, spearfish, bodysurf, surf, and film surfers and waves. When they do it,  i'm pretty sure that baseball is the last thing on both their minds. I know all I'm worried about is that phone call/text that I insist on: Dad, we're out of the water and heading home.  

I'm not thrilled by this stuff,  but they love it, so I let them. 

RJM posted:
Shoveit4Ks posted:

Mine wanted a longboard when he was 15 or 16. At that point, we knew he was pretty good on the mound. I said no. It was a big deal. I stuck to my guns. He rode a friends anyway and had a few spills, nothing serious. He jumped off of cliffs up in the mountains into the swimming hole below. Who knows what else he did and what "risks" he took being a boy. 

There's a place we used to jump off a cliff into the lake. It was forty, fifty feet. With eyes closed the fall seemed like forever. It was necessary to jump out at least three feet to clear rocks at the bottom. One time I got bored and dove. It wasn't a real good dive. I went over a little. I never made that mistake again. 

I took a friend one time who wouldn't jump after me. He finally went the third time. He decided to jump because I went three times and didn't die. Years later the cliff is now marked off as an illegal place to dive for safety reasons (someone died).

When my son was three I let him jump off a ten foot platform with a preserver on while I waited in the water. One time he dove. He had no clue how to dive other than hands go first. "I got bored jumping." Like father, like son. 

I sometimes get shivers thinking back on some of the stuff I did. We would hike Tuckerman's Ravine and ski down. There's a long list at the top of Mount Washington of people who died on the mountain including skiing Tuckermans.

Had to google Tuckermans, it looks like a fun place.  In my early 20's my now wife and I were ski bums in Tahoe.  Reminded me of summers hiking into and skiing the 4th of July Chutes.  Fun times!  

Such mixed feeling regarding bubble wrapping kids.  I have always been a let kids be kids.  Stuff happens but it all works out.  Now with my son coming off back to back injuries, not baseball related, it makes me wonder if that is such a good idea.  6 weeks down and 8 weeks rehab has made for an unproductive baseball summer.  

On the other hand, we have done a lot more fishing, camping, lake days on the boat, and a rare nonbaseball related out of town vacation.  

My kid quit football on his choice after the last game of his seventh grade season ended with him taped in full uniform (and helmet) to a backboard and an ambulance on the field, loading him aboard. Turned out to be a "stinger" but coach/dad/doctor from other team wanted to be careful .

Just before sign ups for next season, son called to say he wasn't doing football. "I like football, I love baseball," he said. "I don't want to get hurt doing what I like and not be able to do what I love."

Now, he's top pitcher on varsity. We suggested the night before he was slated to pitch our first post season game that perhaps he and our second best pitcher and CF should stop climbing trees and jumping out of them, but that's as big as the bubble gets.

I don't restrict any activities for my kids because of a risk they might limit their participation in sports, only because of the risk of injury overall.  E.g., skiing is ok, but I try very hard to keep my son from skiing in thick stands of trees--because he might fracture his skull, not because he might tear a ligament and miss a season of baseball.

True story:  My oldest looked to be a legit D1 soccer prospect in HS.  She tripped in a parking lot on the way to practice one evening and injured her knee.  Various complications ensued, and she missed almost two years after two surgeries and many visits to specialists.  She made it back, but was never the same player.  I have replayed that trip-and-fall in my mind thousands of times--what if I had offered to carry her stuff so her hands were free?, what if she hadn't caught her cleat on the curb?  The injury was hard on her, but she emerged a stronger person (although a weaker soccer player).  

Point being:  Even bubble wrap may not be enough.  Stuff happens.  So let your kid live his life.  If he ever signs a pro baseball contract, then his team can worry about what activities to prohibit.  

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