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How do you guys manage to spend all this time without going crazy?

It is January and I am doing more baseball related stuff now than I did in mid summer just two years ago (kid is 12).

He has a 2 hour practice with his 14u select team on Sundays. He has semi private workouts (four to six kids each) for an hour and a half on Tuesday and Thursday. He has had special 3 hour clinics that he talked me into on Saturdays for the next month. I have set up cage times where he can go and work out for an hour a day and take him at least twice a week.

And the kid still wants to do more. He is keeping his grades up but all I do now is dream about soft toss, catching, throwing and tee drills. Heck he starts sparq training next week so he can get that 'extra edge'.

Is this normal for your kids or is my kid just plain crazy. I mean he is getting good (Lord he should) but I am spending more time at the cages and the fields than I am at home. I am going to hate to see this spring when he says he is going to get 'serious'.
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Mine was like that too at that age. Enjoy it! One caveat, watch out for overuse injuries. We went through a couple of years of growth related overuse injuries because 2B is all baseball all the time. And when he couldn't play, it seemed like the end of the world. But it wasn't! If (when Smile) something hurts, don't hope it will go away - take him to the doc.
I do worry about burnout. Not so much with me but with him.

With me it was competitive Golf. I was a pretty good, heck I was a really good golfer in high school and had several colleges looking at me. I quit my senior year because I got burned out on the 5 hour a day practices that it took to get that good.

I think sometimes I am dealing with a similar personality. My son eats, sleeps and poops baseball. He does have other activities like church and band related activities so he isn't a complete one trick pony but I still fear for his sanity when he hits high school.

Then again, this sport just comes so easy for him. He works hard, don't get me wrong, but if I could have accomplished at 12 in golf what he seems to have accomplished at 12 in baseball I would have been on the PGA Tour. I have seen him play club teams in Seattle and I haven't seen one team yet where he wouldn't have been an automatic starter. And he is such a kid playing the game, with so much fun and energy.

I just hope I can keep up. Brett Favre may be 40 and able to hang with the younguns but this 40 year old guy is feeling it.
Sounds like an enormous amount of preseason work for a 12 y/o, this early, in WA state. When does your boys season start, mid April? Would hope that your bunch has the best of coaches & is very well managed, otherwise by June & July, usually going to have several parties at each others throats.

For comparison, my youngest's ball season begins tournaments in early March. The team currently has quite a few playing hoops or wrestling for the schools. Preseason ball workouts have been limited to weekly team batting practices. On the side, have maybe half the team who have started in with their hitting coachs & several of our pitchers heve started workouts. Only field work so far has been very relaxed by a few players w dad's on the rare 65-70 degree day. At 12, my youngest's team had 8 pitchers, have 8 again this year & we really watch out for these boys arms. Will just throw it out to you, but with our climate, have found late Jan as optimal for getting the boys back in the routine.

In closing, Wklink, I'm sure someone will come on here & rip your boy's team starting before March, along with any 12 year old playing more than 20 games in a Spring season. Very sad, there is such close mindedness. Have to take into account, not every regions 11 or 12 year old team is set up like it was with their player at that age. Locally our boys don't play 60-90 till they are 8th graders, & there is a lot of development on the 50-70 & 54-80 fields.
Last edited by journey2
When my son was twelve he picked up the ball in March and played through LL states in August. Concurrently to the LL season he played in a USSSA Sunday doubleheader league. He didn't take paid lessons until he was sixteen other than one lesson where I told the instructor what I wanted him to understand. He was well coached in LL and travel through age fifteen.

Winter was for basketball until he decided to give it up for baseball winter workouts when he was a high school soph. I don't think he would be any further along if he had all kinds of lessons when he was twelve. He does have a live, fresh arm from lack of emphasis on pitching until high school.
Last edited by RJM
On a recent road trip to go to a “Junior Day”, my son and I had some windshield time. I asked him if there was anything that he would have had me do differently in regards to his atheltic’s. He knocked my socks with his answer “push me a little harder”…I laughed….he asked why….Told him my answer of what I do different, would be that I pushed to hard, tried to get him to work too hard to early/young. In hindsight I would have not taken the ages out 7-12 years old as serious as I did. I would have spent more time enjoying the time. I would not have worried about him as much leading up to high school. ( Things have gone much better since I found this Website…it really has helped me put things in perspective…listening to people that have been though it.)

I am fortunate that despite of my missteps, he is a very good student and a kid that looks like he is going to get a chance to live his dream and get to play D-1 ball. At the end of the day…..he has been able to figure it all out. So my advice…..provide the opportunity, the guidance and the support, but listen to your son,…he will let you know if it is too much…you just have to listen carefully.
Originally posted by 2Bmom:
Mine was like that too at that age. Enjoy it! One caveat, watch out for overuse injuries. We went through a couple of years of growth related overuse injuries because 2B is all baseball all the time. And when he couldn't play, it seemed like the end of the world. But it wasn't! If (when Smile) something hurts, don't hope it will go away - take him to the doc.

Seriously, my son went through an overuse injury and he did not pitch for 18 months. Make sure you are doing core and flexibility work.
Last edited by birdman14
I'm new to the high school age but having four sons has taught me a fews things.

My boys are 15, 14, 13 and 10 all have taken lessons and all play baseball all summer, travel, select whatever you want to call it.

The first two sons had no choice, I was going to be the best dang baseball dad in the world no matter the cost, sleep or anything.

I have since realized that while baseball is a huge fun part of our life, it's just that, a part....sure we need to enjoy it, for it will soon pass, but make sure you are doing all this for the right reasons. My first two were worked like mules and while it's paid off for them,

I have taken a different approach with the younger two. And guesss what they are as good or better than the other two were at this 12 and 10 year old age. It seems to me that too much practice and play is not good at a young age when the body has not are just not going to get the gains you want until their body is ready. So teach them the game, push them to their physical limit but not past it, and instead of spending all the money on lessons, go to another MLB game with them and talk baseball to them enjoy the time.
Is this normal for your kids or is my kid just plain crazy.

It is not typical of your average 14-year-old.

It is, however, the mark of an achiever, that he actually wants to do the work to make his dreams come true, not just sit around wishing it would magically happen and then moping when it doesn't.

Count your blessings. Sounds like you're in for a lot of fun at the diamond in the years to come. Most kids you have to try to drill into their heads the value and necessity of having a strong work ethic. You have a son who "gets it," and all on his own.

Yes, take proper precautions, etc. But this is the age when the contenders separate from the pretenders. Your son is identifying himself as the real deal. Others will fall by the wayside. Far from worrying, I would encourage him.
I know I did not listen to anyone when they warned me. I should have. Slow down. Wait until 14 yo to go full bore. That doesn't mean do nothing. Quite the opposite.

Personally, I don't think most clinics are very helpful. (ducking) Unless it's for a very specific activity - like catching.

You are probably not going to get much lasting value out of Sparq at this age. Wait until puberty.

If it were me, I would spend my money and time on quality personal instruction, field practice, and short bursts of supervised cage time working on technique.
Last edited by SultanofSwat
When mine was 12 he played two seasons, fall and spring and when they were both over he was glad to be onto something else, basketball, street hockey, bowling,etc.

My husband was pretty strict about it too, he felt that the specific muscles used in baseball needed rest.

I agree, 12 year olds do not need Sparq at this age and if it comes easy to him, does he really need all the other stuff. JMO.

Most kids that do it all very young don't usually burn out, they end up with injuries, be careful.
If your son is not into basketball, then I think off season baseball conditioning and workouts are fine. Everything in moderation especially during the high growth years. If baseball is truely his passion then go for it.
Patriot Son has played competitive basketball since 5th grade. Multi-sport training has really given him an advantage IMO. He has not done alot of serious off season baseball training but he is in excellent shape.
Last year he played 14u Babe Ruth that started in April. The level of play improved when the HS Freshmen joined in May. Patriot Son is a LHP/1b and throws low to mid 80's. I believe that his core strength has benefited from his basketball. This year he is playing Freshman ball and usually does not come out of the game. That's a good workout.
There are a lot of very good responses on this site and we have experienced a collage of the issues presented here.

My son is about to turn fourteen. At twelve, I had him involved in heavy winter training with three or four facilities/clubs (the closest ½ hour away and the farthest 2 ½ hours away). That summer he played across the border with a 50-60 game season. All of our games were a minimum of 2 hours and fifteen minutes each way. Like most winters, we went to a Florida baseball camp at March Break. On top of this he played for a city Rep basketball team and won the academic excellence award at his school. Always on the lookout for training opportunities and good teams, I got him on a fall ball team that year (again 1 ½ hours away) and signed him up for “elite” training (70 sessions between October and April).

My son hit burn-out in late summer both psychologically and physically (bicep tendonitis in his pitching arm – primarily growth related). The travel had a big part to do with it. He loved the game but, after playing on some powerhouse teams, it was becoming difficult to just go back home and play “regular” baseball.

I basically ate the better part of $1000 on the winter training, and set him up with a light baseball schedule with a team that was a couple of years older last summer. He’s mature for his age and got along with these rec-type players really well. Through this team we somehow connected with a man whose son is in his third year university on a baseball scholarship in Alabama. Things sort of progressed naturally, and my son started taking hitting lessons from this guy. Now he is going two days a week – his choice. We don’t have to travel far and this guys knowledge and ability is every bit as good as guys that we used to pay a small fortune to. This summer he will be playing for a decent team in a competitive league. He’s looking forward to baseball and putting his new swing to the test.

Rather than living in the cages this winter, he’s been three days a week with a top level basketball team in a nearby city. He’s having fun and the running is making him far more athletic than any indoor workouts would do.

It’s easy to get caught up in the bigger-better-faster-more of competitive youth sports. Looking back, there were a number of camps (typically coupled with the words elite – that did little other than to spend a lot of time in a group lesson). I’m not saying that my son wasn’t slightly better as a baseball player because of it but now, at 6’ and 180 pounds with better motor skills, etc., he can do things that he used to spend hours on in minutes.

We went right to the edge (of burn out) and came back. I don’t think many people get that chance. We were lucky in that we could communicate well and decided to deal with the issue. It wasn’t the lack of love for the game – it was that the price to be paid was getting too high.

It’s my observation that the path is different for everyone. If you find that things change for your son someday – he might be getting close to the edge. There are ways to avoid burn out but, my experience is they don’t involve plunging onward – full speed ahead.

Also, don’t freak out too much about the PS3. As long as my guy keeps his marks up over 80, and meets his practise commitments, I let him play. Last Sunday he was on the PS3 until 3:00 am and I told him if he stayed up late, he would still get up at 9:00 to go to practise. It’s hard wresting a 13YO that weighs the same and is 3” taller than you. It took me some time but, Mr. Bleary eyes was on his feet at 9:05 a.m. Generally, he’s learning to make the right choices and get balance.

I'm fairly selective on how much I let the kid play video games. He is only allowed to play on non school nights and only if all of his mandatory (not baseball, talking about school work and chores) stuff is done.

Danny hasn't gottent hat big growth spurt your kid has. He is still only 5'4 so I still have about six inches on him but that will soon change. If he ends up like my brother or my wife's brother he will be about 6'4" at graduation. I'm trying to get him into the habit of sleeping regularly now so it won't be a problem when he is bigger than me.

Of course it won't matter either way with his mother. She is of Sicilian ancestry and has no problems cracking him up side the head. If she needs a stepstool to do it so much the better. He toes the line with her.

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