Posted on September 20, 2013
I am a 12 year old player who is always told that I am amazing, my dream is too make it all the way to the pros. I am on a high nationally ranked travel ball team and can play any position. The only bad thing is I don’t have confidence and I don’t have a good arm. Are there any tips you can give me to help not only my arm but also my fielding and confidence.
The first and foremost thing that you have going for you is that you have a goal that say that you’re wanting to get the that is to play in the majors. And there are certainly thousands of young men that would like to do the same thing and it all comes down to talent with the most important ingredient the ability to work, train, and do the things that are necessary.
Now here’s my thought I raise two boys and each year they had a different desire and they worked very hard at it but they went from sport to sport with what they wanted to do with each one of them contains the same element you have to want to do it and you have to want to do it right. As a 12-year-old I can’t emphasize enough that you need to enjoy the sports, and the games including baseball because there are so many steps between now and competing at those high levels of play. You need to continue to play on your traveling team, then will come your high school team, and then will come summer ball at the high levels, then college baseball or if you are truly talented minor-league. But and it’s a BUT but please enjoy the experience of playing the game whether it be with your friends in the backyard or on your travel team because if you don’t enjoy it and you’re just making it work it’s never going to work you’re going to be just there and an average player.
I don’t want to anyway sound pessimistic but without knowing you I don’t know how much you’re willing to put into the game, and I wouldn’t worry about it until I got into high school I would just do the normal stuff. It will help your confidence just to play the game and not worry about what’s going to happen 10 years from now. As far as some of the mechanical things that you can do to improve your fielding and your arm strength let me give you some suggestions. If you’re able to do these on your own then your confidence will automatically improve as you get better.
1. Get onto a long toss program for your arm strength there are several of them out there would even have one on the website called “Thrive On Throwing” that is exceptional and is used by high school, college, and pro teams for this exact purpose. Along with when you get into high school don’t be afraid of lifting weights to increase your arm strength but you’re not ready for now as a 12-year-old but you are ready for the long toss program.
2. Then as simple as it sounds get a tennis ball and put your glove away and find a wall and bounce the tennis ball against the wall and fielded when it comes off. You will start to develop a lot of hand eye coordination and good and skills. You will find if you’re bouncing the ball off the wall you can make it come off at a lot of angles and even create your own games to field and throw.
I offer these two things is great improvements that you can do by yourself, that you can do almost anywhere, and most important two things that you can do every day for 10 or 15 minutes that will show real results after three or four months. There’s no magic bullet, working at what you want and most important enjoying what you want. I can tell you right now if you don’t want to go do this you think it’s a job or chore like your folks making you go and clean your room or carry out the trash then it will not work you have to want to go do it. You have to get up out of the chair and go do it everyday because YOU want to.
Best of luck from Coach Arnald Swift, I raise two boys just like yourself and coached hundreds of young athletes and advice is the same always no matter what the sport is, best of luck Jeremy.