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13U Baseball Shock 
Going Into Rough Waters

Baseball age 13 &  up is a huge jump in field dimensions and difficulty.

13u baseball is the time to celebrate and cry at the same time. We finally make it to the ‘BIG JUMP” and now that we are here we will quickly realize what we are up against.

This is a shock to most every player and most baseball parents too.

From the cozy little league 60 foot dimensions we are thrust into 80 feet and 90 feet base paths.

The base path distances in itself become such a challenge because almost all of our kids do not grow physically and athletically in the same proportion as the required baseball skills.

Our bodies will usually take two or three years to catch up to the longer distances on the diamond.

How to Survive in 13u Baseball
What Strategies Are in Place?

Problem: How do we survive the 13u baseball and the 14u baseball years.? Very patiently. Even the best players will go through an adjustment period. Success is much more difficult to attain and at times non existent.

Throwing the longer distances across the field is a big shock and quite challenging. Running the bases becomes laborious. Hitting the ball out of the infield can be extremely difficult.

To survive baseball 13 and older there are items you should consider:

  • Do you have a good throwing program in place to adequately develop throwing mechanics and arm strength?
  • What does the local hitting approach sound like? What are the local baseball coaches telling hitters?
  • Hitting seems to be a big common denominator when it comes to players dropping out of baseball at this age. 
  • Where does your local philosophy about winning fit in with player development?
  • What communication have been in place to work with baseball parents at this age level?
  • Do you know what happens to ballplayers at this age that graduate from 12 & under baseball with poor techniques?
  • How much involvement with the local high school baseball coaches exists?
  • Are the local baseball coaches involved in any continuing education to improve their knowledge and build their coaching skills?

Positive Adult Backing
Were Going to Need a Safety Net

Parent & adult patience: We have to realize that baseball successes are going to be fewer even for the top players.

The average and below average ball players will really struggle and success will be fleeting. Having said that, how should the adults approach the youth league player’s circumstances at this level of baseball?

  • Do the local youth baseball parents gauge the praise given to the kids on the level of performances?
  • Are the baseball moms and dads aware of the wide range of physical development in kids at the post-puberty age levels?
  • Have the baseball families been informed of the local philosophy for player development strategies at the post 12 year old era of baseball?
  • Does everyone know the data that tells us the level of dropouts in youth baseball by age 14 and what we up against?
  • Will the baseball parents have the stamina to weather the storms in this very volatile age level?

We are going to lose a bunch of baseball players at this age level no matter what we do. Knowledge and education though goes a long way to help make the transition a bit smoother and less frustrating for baseball players and their families.

13u Baseball Coaching Approach
What Systems Are in Motion?

The 13u baseball age is a time when ball players have enormous needs. Kids at this age level need plenty of time to polish skills.

Unfortunately, very few volunteer youth baseball coaches have the necessary teaching background and baseball knowledge to really help coach baseball at this age.

It is not the coach’s fault—they just have not been trained to teach baseball.

  • Are your local baseball coaches aware of baseball practice strategies that the players enjoy attending?
  • Do the local volunteer coaches understand the professional hitting approach and share it with the players?
  • Are the players experiencing opportunities to scrimmage and simulated games on a regular basis?
  • Are the players engaged in a throwing system that develops arm strength?
  • How much baseball practice organization knowledge do the local coaches experience in their coaches trainings?
  • Game Strategies: Have your area baseball coaches been trained for in-game strategies and game management?
  • Do your coaches have the knowledge and background to make the game enjoyable to play at this age level?

This is really the last chance to save baseball players from elimination. It will take all hands on deck. To help local leagues and organizations get a handle on keeping more kids in the game you are welcome to look at this in more detail.

Back Home from 13U Baseball

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