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Thread: Pitching: how much to practice?

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    I can talk softball all day fivepotsogold's Avatar
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    Default Pitching: how much to practice?

    I have a 9 year old and a just turned 12 year old.

    The 12 year old pitches in two games per week...two innings each game.
    We practice (never more than an hour, not less that 30 min) 3-4 times per week. All year round....breaks for vacations or holidays....

    No weights.
    We have a 16 ounce cannonball but I think it is too heavy for her.
    We practice with a 14" ball (drills and 35 feet pitching.)
    We use a spinner and have weighted balls (9, 10, 11, 12 ounces)

    We vary the drills and she doesn't pitch full motion with more than 9 ounce.

    How many times per week should a just turned 12 year old practice each week?

    What about a 9 year old...she can easily do the under the leg snap drill with a 9 ounce and regular 12" ball, spinner, snap drills.
    Mostly we are looking at release point with her and trying to keep herpre motion consistent as she tends to be a little inconsistent (typicall of a 9.5 year old I would guess.

    Seriously thinking about the PERFECT CIRCLE and would buy it today .....

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    Super Moderator sluggers's Avatar
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    She needs to throw a 100,000 pitches before she plays varsity in high school. Forget timing the practices. The question is how many pitches (not warm up, not drills) you throw during a practice.

    SO: 100 pitches per practice X 1000 practices = 100,000 pitches. Do the math.

    Also, she needs to be pitching a lot more than 4 innings per week. Most 12 year olds are pitching 2 to 3 games a week.

    Practice helps improve her throwing motion. But, pitching in a game is a lot different than throwing in the backyard.

    JRW

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    Super Moderator Amy in AZ.'s Avatar
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    I know we have backed off, saying someone should throw every day, but there are different aspects of pitching that can be practiced every day. For a 12 YO with good form, I would let her practice out in the yard as much as she asks to.

    I agree that 4 innings a week are not enough. But, I am having the same problems with my students - not enough innings pitched. Generally it is because there are local rules that limit pitching.

    A couple of really good drills that will keep a young lady sharp are the wall drill and the same thing, only using a fence.

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    I can talk softball all day ifubuildit's Avatar
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    Default What?

    Sluggers,

    100,000 pitches before HS? On average during a one hour lesson counting DRILLS and pitching the average pitcher will throw between 250 - 300 pitches at a practice. Every time they do a full windmill that IS a pitch. You have engaged the shoulder, arm, wrist, and fingers. Tell me how do those not count?

    Then there is the young pitcher factor. Young pitchers do not have fully developed muscles, bones, and tendons. They need rest. Pitching every day will not allow that. Every other day at the most and if in season once a week at practice and once on the side plus games is plenty.

    These players are not robots. They will wear down and when that happens injury occurs because the mechanics get sloppy and they loose their form.

    I am more concerned with the weighted balls this poster talked about. Weighted balls are IMO dangerous to a pitcher. I know this will cause a big discussion but I would never advocate them to any player. Period. There are better ways to develop strength. And if your using them they should never be done with a full windmill motion. At any weight.

    Elliott.

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    Peak Performance Coach Coach Marc's Avatar
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    Cindy Bristow from softballexcellence.com has a cool saying: "A pitcher just has so many throws in her arm". If you use them all at an early age, then you will run out of them earlier than letter.

    There is no set standards for softball pitching. However, I would be careful about over doing it.

    I am certainly not an advocate of pitching everyday. I have seen wayyyy to many pitchers being super dominant and just disappear from the face of the earth because of overuse injuries practicing and pitching.

    Overuse injuries don't easily go away. You want to be careful with that especially when a young lady is going through what we call PHV (Peak Height Velocity), which means this the time of her life where she grows the most.

    The problem is that bones grow faster than muscles. So for a while, you have longer limbs with weaker muscles and a weaker support structure (tendons, ligaments). So, if you put too much pressure or overdo it - welcome tendinitis, bursitis, and those type of injuries that take forever (if they ever do) to go away.
    Coach Marc O. Dagenais, MHK, CSCS
    http://www.softballperformance.com

    Connect with me - Become my fan on Facebook and/or Follow me on Twitter .

    Marc Dagenais is a softball peak performance coach that helps players be more confident, mentally tougher, hit with more power, run faster, throw harder, and be more dominant on the field. He also helps coaches win more games and get more out of their team.

    To boost your performance, check our softball drills directory or sign-up for our FREE newsletter to get tons of great softball tips by email!

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    I can talk softball all day fivepotsogold's Avatar
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    Default how much practice

    12 year old pitches about 75-11-25 pitches 3-4 times per week.

    We have no way / venue for her to pitch more game innings. Our League says 18 innings per week max...
    We have 5 pitchers on the team and her coach is keeping her pitchng low so she doesn't make 11/12 All Stars.

    She doesn't actually pitch with weighted balls...short distance snap drills, uner the leg drills ... we only use the 9 and 10 ounce balls.
    She likes the 14 " as it seems to be helping with her grip.

    They both want to pitch everyday.....but I think rest is a good thing....

    If I could find a place for my LL 11 to play, I would ....so far no luck!

    Thanks!

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    Super Moderator sluggers's Avatar
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    Ifubuildit: 100,000 pitches before *varsity* ball. You can easily do 100 pitches in about 30 minutes. So, the other 30-45 minutes is spent on drills.

    A "pitch" is where the pitcher tries to throw the ball to a specific location at maximum speed. The only thing that matters is the result. A "drill" is where the process matters more than the result.

    If a kid knows how to throw a ball correctly (and that is a big "if", given the clowns that pass themselves off as pitching instructors), then throwing fastballs and change-ups is not much of a problem. (A golf swing is basically the same thing as the fastpitch motion, and no one frets about young kids blowing out there arm playing golf.)

    The real torque on the arm and the wrist occurs when they try to throw breaking pitches. A kid doesn't really need to learn to throw breaking balls until they hit high school.

    JRW

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    Checking out the clubhouse uscgjb's Avatar
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    Default don't hurt your kid

    You know a softball pitcher is susceptable to the same repetative motion injurues as a baseball pitcher. I'm not saying your daughter shouldn't practice, but she should have a break, and on the off days work on strength training. Core, upperbody, and legs.

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    I can talk softball all day fivepotsogold's Avatar
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    Default Won't hurt my daughters

    The LL 11 year old practices about 3-4 times per week ... warm up/drills take about 20 minutes ... then we pitch hitting spots & working on change-ups for another 20-30 minutes. Usually end with "3 innings" and she has to "strike out" 9 batters ...that is pretty quick and she likes it.
    As far as pitching in games...bet she hasn't pitched 25 innings all season.....more like 20. Coaches 9 year old daughter has more innings than my daughter has.

    My 9 year old isn't really into the pitching that much so we may only pitch 2 times per week. Travel soccer is 3 practices and two games per week (about 75 minutes each). Her other softball skills put her high up in the rankings and she's just having fun.....not pushing her as she has lost a little interest due to our coach.
    She's still inconsistent (one game walked 8 in two innings, one game walked none and struck out 4).
    Kind of "babying" her along so she doesn't quit.

    We took all Sat and Sun off from pitching so she they will be rested.


    The 11 slightly changed delivery and we are working on throwing hard instead of pitching strikes slowly. She's doing very well with that ... but still needs to gain some endurance ....
    Just wondering if it OK to push her for a few weeks (5 days instead of 4) to get her ready for Tournaments....or should we continue our current path of 4X per week.....
    ....would that extra day make enough of a difference?

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    Super Moderator sluggers's Avatar
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    If you want to work on endurance, then you should lengthen the practices by 20 or 30 minutes rather than add another practice. Add some more physically challenging drills. There are only about a 1000 softball drills. Find some that wear her legs out.

    JRW

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