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Thread: Pitching speeds at the TCS Showcase

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    Softball Junkie CoachFP's Avatar
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    The important thing is that the person uses the same gun for every pitcher that they measure. Then it is all relative. Even if someone told me a pitcher threw X miles per hour I would want to see that pitcher in person and use my own gun. Then and only then would I have reliable information. Most of us who have been around know when we see someone who throws hard or hard enough and the gun at that point is meaningless.

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    Certified softball maniac SBFAMILY's Avatar
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    ALL you have to do is go to the NFCA camps that are held all over the US and see pitching speeds, pop times , 20 yard dash times, or whatever you want. The facts speak for themself. Most use a mounted gun that flashes the speed on a monitor which all can see. Just as fun to read all the profiles and chuckle at how many post 20 yard dash times faster than Natasha Watley! What is an Average Pitching Speed? Great softball pitching hints and recommendations for girl softball pitchers pitching speed study.

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    I can talk softball all day howellhandmade's Avatar
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    So long as you compare apples to apples, I think radar figures are interesting and perhaps instructive to the extent that a person at a different place and time can duplicate the setup from another venue and compare results.

    Other than the RevFire, which requires a specific distance measurement and computes the overall speed of a pitch based on when the special ball starts and stops, and is not, strictly speaking, a radar gun, I believe that every radar gun gives a speed reading at a particular instant in time. The Pocket Radar, for instance, reads the instant you push the button, and displays that reading. So, the closer to the moment of release you push the button, the higher the speed it will display. The Jugs gun has two modes: a trigger mode where it displays the speed recorded the instant you press the trigger, and a continuous mode where, once you push the trigger it will display the highest speed recorded for five seconds then resets. This would be "release speed." The Glove Radar is yet another kind -- it reads the pitch speed automatically as soon as it registers, but because of its low power that instant is fairly close to the glove. The manufacturer says that the speed it registers will be about 4 mph slower than a gun like the Jugs or Stalker.

    It is certainly that a radar gun can be inaccurate, but one can take some fairly simple steps to verify the accuracy of one's own gun. The accuracy of other people's guns, of course is harder to verify, but that's just the way it goes. I think that when a radar reading actually means something it's usually a situation where those being compared are recorded using the same gun the same way. Bench racing is another matter.

  4. #34
    Certified softball maniac Steve Huff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoachFP View Post
    The important thing is that the person uses the same gun for every pitcher that they measure. Then it is all relative. Even if someone told me a pitcher threw X miles per hour I would want to see that pitcher in person and use my own gun. Then and only then would I have reliable information. Most of us who have been around know when we see someone who throws hard or hard enough and the gun at that point is meaningless.
    Excellent points!

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    Certified softball maniac Steve Huff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Screwball View Post
    I am not a coach currently (at least not yet). Just a pitching instructor. I was told that where you stand can affect the gun. Have no idea about measuring at the middle or plate, but I am not interested in release speed, like I said. I am not interested in bragging about anyone's pitching speed or hearing anyone else brag, but they do.

    Plus I got ripped for saying guns are different and innaccurate and someone posted they have two guns that differ, in reading not type, and he uses them to confound people! So a lot of this use of mph's is BS.

    Just stop using the one at the release (which people say they have). That's all I would like. But I don't listen to people about the gun reading anyway.
    This I agree with! But the important thing is knowing where the measurement is taken. I can adjust in my head the difference in average speed and speed at release. And CoachFP made an excellent point. I know when fast is fast and slow is too slow. I mentioned this as an example before, but back in 2003 I think it was I saw Lisa Fernandez throwing at Women's Majors Nationals for the Brakettes in Phoenix or Decatur, IL, I can't remember which. I saw Star Orullian sitting there from the selection committee and asked her, "Star what's going on, Fernandez looks like she is throwing 67? Star replied, "Exactly!" I asked how she did it, and Star shrugged her shoulders. Lisa Fernandez never hit 62 on any gun I ever saw. But in one year she had an explosive increase in speed. It was obvious, and no gun was necessary. I sat up at the booth and watched the gun recordings to make sure. She was hitting 67 every rise-ball just like she hit 61 the year before. As CoachFP said, our eyes didn't lie.

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    Certified softball maniac Lozza's Avatar
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    I constantly see posts and threads from those that do not believe that young people today can achieve speeds greater than the early stars of softball. First of all the athletes of today are bigger, stronger, and quicker on average than the previous generation. Also, you have girls that are trained in modern or female specific mechanics that can produce greater potential speed and spin. Finally, there are some great athletes that are focusing on pitching that could be legitimate stars at the highest levels in basketball, volleyball, or track and field. It stands to reason that these speeds and faster will be achieved and are achieved earlier all the time. OTOH, hitters today are also so much more advanced in training, mechanics, and technologically superior bats (some even legal!) that it is imperative that the pitchers continue to get better with each generation. I have only seen one way to clock pitchers and all college coaches that I have seen do it the same way- behind the plate. Just because you haven't seen these young upstarts doesn't mean they do not exist. There is some great young talent in the midwest and southeast, and the ones I have seen do not always go to these combines or camps to get clocked. They are known to the people that matter-those recruiting them. No disrespect intended and I know there will always be inflated boasting about DD's speed. However there are some very legitimate young players coming like the player in GA, and there will be more. The old gold standard will get outdated at some point.
    I don't believe it. If current USA softballers cannot regularly throw 69mph NOW then I flat out refuse to believe that 16 and 17 year old's are throwing that fast. Especially if they can also hit their spots. If they were better than the current crop, they would be in the USA team now. Not pitching at some podunk 'exposure' tournament.

    The 'official' (i.e. Guinness Book of World Records) fastest speed is 69mh (111km/h) set by Aussie Zara M ee/R eid (if you want to look at her currently she's just been selected in the Aussie squad for worlds) in 2005. Now there are current players (Ueno the obvious one off the top of my head) who throw that. But they're not a common occurrence. She was throwing not far below that at 15/16. And she was in the Australian opens squad at that age because it is such a rare occurrence for someone of that age to be throwing that speed. If there were multiple girls who were throwing that speed at such a young age they would not need to be exposed. Everyone would know about them.

  7. #37
    Checking out the clubhouse fpitch11's Avatar
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    I hardly think that the Guinness Book of Records is the foremost authority on pitch speeds. In fact I have never seen them gunning pitchers at any tournaments. Just because you do not believe it does not mean it is not true. As I said there are some girls that have achieved those speeds at 15 and 16 years old. I did not say they were seasoned pitchers with great command- who is at that age? However the ones I have seen do not play at "podunk tournaments", and ARE well known again to those that matter- the college coaches recruiting them. A few of these girls may be among the future stars of the game here, but there are many good pitchers in the US, and at the collegiate level. And for the record, some of them throw faster than your "world record".

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    Softball Junkie joemcq51's Avatar
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    Holy Cow!!!!! I just watch my DD hit 80 MPH. She threw a drop that didn't drop and I think it went back at her at least 80 mph. I get a good laugh out of anyone who is bragging about pitch speeds. Let me see them in a game. The only numbers that really matter are how many girls get on base and does she win when she pitches. If you throw 60mph, but you give up 5 runs a game and lose first round on Sunday, does it really matter? When my DD is a dominent pitcher, I won't have to tell anyone. They will already know.

  9. #39
    Certified softball maniac Lozza's Avatar
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    I hardly think that the Guinness Book of Records is the foremost authority on pitch speeds. In fact I have never seen them gunning pitchers at any tournaments. Just because you do not believe it does not mean it is not true. As I said there are some girls that have achieved those speeds at 15 and 16 years old. I did not say they were seasoned pitchers with great command- who is at that age? However the ones I have seen do not play at "podunk tournaments", and ARE well known again to those that matter- the college coaches recruiting them. A few of these girls may be among the future stars of the game here, but there are many good pitchers in the US, and at the collegiate level. And for the record, some of them throw faster than your "world record".
    Never said it was. I just posted the 'official' record. I KNOW people have thrown harder and faster than Zara (she knows that too!) but I flat out don't believe that 15/16 year old's are regularly throwing speeds faster than their current adult counter-parts. If the top pitchers in the USA can't throw those speeds, I find it incredibly hard to believe that juniors are doing so.

    Better yet, wouldn't there be video of these kids throwing that hard?

  10. #40
    Softball Junkie CoachFP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lozza View Post
    Never said it was. I just posted the 'official' record. I KNOW people have thrown harder and faster than Zara (she knows that too!) but I flat out don't believe that 15/16 year old's are regularly throwing speeds faster than their current adult counter-parts. If the top pitchers in the USA can't throw those speeds, I find it incredibly hard to believe that juniors are doing so.

    Better yet, wouldn't there be video of these kids throwing that hard?
    Girls throw their hardest at about 16 y/o. They mature fast and after that any speed increases are minimal.

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