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Thread: Pitching faster

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    Certified softball maniac ANNASDAD's Avatar
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    As far as speed vs........sometimes you have to flip the question around, ask the top hitters which they'd rather face, pure speed, a spinner, or a pitcher who can spot up. I'd say probably 90%+ would rather face the pitcher who throws gas, they may not hit her the first time around, but there's a lot of game left to be played!

    I've asked Anna's hitting coach this before, she said she'd take the fast pitcher every time!

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    I'm a fan Djubs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ANNASDAD View Post
    As far as speed vs........sometimes you have to flip the question around, ask the top hitters which they'd rather face, pure speed, a spinner, or a pitcher who can spot up. I'd say probably 90%+ would rather face the pitcher who throws gas, they may not hit her the first time around, but there's a lot of game left to be played!

    I've asked Anna's hitting coach this before, she said she'd take the fast pitcher every time!
    Correct, and I would too. You take any pitcher, regardless of her skill level, and add 5mph to her velocity keeping everything else the same and you will have a better pitcher. So if it makes you a better pitcher why wouldn't you want to throw harder? Why are these elite pitchers throwing 70+mph? Just coincidence the best pitchers in the world are also the best spinners in the world? Nope, because speed is important....Just as much as movement and location. So my advice would be this. Speed is gained by throwing with proper mechanics, with a strong base and core. Do your strength training to increase your velocity, practice good mechanics, and actively work on command and movement. All 3 will combine to make you a great pitcher, but to skip out on one of them areas is limiting your success imo.

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    I eat, sleep and breathe softball riseball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Djubs View Post
    "My DD pitched in the SEC with a top speed of 70+"

    "speed is of least concern"

    Really?


    I dont see many 58mph pitchers in the SEC
    Yes, really. That was my point. As hard as she throws it was not the speed that got her there. In order of importance the trinity of pitching is control, movement, and velocity. To have all 3 you need very good mechanics. Obsessing over velocity at the expense of control and movement is a path to nowhere. Unfortunately many coaches and parents lead players down that same path because speed the only thing they understand, quantify, and provides success at the lower levels.

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    I'm a fan Djubs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by riseball View Post
    Yes, really. That was my point. As hard as she throws it was not the speed that got her there. In order of importance the trinity of pitching is control, movement, and velocity. To have all 3 you need very good mechanics. Obsessing over velocity at the expense of control and movement is a path to nowhere. Unfortunately many coaches and parents lead players down that same path because speed the only thing they understand, quantify, and provides success at the lower levels.
    Maybe, speed was never a concern for your daughter that is throwing 70mph, I think someone throwing in the mid 50s would argue with you on that one. My daughter plays for a showcase team and let me tell you about all the D1 colleges looking at our pitchers throwing under 60.......that answer would be 0. so even if they do have great spin and command how come no one is coming to look at them? How come they are only watching the girl that is throwing 65-70mph? I see coaches lined up watching these flame throwers (even if they are getting hit like crazy) they are the ones getting the attention. I agree with you on the parents and coaches put too much stock into it but to say your daughter didn't benefit from throwing 70mph is just silly.

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    Certified softball maniac ANNASDAD's Avatar
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    Quote....."You take any pitcher, regardless of her skill level, and add 5mph to her velocity keeping everything else the same and you will have a better pitcher........."


    Okay, I see where you're going but in reality what you'll have is an exit speed that's 5mph faster off of a bat barrel! Do I wish that today, my DD could throw 5mph faster?? Absolutely!! I have a 16 year old who's 5'0" and weighs 125/130lbs, she touches 60mph every now and then, definitely not her cruising speed, and in reality I'm pretty confident she's probably never touch 65, I hope I'm wrong!

    But luckily we have a pitching coach who understands the value of working with a girl's strength, and with what she knows will make that pitcher successful, which starts in her head! I don't remember the last time at a lesson she wanted to see Anna's fastball, with this coach it's about proper spin and managing the strike zone, and being a smart thinking pitcher!

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    I'm a fan Djubs's Avatar
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    "you'll have is an exit speed that's 5mph faster off of a bat barrel!"

    "Do I wish that today, my DD could throw 5mph faster?? Absolutely!!"

    ?????????..................but why?

    I was just reading another thread and found this quote from sluggers which explains what I was originally trying to point out.

    "NOTE: Speed-movement is a sliding scale. if your DD throws 70 mph, then the coach won't care if she has a breaking pitch. If your DD throws 55 mph, but has a couple of outstanding breaking pitches, the coach might be OK with the speed."

    ***side note- Notice the difference in his wording here. If you DD throws 70 mph the coach won't care if she has a breaking pitch. if your DD throws 55 mph but has some outstanding breaking pitches, the coach might be OK with the speed. Seems to me like the 70 mph pitcher is in regardless but the one with the outstanding pitches might not be.

    I just went one step further by adding in location. And take this with a grain of salt, if your DD is missing her spot by 2-3ft then yes this is not going to work. I'm talking about a pitcher that can still get in the area of the location meant to hit. All 3 are on a sliding scale imo. any weakness can be overcome by excelling at one of the other areas.

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    Certified softball maniac GunnerShotgun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Djubs View Post
    Maybe, speed was never a concern for your daughter that is throwing 70mph, I think someone throwing in the mid 50s would argue with you on that one. My daughter plays for a showcase team and let me tell you about all the D1 colleges looking at our pitchers throwing under 60.......that answer would be 0. so even if they do have great spin and command how come no one is coming to look at them? How come they are only watching the girl that is throwing 65-70mph? I see coaches lined up watching these flame throwers (even if they are getting hit like crazy) they are the ones getting the attention. I agree with you on the parents and coaches put too much stock into it but to say your daughter didn't benefit from throwing 70mph is just silly.
    I disagree with you as well. The radar gun is the last thing I pull out when evaluation pitches. I check if she can hit her spots and then we move on to movement. The last thing I do is to pull out the radar gun and measure velocity.

    In your example you are talking about a 5 to 10 MPH difference which is huge. Someone throwing in the top 5% would be excluded from the above. But 95% of kids can't throw 70MPH so you are back to control, movement and then speed.

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    I'm a fan Djubs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GunnerShotgun View Post
    I disagree with you as well. The radar gun is the last thing I pull out when evaluation pitches. I check if she can hit her spots and then we move on to movement. The last thing I do is to pull out the radar gun and measure velocity.

    In your example you are talking about a 5 to 10 MPH difference which is huge. Someone throwing in the top 5% would be excluded from the above. But 95% of kids can't throw 70MPH so you are back to control, movement and then speed.
    More than welcome to disagree. But what exactly are you disagreeing with? That speed can be used to offset a weakness in another area? If thatís the case, why would you check speed at all? I never said it was more important, I said it was just as important. Utilizing all 3 and working to improve all 3 would make you a better pitcher.


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    Super Moderator sluggers's Avatar
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    Speed-movement is a sliding scale. if your DD throws 70 mph, then the coach won't care if she has a breaking pitch. If your DD throws 55 mph, but has a couple of outstanding breaking pitches, the coach might be OK with the speed.
    That is not how it works.

    The trick to D1 pitching is consistently getting the good hitters out.

    The batting lineup for a mid-level D1 team has 3 or 4 really good hitters. The top D1 teams have 7 or so good hitters. The good hitters can hit 70 MPH fastballs. They can hit a great 55MPH breaking pitch. They can hit great change ups.

    A good D1 pitcher is going to see the same batters over and over and over again. You play them during the regular season. You play them during the conference championship. If you are a top D1 team, you play them again in the national championship. They are going to be all over your best pitch. The good hitters are *PAID* to hit your DD's best pitch.

    70 MPH fastballs or a 55MPH curve balls (*chuckles under breath*) are not going to fool those hitters three times during a game.

    To be successful at the D1 level, you have to have: (a) a minimum speed of around 60 MPH, (b) a great breaking pitch, (c) great control and (d) the ability to change speeds. If your DD doesn't have all four of those, forget it. She won't last more than once through the batting order. [By the by, 4 crappy breaking pitches does not equal 1 good breaking pitch.]

    There was a kid who had a great riseball, but threw around 55MPH. She signed with a mid-level D1 team, but ended up dropping down to D3. She became an All-American, had a great time playing softball, and got a great education for cheap.

    @riseball -- The reason coaches look for a good breaking pitch first is because very few kids have a good breaking pitch. It is easier to find someone with a 65MPH fastball than it is to find someone with a great breaking pitch.
    Last edited by sluggers; 08-31-2018 at 05:39 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattM View Post
    My DD is 11U or has one more year of 12U next spring but she has been pitching for over 4 years. Over the course of this time I have noticed a direct correlation to the more often she throws the faster she gets. As an example, last year she pitched for two concurrent week long tournaments so for those 2 weeks she threw almost every day but on a restricted pitch count. At the end of the 2 weeks she had picked up about 4 mph. This year she is faster than last year but has not had a big jump in speed. She has pitched on a regular practice schedule of about twice a week but because of her new teams schedule the weekend tournament time has been less rigorous.

    My question is as a longer term goal of building speed for high school years does it makes sense to increase pitching time now or does it not matter. In other words if she pitches more now and gets faster in the short term does 1) the speed sticks with her and she will get even faster as she practices in older years, or 2) it doesn't matter she can pick up the same amount of speed by pitching on a more rigorous schedule at an older age.

    Obviously there is also a balance between getting better and protecting against an overuse injury.
    OK - back to the OP instead of the speed/spin/control argument where everyone is saying basically the same thing (which is average pitchers have one of the three, above average pitchers have two of the three and great pitchers have all three....)

    Your DD is 11/12. Her mechanics are a work in progress and there are going to be days when she is faster and days when she is slower. She is still a long way away from HS ball. She is not yet mature, nor is she being stressed by the game physically and mentally by pitching yet. Speed will come with mechanics and strength but it becomes a battle for every mph - big gains are basically gone once you hit low 50's unless you go through a massive growth spurt. Focus work on great mechanics. Mechanics will allow the physical maturity and athletic ability to be maximized as she gets older.

    A lesson plus a couple of short practices and weekend games are plenty and a good balance.
    At some points you will add in the gym which will make will then make it something pitching related every day - she is probably a little young for that (14U is a good point to start) but stamina and core strength becomes critical. Not running so much but explosiveness and core- when you think about it you are doing basically 100+ sprint starts to resistance per game while whipping your arms and torso around as hard as you can.

    What I mean in demanding is that in 12U pitching is nowhere near as physically or mentally demanding as it becomes. Most teams don't bat that deep, mistakes that are hit hard don't leave the yard often, you can blow it by batters when location is not there and so on. There are also more 'easy' games.

    As they go through the older age groups, pitching becomes more and more demanding. You are throwing harder and spinning it harder, teams bat deeper and deeper and games get longer and longer. Batters are bigger stronger and better - or lightning quick. Every batter and sometimes every pitch becomes a physical and mental battle. It becomes a constant battle with pitching in games , pitching in practice and getting stronger/fitter and maintaining all of that without getting exhausted. My DD has a recovery day built into her week and she needs it.
    Last edited by marriard; 08-31-2018 at 06:08 PM.
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