10U less than six months live pitching

Welcome to Discuss Fastpitch

Your FREE Account is waiting to the Best Softball Community on the Web.

Sep 19, 2022
7
3
I have a few questions that I'm trying to wrap my head around. First, I'm trying to see what realistic goals my 10YO should be setting. What is a good (and reasonably attainable) strike percentage for her? She has been in lessons for just about a year (with change of pitching coach at least twice causing restarting/backtracking) and has the main concepts down of course. She's throwing at about 35-39 mph for her fastball (so average) and about 26-28 mph on her change-up. She's only been pitching in live game scenarios since about late April/first of May with some months not having any live mound time. So I still consider her a Newbie in that "live" category. She is definitely more confident in the lesson and just pitching with me catching versus pitching to a live batter. Her team coach (which has absolutely no clue about softball pitching but was a former MLB coaching staff/minor league pitcher) wants to see her with 60% strikes and when she seems to be in a slump his way of "boosting" her up is yelling either "FOCUS" or "COMPETE" at her. Which of course does the absolute opposite to a 10YO pre-pubescent girl.... But that's not here or there.

Second, what is a general pitch count number that she should be having per weekend for tournaments? Right now our team only has 3 pitchers, of which she is the only "experienced" pitcher. We recently had a weekend where she had approximately 150 pitches (GameChanger stat) in game. That of course is not counting warm up before game and in between innings. She was sore for 2 days even after icing her arm and she said her legs were very sore as well. We of course took the 2 days after the tournament off from pitching to recuperate.

I'm just trying to get realistic information and trying to help my daughter succeed the best and not kill her love of the game. Before I approach the coach to try to set good boundaries for us as well as trying to set realistic goals for my daughter to hit, I wanted to try to consult someone with better knowledge on this subject. I'm hoping that someone has some solid information and maybe even some websites where I can increase my research. I don't want to take unfounded information to the coach if I/we are in the wrong thinking his goals are unrealistic. Thank you in advance for any information/help you would be able to provide to me. :)
 
May 18, 2019
119
43
This is going to be a bit tongue and cheek but the best goal at 10U is no goal other than steady progress. There are too many attention span and body control issues at that stage to be too specific. Keep it fun and keep working on form over results. I'm about to take off on a flight but 150 is way way too many and her body is telling you that. Probably more like 80. You need her arm good for at least 8 years and ideally 12. I've seen so many kids permanently lost to pitching because they were the most experienced at that age and damaged a shoulder or came to hate pitching. Short, focused workouts, don't overdo it with tournaments, and rest.
 
Sep 19, 2022
7
3
This is going to be a bit tongue and cheek but the best goal at 10U is no goal other than steady progress. There are too many attention span and body control issues at that stage to be too specific. Keep it fun and keep working on form over results. I'm about to take off on a flight but 150 is way way too many and her body is telling you that. Probably more like 80. You need her arm good for at least 8 years and ideally 12. I've seen so many kids permanently lost to pitching because they were the most experienced at that age and damaged a shoulder or came to hate pitching. Short, focused workouts, don't overdo it with tournaments, and rest.
We have our second tournament this weekend. I've gotten a sheet to track her total pitches/strikes/balls/walks/SO. I hope to have a better run down of what she is actually doing. We were trying to stick out this season with the team as all the other teams are filled and some play time is better than no play time.

Do you have any advice on how to approach the coach without going "momma bear" on him? LOL I've been trying to think out the conversation for almost a week and it never goes very well in my head. LOL
 
Jun 8, 2016
14,240
113
Do you have any advice on how to approach the coach without going "momma bear" on him?
Don’t go in assuming he is aware that what he is doing is, in your opinion, not in your child’s best interest…🤷🏽‍♂️

Sounds like you don’t like him already so this might be difficult..
 
Sep 19, 2022
7
3
Don’t go in assuming he is aware that what he is doing is, in your opinion, not in your child’s best interest…🤷🏽‍♂️
Very true. He just doesn't seem to me like he has worked with girls of this age group. I can tell he has worked with lots of baseball players by his way of approaching the players, but not sure his experience with softball players is very much. He said something about his experience before but I don't think I really listened. I'm trying really hard to not be labeled "that parent" but also trying to make sure the environment and surroundings are what is best for my daughter. I want to make sure the coach is helping her grow and bloom as I know she has lots of work to put in.
 
Apr 12, 2015
754
63
We have our second tournament this weekend. I've gotten a sheet to track her total pitches/strikes/balls/walks/SO.
Don't get too crazy. Its 10U. The only goal should begin and end with "fun".

Good 10U pitchers are a dime a dozen mainly because good 10U hitters are not. Good 12U pitchers start to become more rare and good pitchers get increasingly rare as you move up in age groups. If you are in it for the long run you have to remember it is a marathon, not a sprint.

At this age game stats are meaningless. If you want to track progress, do it in practice sessions. Games at this age are all about gaining experience, confidence, and having fun.
 
May 18, 2019
119
43
We have our second tournament this weekend. I've gotten a sheet to track her total pitches/strikes/balls/walks/SO. I hope to have a better run down of what she is actually doing. We were trying to stick out this season with the team as all the other teams are filled and some play time is better than no play time.

Do you have any advice on how to approach the coach without going "momma bear" on him? LOL I've been trying to think out the conversation for almost a week and it never goes very well in my head. LOL
I always made a point of doing it before the season started. I would sometimes use the university of florida orthopedics guidelines data as a conversation starter. If the pitcher is good the coach has to respect your interests to a degree but I always tried to be respectful and collaborative. The coaches didn't like the limitations but they respected them and I tried to have flexibility based on how my daughter was feeling and the situation but there were also multiple games we lost because she was over the agreed upon pitch limit. I always talked to my DD the day after a tournament and any significant soreness was also a sign that we reached the limit and I told the coach so. As we improved mechanics and she matured I got comfortable with her throwing more. My primary defense now is being on a team with multiple good pitchers rather than a pitch count. If the coach isn't collaborative in return its time for a new team.
 
Sep 19, 2022
7
3
Just an update. I didn't have to have the conversation with the coach. He "resigned" after he had an oral confrontation with another parent mid game at our last tournament (the parent also didn't like how he spoke to the girls).

Overall I think my daughter did good. She stayed focused and was between 40-55% strikes for the games she pitched, had about 150 tracked pitches for the weekend but wasn't as sore as she was the weekend before as they were more spread out instead of back to back like before, so steady improvement for her. She was happy with herself as was I. I told her that is what was important, being proud and happy.
 

Axe

Jul 7, 2011
459
18
Atlanta
60% was our target at that age, 65% when she got older.

150 pitches over a weekend shouldn't be too much for most 10 year olds. If they are in the same game it can be tough. If she is experiencing a high level of soreness at that age I would be examining her mechanics more closely, that shouldn't really be happening at 10 years old.
 
Sep 19, 2022
7
3
60% was our target at that age, 65% when she got older.

150 pitches over a weekend shouldn't be too much for most 10 year olds. If they are in the same game it can be tough. If she is experiencing a high level of soreness at that age I would be examining her mechanics more closely, that shouldn't really be happening at 10 years old.
This weekend I asked her several times if she was sore throughout both days and she said no. I think she was more nervous the first tournament of the season with this team and was more rigid and stiff, causing her to strain her muscles more. This tournament she seemed more relaxed between games. I did give her a mini massage in between a few games (which the passer-bys asked if they were next LOL). Just rubbing her shoulders a little and that seemed to help her relax more as well.

She has set her target at 60% strikes, however so far the coaches have not been calling her pitches and I think that's why we aren't closer to the 60%. Her first game was 55% and her second game was 42% but a few missed pop flys/foul balls (one was hers) caused her to have more pitches. I'm hoping with a shake up in coaching they will start doing that as well as trying to get her to do positions (outside/inside/middle). :)
 
Top