Welcome to Discuss Fastpitch

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

Register Log in

Arm Speed Consistency Question

Dec 19, 2008
My 12 year old DD is having trouble over the past 2 weeks with keeping a consistent arm speed with her fastballs. She has been clocked at 54 mph, so we know she has it. Sometimes her arm speed slows, then when the speed comes back up, she starts throwing high. We know it is not because she is tired because at tonights lesson, her last 30 pitches (speed pitches, throwing 30 in 3 sets of 10, as quickly as possible) were her fastest. This was pitch number 120 thru 150. Her instructor wants her to work on arm speed consistency this week. After warm-ups, drills, and pitching to get loose, she is to pitch a wiffle ball, then a 9 oz. ball, then resume pitching with a regular ball, focusing on arm speed. Does anybody else have any tips?
She pitches, uses the Finch Windmill, and 1 lb. weight 5 days a week. Anything else?


May 7, 2008
"My 12 year old DD is having trouble over the past 2 weeks with keeping a consistent arm speed with her fastballs"

During a game, in practice or in the teaching facility?

What I am getting at is this; Many times a problem pops up when the area the stride foot comes down on is not the same. You have seen how nasty some of the surfaces in the circle can be, it can make a major difference in speed and accuracy.

Normally, a facility will have cement and/or carpet for a very stable and unchanging surface.

Pitchers have been known to fall in and be lost for days in some of those toe holes and landing foot holes :)

May not be her at all causing the inconsistency, could be the surface she is landing on.

I have seen a few pitchers sprain their ankles in my time because of the surface area in the circle. Once I refused to pitch, it was so bad.
Dec 19, 2008
"During a game, in practice or in the teaching facility?"

This is during practice, and during the past 2 lessons.

Because of the weather, she pitches in the garage on a pitching mat with pitchers plate glued to the floor, wearing tennis shoes. Arm speed is very fast, but is only pitching 18 feet against a carpet hanging from the ceiling.

Lessons are indoors with a dirt pitching lane. Last 2 lessons, her arm speed is inconsistent.

Team practices have been indoors. Last team practice, her arm speed was down using her portable pitching mat. The team practice a week before that, her arm speed was very fast using the same portable pitching mat.

Like I said earlier, She and I both know she has it in her. Niether her, nor I can figure out why this is happening.
May 7, 2008
Morris County, NJ
I ask DD's pitching coach about this at times as well...this is the answer I usually get.... " DD is 11. 11 year old's have good days and not so good days, but she has more good than not so good days, so don't worry about it"...


Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
Dallas, Texas
You are automatically assuming it is arm speed. Why?

The way to find out if it is arm speed is for her to stand open and have her do "full frames" with no use of the lower. She gets open, takes the ball, and throws it to the catcher and continues to stay open. She is *NOT* to close. Both feet should remain on the ground.

If she has inconsistent arm speed, her speed on this drill will be inconsistent. If she is consistently able to throw at 50 MPH or so, then the problem is the rest of the body.

Also, please go to a baseball academy and have her clocked. Baseball academy's have the pro baseball scouts use their facilities, so their radar guns are accurate. Pitching coaches have been known to have inaccurate speed guns. 12 YOA pitchers who throw 54 mph are pretty rare.
With all the various weighted ball drills, etc, that you described I can imagine that your DD might have some arm speed inconsistency.
I do believe in arm speed drills but for the purpose of firing up the whole body to generate real "intent" or energy.
Now I'm going to speak out of the other side of my mouth here for a moment; try speeding up her leg stride--do some drills that focus on that. Then do your arm speed drills and focus on arm speed. Now put the two together--arm speed and leg speed. You should see an obvious jump in total energy generated----and in ball speed. I believe that if you just increase one component of the body that the timing will be way off and you could slip backwards.

A key here is to be a little patient with her because it may take a few pitches for her to get in sync with her total motion timing---i.e. lots of wild pitches. But if she is a reasonable athlete her body movements will get back in sync.
I do believe that the arm circle should begin with a reasonable amount of "controlled speed" but it should be continuosly increasing---particularily after it passes the 12 o'clock position.
Dec 19, 2008
Here is what has transpired this week with this problem. Last Thursday, pitching coach wanted her to work at home with these specific sequences. After complete warm-up, pitch 5 pitches with a wiffle ball, 5 pitches with a 9 oz. ball, then 10 pitches with a regular ball. Repeat sequence to 100. Did this on Friday and Saturday. At Sunday's indoor team practice, DD pitches about 75 pitches to her catcher (mixed pitches) and her speed was the fastest I have seen yet, and change up was better as well. I know it was only 2 days, but it has worked. This may have been a "mental" thing, or maybe it wasn't. But, it has seemed to work (for now). She was off from pitching yesterday, and will pitch again tonight.
Feb 13, 2009
North Carolina
I was not going to respond to this as I am new to this board and you have already heard from Hal and Slugger who are excellent authorities but I can not get your original post off my mind. You say your daughter is 12 years old and you commented on her pitch numbers of 120 - 150.:eek: You also noted in a later post that she threw the drill her coach requested for two days then pitched to a catcher on the third day before a day off. If this is a common practice you are opening your daughter up for overuse injuries. This much throwing may help her become better in the short term but her body is still developing. You put this kind of stress on the growing joints and you are only asking for trouble.

After warmups a 12 yo pitcher, on average since body development differs, should throw in the range of 55-65 pitches per practice/game then cool down. This should be done every other day. Occasional increases such as back to back games are OK in moderation but should not be the rule. You should also make sure that your daughter is doing other exercises or sports that will keep her from overdeveloping her pitching side. You want even muscle develop on each side of her body and it is easy for a pitcher to neglect her "off" side if she becomes to focused on pitching.

The benefits your daughter gains today from this overwork is not worth the possible longterm pain and injuries this practice can result in down the road. Slugger had a very good post earlier concerning this very topic and the growing female body especially in respect to how the addition of a bust and hips effects a pitcher.

Be careful and good luck.

Members online

Forum statistics

Latest member