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how fast is fast

Dec 12, 2008
39
0
Albany NY
My team is blessed with a great kid who works very hard as a pitcher. she is a 7th grader - second year in 12U. Yesterday her dad clocked her at 51mph. I'm curious how fast that is in comparison to what others have seen in 12U. Also curious about speeds in 10U, 14U, 16U. thanks...
 
May 7, 2008
172
0
Hudson, NH
Lots of discussion on what is ave pitch speed for fastballs at different ages. I downloaded the results from the 5 NFCA Administered Camps held in 2008.

NFCA Pennsbury Recruiting Camp, Yardley, Penn., June 12
NFCA Great Lakes Recruiting Camp, Toledo, Ohio, June 19
NFCA Colorado Sparkler Recruiting Camp, Westminster, Colo., June 30
NFCA Colorado Fireworks Recruiting Camp, Aurora, Colo., July 1
NFCA Elite College Showcase Recruiting Camp, Plano, Texas, July 24

Now I have no way of knowing if any of the pitchers went to more then one but here is how the numbers worked out.

633 different pitchers results were tallied from the 5 camps

Each pitcher had the speed of 2 fastballs recorded.

The data for 1266 recorded fastballs showed an average MPH for all 1266 pitches as 56.5MPH

123 girls had at least one pitch at 60mph or faster

63 girls had both pitches at 60 or faster

Maximum MPH was 66, thrown 3 times by 3 different girls

Not sure what would be the ave age of these 633 girls but seems likely they are at least sophomores in high school.
 
Aug 6, 2008
43
0
Low 50's - WITH CONTROL - for a 12-13 yr. old is very good. The mistake often made is twofold. First, and most problematic, is not being honest with her TRUE speed (fudging the numbers to make her look good), and secondly, trying to extrapolate speed vs. age to arrive at some mythical speed when she's 18 yrs. old - as in, she's blowing it by 'em now, so when she's 18 she'll be doing the same. Doing both is counterproductive.

When mine was 13, she was also throwing 51 - 53 pretty consistently. In our area, that is on par with quite a few varsity high school pitchers. But getting a TRUE speed of a kid is like trying to get a woman's weight. Fortunately, the NFCA numbers Catching Coach posted are right on par with the research I did when my DD was younger, and are a great resource for accurate, average measurements. DD is now a DI junior, and tops out at about 61. But she didn't gain speed on an even curve. Her gains between 53 and 61 were made from age 13 to 17 - over 4 years period. Now, at 20, she's MUCH stronger, her pitch arsenal is more perfected, but her fastball speed is still a consistent 61. That was enough to get her college education paid for.

I cannot stress enough - DO NOT GET HUNG UP ON SPEED, for speed's sake. Instead, stress PROPER form (excellent mechanics), which will produce pain-free pitching. Use the Greg Maddux approach - less is more. Become a specialist at maybe 3 pitches, like a drop, change and rise. Fastball is a given. The key to being a specialist is PINPOINT ACCURACY. You have NOT mastered those pitches until you can throw them for a strike when needed!

A 65+ mph fastball is driven by genetics. It's NOT a simple matter of "if you train hard and well enough, it will happen". Use excellent training, and maximize the gifts you are given. The rest will take care of itself. Otherwise, you are setting yourself up for some major disappointment.
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,845
63
Dallas, Texas
If you go to a good 12U tournament, you are going to see lots of 50 MPH pitchers. Go to an 18U tournament a few years later, and you will have trouble finding any of those girls still pitching.

It just isn't hard for a 12U girl to learn to throw 50 MPH. She doesn't need good form to throw that fast--in fact, it is easier to throw 50 MPH with bad form than with good form. The trick is getting from 50 MPH to 60 MPH--and, to do that, a pitcher needs great form, a great coach, a great work ethic, and some genetics.

Also, there is a difference between "cruising" speed and "one time max" speeds. A cruising speed is what a pitcher can throw consistently for strikes over 7-10 innings. One time max is how fast a pitcher can throw occasionally during a game, but due to control or endurance, she can't do it more than a few times. You can find out her cruising speed by having her pitch for 20 minutes *after* a 90 minute pitching practice. Time every pitch in that 20 minutes, and you'll see her cruising speed.

Most good HS pitchers cruise at 55 MPH, with a max around 60 MPH. Most good D1 college pitchers cruise around 60 MPH, with a max around 63. The great Olympic pitchers, other than Osterman, cruise at 67 MPH, with a max of 70 MPH.

As 10U, 12U, 14U, 16U, 18U, etc--it is really hard to give any kind of speeds. At the 18U gold, all the pitchers throw over 60 MPH.
 
Dec 28, 2008
393
0
My team is blessed with a great kid who works very hard as a pitcher.
Any kid who works had at whatever it is that they do for the team is indeed a blessing. If others on the team are encouraged when they see her working hard and she inspires them to also work hard then you will be doubly blessed. It seems from all of your questions in recent days that they've all inspired you to work even harder as a coach which is a triple blessing. If you tell us that the parents are all wonderful and supportive too there whill be all kinds of U-Haul trucks pulling up to Albany in a weeks time to be a part of this team. :D
 
May 12, 2008
2,217
0
Low 50's - WITH CONTROL - for a 12-13 yr. old is very good. The mistake often made is twofold. First, and most problematic, is not being honest with her TRUE speed (fudging the numbers to make her look good), and secondly, trying to extrapolate speed vs. age to arrive at some mythical speed when she's 18 yrs. old - as in, she's blowing it by 'em now, so when she's 18 she'll be doing the same. Doing both is counterproductive.

When mine was 13, she was also throwing 51 - 53 pretty consistently. In our area, that is on par with quite a few varsity high school pitchers. But getting a TRUE speed of a kid is like trying to get a woman's weight. Fortunately, the NFCA numbers Catching Coach posted are right on par with the research I did when my DD was younger, and are a great resource for accurate, average measurements. DD is now a DI junior, and tops out at about 61. But she didn't gain speed on an even curve. Her gains between 53 and 61 were made from age 13 to 17 - over 4 years period. Now, at 20, she's MUCH stronger, her pitch arsenal is more perfected, but her fastball speed is still a consistent 61. That was enough to get her college education paid for.

I cannot stress enough - DO NOT GET HUNG UP ON SPEED, for speed's sake. Instead, stress PROPER form (excellent mechanics), which will produce pain-free pitching. Use the Greg Maddux approach - less is more. Become a specialist at maybe 3 pitches, like a drop, change and rise. Fastball is a given. The key to being a specialist is PINPOINT ACCURACY. You have NOT mastered those pitches until you can throw them for a strike when needed!

A 65+ mph fastball is driven by genetics. It's NOT a simple matter of "if you train hard and well enough, it will happen". Use excellent training, and maximize the gifts you are given. The rest will take care of itself. Otherwise, you are setting yourself up for some major disappointment.
A good post but I wouldn't want to interpret anything in there to say you can't spend part of your training time developing speed as Ernie directed my DD. His suggestion was long toss which makes perfect sense after doing a little reading about the importance of intent and immediate objective feedback to motor learning. I suggest using the same protocol Jaeger uses in over hand long toss for bb pitchers only of course, underhand. You can find info on google and youtube but briefly, after loosening and stretching, you begin to, in a relaxed manner that should always feel good and not let mechanics go to #$%^, windmill the ball slowly backing up from each other till you reach your max distance where even with an arc you can't throw any farther. Then, trying to keep the same feel and velocity you had at max distance, you slowly move back in to regulation pitching distance. This last is called the pull down phase as I recall.

Certainly potential velocity is determined partially by genetics but we can work on reaching that potential in various ways. Always of course also continuing to work on spin, location and speed changes on a regular basis as well.
 

halskinner

Banned
May 7, 2008
2,695
0
Don't throw the ball TO your catcher; throw the ball THROUGH your catcher.

A catcher can play a major role in getting some extra MPH out of their pitchers. Make the pitcher mad, insult her and do it loudly. Then the pitcher will want to hurt the catcher, they will want to make their hand sting.

It's a great way to add some MPH that is still hiding. (It's also a great way to get the pitcher to focus and forget ANY distractions).

Many times, as a pitching instructor, they would bring their catcher with them. I worked with the catchers and told them what to say to tick em off, it works. Although, a few times they left not speaking to each other but they patched it up by the next session.:D

More winning advice
 
Dec 12, 2008
39
0
Albany NY
ha ha druer - while this team is not perfect, it has a nice mix and very committed parents and coaches. I have had the pleasure of coaching every girl on the team in rec or travel and my other two coaches and I work well together. (Last season was much more challenging in all of the typical parental/coach areas). Would welcome the visit to Albany! Thanks to all who have responded to this post!
 

FastpitchFan

Softball fan
Feb 28, 2008
496
0
Montreal, Canada
Hi Steve,

I will be in the Albany Area in about 5 weeks. Taking my new 16U team to the tournament at the Dome in Glen Falls/Queensbury area during the weekend of Feb 14-15.

I got to tell ya, I am back coaching at that level after 10 years working mostly with 18+ . Interesting change.

I am taking them down to get some games in and get them some experience. Some talent on the team but lots of developmental work to be done. Nothing like a game once in a while to measure progress after training for a couple of months.

Cheers,

Marc
 

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