Welcome to Discuss Fastpitch

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

Register Log in

Interesting article on pitch speeds

Ken Krause

May 7, 2008
Mundelein, IL
Just saw this article referenced at DiscussFastpitch.com. The article is on a site focused on fastpitch pitching called PitchSoftball.com, and represents the observations of Gerald Warner, a pitching instructor from Colorado.

For those of you whose 14 year old daughters DON'T throw 65 mph with eight pitches (as the daughters of most people on eTeamz's boards seem to do), don't despair. According to the site, while the average pitch speed at a particular age varies by region, Coach Warner puts an average 14U pitch speed at 50. A 13 year old will pitch between 40 and 50, he says.

That's pretty consistent with what I've seen too. There are always exceptions on both ends, but the speeds listed here are more the norms. Incidentally, an average HS pitcher is listed at 53-57 mph.

As people point out in the DiscussFastpitch post, keep in mind that speed is only one element of a successful pitcher. You need enough speed to be respectable, but you don't have to be overpowering to be successful. Movement, location, and intelligence/pitch selection are also important - perhaps even moreso, especially at the upper levels.

Check out the article. It's a quick read, but a good one.

May 9, 2008
Hartford, CT
Pitching speed

Nice to know where my 12 pitcher fits....
....happy that she is "average" with 45-48 mph. Pretty sure she never hit 50 even on a good day.
(I got my reality check with a good Radar gun...I did think she was hitting 50)
In some ways this lets the pressure off as she isn't "it" all the time.

She hits corners very well and has a good knack to pitch around batters still throwing strikes......walks 2-3 per game (all balls close to the plate).
Has a very consistent change-up ....

The other pitcher on her team pitches slightly faster, has 5? pitches (she calls them out at practice, but they aren't strikes). Keep working on them but why is she being taught so many at one time?

They will both end up with a lot of good innings and sharing the load helps them to relax!

My DD needs a third (4th) pitch and a more commanding attitude on the mound. She never gets rattled or upset (a good thing), but she looks kind of meak (sometimes a good thing as batters are surprised first two innings). She has no "attitude".
She pitched for 2 hours the other night and although her speed did decrease slightly, she remained accurate and said that her legs were tired, but no pain or tiredness anywhere else.

Living in New England presents the challenge as it is very difficult to find a place to pitch 5x per week. I can see why those in warmer climates may average slightly faster.

We are lucky that her Travel Org has their own place so we are always welcome to join other practices (14U/16U) or find a corner to pitch when we can. But it is 40 minutes away and we get there 3x-4x per week.

Right now she is obsessing over her height (nothing we can control) as she is 5'1", 7th grade. Keep telling her to work on mechanics, it is as it is, we will play until she can't or doesn't want to and don't worry about it.
Could she find a small college to pitch for someday....possibly...but that isn't our absolute only goal. She is having fun and working hard.

Middle school has a ton of really good 8th grade players so she may not make that team ..... her chance would be to sneak in as a 3rd pitcher .... they have two 8th grade pitchers ... she is similar to one, the other is pitching low 50's. I am encouraging her to try out anyway. It might be fun.

Would love to see her pitch 50 .... speed is up 6-7 mph from last spring.
She loves long toss ... could do that all day....timing and pushing off need more work...arm speed too .... that may get her to 50 ...
she is progressing, just need to keep tweaking ....

May 7, 2008
Hudson, NH
That's pretty consistent with what I've seen too. There are always exceptions on both ends, but the speeds listed here are more the norms. Incidentally, an average HS pitcher is listed at 53-57 mph.

Refering to the 53-57MPH as being ave high school speed I have reposted the data from another post on this site about the speeds recorded at the 5 NFCA Administered camps held in 2008. Those camps are attended by mostly high school age girls and the 53-57 ave holds up well,....see the data below.

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.

Ken Krause

May 7, 2008
Mundelein, IL
That's interesting. I remember seeing that post as well. Thanks for bringing it forward.

You have to figure that if you're attending an NFCA recruiting camp you're pretty dedicated. There's a desire to play college ball there, likely at the D1 level. My guess is those players for the most part would be considered above average in ability and/or dedication. Still, the average speed for those above average pitchers is not 60+, it's 56.5.

I guess when you come down to it, while 60+ in HS would definitely help, it's not essential. For all those parents who think their 12 year old should be throwing 60+ after a year or two of lessons, perhaps it's a dose of reality as well. Thanks for sharing. :)
Jul 17, 2008
Southern California
I'm probably late in the game in adding to this post but I'll add my 2 cents worth. My 14 yo goes to a local pitching coach in Orange County CA. It's in a very large softball facility and we're there 2-4 days a week for pitching, hitting or practice. I've had the opportunity to observe many of the TOP high school-travel pitchers go to this same facility for lessons. There is a radar in the cage with the readout facing the pitcher at all times. The majority of pitchers that I've seen from 14 YO to 18YO are pitching at an average speed of 56 mph. I've never seen a pitcher in his cage throw faster than 63 in the entire year that we have been going there. It does seem that 56.5 as an overall average is an accurate assessment.
I just have to laugh when I hear parents on the message boards talking about this kid or that kid throwing 60+.
From personal observation it is a very rare athlete that consistently hits 60+ mph.

Ken Krause

May 7, 2008
Mundelein, IL
Interesting to hear that view from SoCal. The rest of us assume all your pitchers throw 65+ by the age of 13 or they have to find another position. :)

Hitting 60 mph is not easy. The more I teach, the more convinced I become that it has to be in your DNA. You need good mechanics, good conditioning, and a strong work ethic too. But it seems like if it's not coded into your cells at the genetic level it's going to be awfully tough to get there.

Members online

Latest threads

Forum statistics

Latest member