Welcome to Discuss Fastpitch

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

Register Log in

Pitch count

Jun 16, 2008
43
0
I was reading the coaching section and decided to start a new thread here rather than add on to an existing one. This question arises from reading one of Hal's posts. The post deals with the matter of increasing a pitcher's stamina.

I agree with what he was saying, but I also have a few questions and would like to hear eveyone's opinion on this matter.

Emerging research seems to indicate that the stress on the body is similar to throwing a baseball and that sport has always limited innings/pitches. Should associations start limiting innings pitched like baseball does?

What is your opinion on tracking the pitch count?

How much is too much in one day for a young pitcher?

My daughter has always been the #1 pitcher. Depending on how she feels, I don't think it hurts her to pitch back-to-back or multiple games in one day as an exception, but should this be an expectation for every tournament for younger pitchers?

I know each girl is different, but at what age do you generally feel safe in allowing a player to carry the kind of load that high school and college pitchers carry?

As a parent, I know that if I showed up at a tournament and found out my daughter was the only pitcher I would tell the coach that we can't play a tournament with one pitcher. I want my daughter to be able to pitch as long as she desires and winning a 12U tournament just isn't that important.
 
Aug 4, 2008
2,364
0
Lexington,Ohio
I seen kids pitch multi games in one day. Talking to Bill hillhouse he does not believe in pitch counts. He also disagrees about the stress is the same as a baseball pitcher.
 
Jun 16, 2008
43
0
Hillhouse may have to be prepared to refute growing evidence to the contrary. This also brings up the question of how many injuries are due to bad mechanics and how many are due to overwork. If you argue bad mechanics, then you've kind of created a circular argument that brings you back to limiting pitches. If the pitchers are too young to do it properly then you almost have to limit innings, don't you?
 

halskinner

Banned
May 7, 2008
2,689
0
Hillhouse may have to be prepared to refute growing evidence to the contrary. This also brings up the question of how many injuries are due to bad mechanics and how many are due to overwork. If you argue bad mechanics, then you've kind of created a circular argument that brings you back to limiting pitches. If the pitchers are too young to do it properly then you almost have to limit innings, don't you?
Most leagues will restrict the number of innings a very young pitcher can throw in a day or in a week. This is done for two reasons;

1. So no individual pitcher is overworked. They do protect the pitchers in that way. otherwise, unscrupulous coaches could basically work a very good pitcher to the point she is hurt.

2. To force team coaches to develop more/new pitchers from among their players.

I will try and elaborate on pitching stamina by using a few examples of some of my former students.

I had a 10 year old student that had been pitching for two years. Her normal routine during the week was to throw around 50 pitches twice a week to Mom, a little bit of batting practice at their weekly team workout and then pitch in a tournament when they had one (a couple a month during summer).

That was not a heavy workout routine at all. I suggested they slowly increase the number of pitches, I suggested it two months before their first games. Folks didn't have time, pitcher was not really motivated either. She would start working out and practicing her pitching two months before the season started.

Season finally started. She threw really well for 4 innings of the first game and then slowed down and lost accuracy. She would get pulled and not finishing the game was traumatic and depressing thing for her. So after the first tourney, somehow they found the time to increase her workload at practices. A month later, she was doing noticeably better, could throw 2 full games in a day and still had good speed at the end of the 2nd game. Now we had a very happy pitcher.

-------------------------

Another example; I had a 10 year old student who had been pitching since she was 5. At 10 years old, her dad had slowly increased her workouts to 200 to 250 pitches per session. She was very strong, unbelieveable work ethics and this kid lived to pitch softballs.

She was one of three pitchers on her team, she was the #1 gun and her ability was obvious compared to the other two. She could throw multiple games in a day and no injuries. At the NSA state champiponship tournament that year, on the final day, she threw 5 full games back-to-back, with the exception of the first inning of the first game. She won all 5 and they took the championship trophy. She averaged 14 k's per game with a high of 17 k's one game.

She walked out of the park that day, climbed into the back seat and immediately fell asleep. Stayed asleep for the one hour trip back home.

The next day, she was a little sore but not bad at all, according to Dad.

Now, this young lady is at the exact opposite end of the scale as far as conditioning herself and work ethics. She practiced year round, unlike the other that only worked at it during the season and just before.

The first pitcher was pretty much the norm as far as ability and stamina.

The second was obviously quite exceptional. It is highly unlikely she will get injured from pitching and highly unlikely where she will be in a situation of being overworked as most games she will throw less than half of a normal workout.

Leagues restricting the number of innings for a pitcher in a day has been going on for as long as I have heard of. Travel ball does not have those restrictions.

You also have to realize that it is the fast, everything you got but the kitchen sink pitches that hurt the kids. The muscles get tired and they are what provide the protection for ligaments, joints and tendons. Once the muscles get tired, that is when you run a great risk of pulling/tearing something.

A pitcher can throw off-speed and slower change ups all day long and not really risk an injury. Unfortunately, most coaches still have that baseball mentallity that dictates the only thing better than fast is faster and faster than that. THEY are the ones that push them to the point of getting hurt.

THEY ae the ones I would like to lump up with a bat!
 
Jun 16, 2008
43
0
Thanks Hal. I'm in Oklahoma and none of the leagues my daughter has played in have pitch count rules. I think there are too many coaches who want the trophy and aren't really concerned about the long-term.
My daughter's only 10 and has many more years if she's willing to work and if she continues to progress in the same way she always has.
She can go about 2.5 games before she starts losing velocity, but she also had a broken ankle this summer and lost about 2 months of playing time.
One of my biggest concerns are the parents who want their daughter to be the star. I fear that many of these girls will be burnt out or unable to perform due to the workload that is being placed on them now. We picked up with a team for a tournament and we were told the other pitcher they picked up decided not to play because we were bringing our daughter. Remember, this is for 10U softball. It can get a little ridiculous.
 
Aug 4, 2008
2,364
0
Lexington,Ohio
14U Nationals one team had a girl pitch 4 games. She works with Bill and has a personal trainer. She is 13. So this all depends on what kid we are talking about. My high school pitcher handles both games of every double hitter. That is the norm with the older kids. Now if you are talking 10U's , we have rules in place for those coaches that you mentioned. I tend to agree with Bill. If the mechanics are good, I have seen many girls that have played for me over the last 10 years pitch game after game and have yet seen any injury. Now I have seen pitchers get injured, but it had to do with them being taught incorrectly. Many are taught to throw a drop and curve incorrectly. It'a all about practice , being in shape ,and having a good pitching coach. My dd has pitched 6 days a week and sometimes two games a day, she just turned 14. Started when she was 10, and the only reason she didn't pitch more was to develope other pitchers. I have an indoor area for her to work on pitching and hitting all year.
 

halskinner

Banned
May 7, 2008
2,689
0
Hillhouse may have to be prepared to refute growing evidence to the contrary. This also brings up the question of how many injuries are due to bad mechanics and how many are due to overwork. If you argue bad mechanics, then you've kind of created a circular argument that brings you back to limiting pitches. If the pitchers are too young to do it properly then you almost have to limit innings, don't you?
The stress placed against the shoulder complex (at release point) is nearly equal in both baseball overhand pitching and windmill softball pitchers. It is at nearly their body weight in pounds of torque.

The big difference in them is that the baseball pitcher's torque is going in the straight forward direction, pulling straight against the shoulder with that torque and the weight of the arm as it straightens.

The softball pitcher has a follow through in a much more natural motion going up and forward immediately after release. This allows the softball pitcher to put on the brakes more slowly than the baseball pitcher who has to slam on the brakes and take the resulting force against the tendons/ligsaments and shoulder.

We have all known that since 1996.

I can guarantee you there are more pitching injuries due to bad mechanics than there are from overuse.

With bad mechanics, you usually have something that stretches, tears or breaks in an instant.

With pitchers that are not in shape enough to throw as long as they are asked to, there will be tell-tale signs they are getting tired. It is when they push it beyond that point, that is when THEY get hurt. The amount they can pitch safely is different with every pitcher.
 
Jun 16, 2008
43
0
I agree with all of the replies. I try to keep up and coached for many years before finally deciding this spring that the time, hassles and energy were more than I wanted right now. I have spent lots of time with books, and DVDs. I know my DD's pitching coach probably thinks sometimes that I'm the one going to the lessons since I'm always asking questions and picking her brain.
I agree that mechanics and conditioning are key.
This spring, she had a broken ankle for 3 weeks before we realized it wasn't a mild sprain that wasn't getting better. She kept insisting she could pitch and it just hurt a little. Her leg explosion went down and she was trying to muscle everything with her arm to get speed. I went to the coaches and told them we need to start tracking how much she's pitching, since something was definitely not right.
 
Jul 20, 2008
17
0
The pitchers on our 12U team are good for about 100-130 pitches a day. That depends alot on the weather. I have a parent count pitches and let me know when they are near 100.

We are trying to increase stamina by working harder in practice.

We played four games on Sunday in our last tourney at 8:00, 11:00, 12:30 and 2:00. One pitcher threw 170+ pitches and the other 150+. Both were completely done by the fourth game. Needless to say we lost the last game.

I believe that there is no need for pitch count or pitching rules like Little League. The pitcher's effectivness will determine how many innings to pitch.
 
May 9, 2008
432
0
Hartford, CT
pitch count

Our rec league limits 18 innings in a week.
Seven inning limits in two games in a row...can't pitch next day.

My DD 12 has only pitched one 6 inning game in her life.
(she had no problem pitching 6 and actually pitched better the last two innings than the first two (walked 5 in first two inings (0 after that), struck out 12 against the team that is 2nd in the state of CT 10/11).

......usually 2-3 innings 7-8 games during rec ball season.
NOT NEARLY ENOUGH!

At home....practice 5X per week...increased to 150 from 100 two months ago.
A lot more pitches at 50 feet...
Speed accuracy definitely improved....
 

Latest posts

Members online

Latest threads

Forum statistics

Threads
34,332
Messages
499,322
Members
15,805
Latest member
Tigersoftball61
Top