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Pitchers moving up to 10U and arm strength tips?

Mar 24, 2009

We have 4 girls who moved up to 10U from 8U this season. All pitched well in 8U, but are having hard time consistently reaching the plate from 35' (8U pitching distance last season was 32').

We have pitched each girl one inning with poor results - lots of walks. We have two experienced 10U travel pitchers on our Spring Rec team. However, we would like to encourage these four younger girls to pursue pitching. I am personally committed to rotating each of the younger girls in one inning per game - sandwiched between our older pitchers. However, I don't want to send them back out to pitch until they can consistently get the ball to the plate. Each of these girls took a bit of a confidence hit when they pitched. I will work on their confidence in games and practices by putting them in positions in the field where they can contribute to the team and be successful.

However, I could use some help on the pitching. I'd appreciate any tips, drills to help these girls achieve a little more success at getting the ball over the plate from 35'.


Coach Dale
Feb 19, 2009

I'm in a similar situation as I am also a new 10u coach for my younger dd and I have an older dd who pitches at 12u. I started teaching a couple of kids last fall to pitch, we have coach/slingshot pitch at 8u here so I had time to work with them without them having to pitch games at the same time.

It sounds like your kids are doing the same thing mine were, 35 ft looks like a mile away to them so they try to just use their arms to muscle it over the plate. You need to get them to learn to use their body core more, here's a couple of drills that might help.

Three step drill:
YouTube - Fastpitch Softball Quick Tip # 326

One knee drill (1st drill demo after intro):
YouTube - Softball Pitching Tips and Drills - Increase Speed Video

Good luck
Jan 15, 2009
Good chance that the returning 8U players did little if any offseason work so that there performance at the end of the 8U season was significantly better than what your seeing 8 months later with no upkeep. 3 ft won't matter if they get back into mid season condition with practice.

This isn't bike riding, you don't drop back into it exactly where you left off last year without some work.

I agree it's good to get them some game time regardless of their performance to keep them working at it. But I wouldn't be afraid to tell them straight out that more pitching than that won't come until they can perform better. It's not fair to the kids that are performing better now to share innings equally with kids who aren't performing especially when they aren't showing basic competency (i.e. the ability to throw a strike when desired).

FYI, depending on what you think their home workout routine is, it might make sense to warm them all up prior to every game to ensure that they are getting some practice in.

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