Ramp up Velocity in Offseason?

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Jul 1, 2020
5
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Our 12U daughter just wrapped up a successful fall season with her team. What's your recommendations for ramping up velocity in the off-season to prepare for spring? She is a very consistent and solid pitcher but I know she can pitch even a little faster. She seems to slow down sometimes in games when she feels she has to strike someone out, and that's of course when these batters start timing her fastball. Any tips would be appreciated, it is her biggest goal to prepare for the spring!
 
Oct 11, 2010
8,090
83
Chicago, IL
What you are describing for games sounds more like a mental Issue more then a physical one.

2 things I did with DD was ....

Long toss

2, which some smart people disagree with, is put something on a batting tee she needs to knock off. If you put a toliet plunger in batting tee you can put something any size you want. It is kind of a game. Hit the big ball a few time, move smaller. If they cannot hit small ball move back bigger. You and your DD can decide the rules.

Our rules were 3 hits in a row smaller ball, miss 3 out of 5 bigger ball.

If she backs off trying to aim .. One is she probably miss the target. Two is it doesn't count anyways.
 
May 15, 2008
1,202
113
Cape Cod Mass.
Working on velocity with a 12U pitcher can be tricky. Sometimes it involves making some mechanical changes like a better launch posture, improving front side resistance or increasing IR. Video analysis is helpful for this.

Long toss/walk-ins can improve strength and give her some feel for putting more effort into her pitches; if you have a place where you can do this.

Sometimes just having the intention to throw faster can help, but sometimes it causes mechanical breakdowns and loss of good form. One thing that I sometimes tell my pitchers is 'to move the ball through the circle faster'.

Having a radar gun is a big help, you need some objective feedback to know if what you're doing is actually helping.
 
Mar 10, 2020
483
43
Working on velocity with a 12U pitcher can be tricky. Sometimes it involves making some mechanical changes like a better launch posture, improving front side resistance or increasing IR. Video analysis is helpful for this.

Long toss/walk-ins can improve strength and give her some feel for putting more effort into her pitches; if you have a place where you can do this.

Sometimes just having the intention to throw faster can help, but sometimes it causes mechanical breakdowns and loss of good form. One thing that I sometimes tell my pitchers is 'to move the ball through the circle faster'.

Having a radar gun is a big help, you need some objective feedback to know if what you're doing is actually helping.
Radar gun being objective feedback it is as necessary to a pitcher as a bat is to a hitter.
 
Jan 6, 2018
93
18
Working on velocity with a 12U pitcher can be tricky. Sometimes it involves making some mechanical changes like a better launch posture, improving front side resistance or increasing IR. Video analysis is helpful for this.

Long toss/walk-ins can improve strength and give her some feel for putting more effort into her pitches; if you have a place where you can do this.

Sometimes just having the intention to throw faster can help, but sometimes it causes mechanical breakdowns and loss of good form. One thing that I sometimes tell my pitchers is 'to move the ball through the circle faster'.

Having a radar gun is a big help, you need some objective feedback to know if what you're doing is actually helping.
This is spot on - until they stop growing like weeds, perfecting posture and arm whip are paramount followed by drive mechanic. Once they can repeat the proper mechanics from the ground up, you can then work on getting stronger/faster.

Getting taller and stronger with good mechanics = "working" on velocity. Once they stop growing, yes you can keep squeezing every MPH out of the mechanics as possible, but sorry, no more shortcuts LOL: HIT THE GYM and WORK YOUR BUTT OFF.

There ARE however a few things you can easily add in to increase strength at this stage/age. Other than the stuff already mentioned; Grip strength and spinning the ball are good and easy to do. There are a variety of ways to get the fingers stronger, but the easiest is simply spinning the ball every day. (example: https://youtu.be/lqpyefWfhQU) 8-12 year old, or anyone really, put a ball on the couch or in the bed and spin it every day. 30 seconds here or there -- Different grips, both hands.

To measure spin rate you need a DK ball or something, but you can also just see it once you've been catching for a while...you can even hear it too! Also stripe a ball so you can have her work on perfecting spin axis while you're at it.
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
6,728
113
Dallas, Texas
Getting taller and stronger with good mechanics = "working" on velocity. Once they stop growing, yes you can keep squeezing every MPH out of the mechanics as possible, but sorry, no more shortcuts LOL: HIT THE GYM and WORK YOUR BUTT OFF.

Speed gain after HS comes from a few different areas:

1. Physically maturation. Girls don't get much taller, but their coordination and strength improve.
2. Strength conditioning.
3. Going from "good" mechanics to "perfect" mechanics. Perfecting leg drive is probably the most significant area of speed gain after HS.
 

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