My son just turned 10 years old this February and he is pitching between 55-57 miles per hour without even trying to throw hard. He is very passionate about playing and is looked to as the closer or the go to guy when we are down in a game. At his age, what speed is safe for him to be pitching? We tell him to try to throw at 80-90% but its difficult because when he holds back that’s when he isn’t as consistent. His change up is clocking in at about 41 miles per hours at times which to me seems like a significant decrease from his fast ball. We played a team yesterday that knows how fast my son throws, they came equipped with a speed gun and was clocking his pitches. Can anyone tell me a safe speed for a 10 year old to throw?
What exactly are you really asking?
Speed he’s throwing for his age is faster than his peers but doubt it will injure him if managed. My son was at a similar speed at his age and 7 years later is probably more around the average. In other words velocity at 10 isn’t necessarily a predictor of future velocity. I would be concerned about instructing him to “slow it down” at 10 years old. I believe this is age should develop an intent to throw hard. Slowing down is likely to lead to slowing down his movement patterns and arm speed resulting in imparing his future development. I’d be more concerned at managing his IP & pitch counts; avoid overuse. Sounds like he’s developing a change which is good. Based on what you’ve written his change is almost 30% slower than his FB. Sounds like he might be “lobbing it”. Sounds like it would be a good time to find a good grip for him that he can maintain his arm speed while reducing his velocity. Would thing around 10 mph off his FB velocity would be a reasonable goal?
what is a safe speed for him to be pitching?
He only pitches when we are down in the game or need to shut other teams out other than that he is behind the plate catching, so managing his pitch count isn’t really an issue at this point. He is continuing to build his arm strength by lifting light weights and constant rubber band exercise. Thanks for your input about not slowing him down so that he can develop the intent to throw hard, good reminder. We will work on reaching 10mph less that his fastball for his change ups. He has a crazy knuckle ball that he throws but if someone were to get a hold of it, it would probably be out of the park. His coaches likes curves but at this age i think they are to young for that, whats your thoughts on kids his age throwing curves all game?
yes that’s a good speed for his age and no it won’t likely injure him by trying to throw harder but any training besides naturally throwing the ball could create lasting injuries in his arm. for now, let him do his thing and have fun, predictions of where he will top at this age are nothing more than a guess. velocity will come with maturity until he’s about 18-20.
IMO, developing intent to throw hard is of most importance at his age. Developing a good change up, one that his arm speed and slot are same as fastball is where I would focus. Lots of opinions on breaking pitches at his age. Personally I don’t believe he’d be any more prone to injury if taught to throw correctly. Reason I believe kids his age should leave them alone is it has potential to hinder development. Kids that age have difficulty hitting even bad curves so they have a tendency to throw more often. I’d stick with a FB change up combo until 13 or 14 and keep developing intent.
How big is he?
My son is about 100 pounds and maybe around 4’ 9 or 4’10, solid not fatty. He has thick muscular legs as my husband makes him do leg squats daily to build stamina for when he is catching.
How can I upload a video of him pitching on here? Or do I have to share a link?
here is some clips of a game where my son got to pitch 3 innings against a beast team that usually blows out everyone they play. struck out 9 of them during this game. I get nervous every time he goes up to pitch!
Yeah I could easily see him throwing 57 being 100 pounds of muscle no doubt.
That is AWESOME! Definitely above the curve in size and velocity for his age! I agree with everyone here, no reason to have him slow down the velocity at all. The thing that spoke to me was that you state he is not consistent when he “holds back”. Mechanically, he should be able to pitch the same at 100%, 90% or even 50%. Mechanics are what make the consistency. So be sure his mechanics are solid no matter what. Developing a change-up is key because as he grows older, the ability to change speeds and location will be the key. Also remember that he is throwing a lot as a catcher. Good Luck!!
You should not have him holding back when pitching. This could lead to injuries. Just google MLB pitchsmart and follow those guidelines for arm safety.