10U Change up and Fast Ball are Same speed


#1

Measured my 10 YO son’s fastball and change up speeds with a radar gun this weekend. Both were 46-50 mph which I understand is average for this age group. Question is, why is his change up not any slower than is four seam fast ball and it has no movement? We tried several different grips: circle change up, box change up, and even the palm ball. No difference. Any Ideas on what to look at?

Thanks for your help.


#2

The muscular coordinatoin and sequence timing of each “control” within a muscle group takes into account how – quality wise, a pitcher’s repitoure, is mastered. Only after years of hard work, not forgeting muscle maturity, do we see the finished product, and at that, still a pitcher is like a work-in-progress as time goes, he gets older, experiences injuries – heals, rehabs, and so on.
I would venture to say that your son, at ten (10) has none of the musclue maturity mandates to show a difference in his pitch selection. I would also venture to say if he did have some variation in any of this pitches, down range, it would be by mere happenstance, without any real difinitive answer(s).
On the other hand, perhaps his methods of pitching could be reviewed by someone with experience of dealing with this age group and show him a few things that might give evidence of changing his velocity some, without actually “fluffing” the ball deliberately.
From all the lawn chair vantage points that I’ve witnessed last year and some of this year, for any ten (10) year old to just get it over the plate is enough to get-em dancing in the streets. Ten (10) year olds have a rough ride out there. I give your son credit for just being out there.
I know this doesn’t address your question head-on, but perhaps it may shed light on one aspect, of many answers, that your looking for.


#3

May have a lot to do with hand size. Is his hand big enough to properly throw a fastball and change up. If his hand is too small he will be basically gripping the ball with his whole hand and fingers (like a change up) no matter what grip you show him and thus the speed of the ball coming out of his hand will be the same. If his hand is big enough he should be holding the fastball more in his fingers and the change up deeper in his hand.


#4

I know what I am about to say is considered verboten but here goes anyway. Few ten year olds are able to grip the ball in a manner that allows any speed reduction because, as oc2viking indicated, the hand is too small.

Here comes the heresy.

Just have him throw it slower.

I know conventional wisdom states that all the other ten year olds will immediately know he is throwing a change up and pandemonium will ensue. However, he can slow his arm down enough to get eight mph off of his fastball and no batters will know as long as his body moves the same and his arm follows the same path. Some studies indicate that high school and college pitchers also slow the arm down but no one wants to believe that is true. My son intentionally slowed his arm for years to get a good change and was considered to have the best change of his peers. His cue was to get good extension which told him to maintain his fastball arm pattern and to finish the pitch.

Once his hands got larger he went to the circle and other changes to get more movement.

Wishing your son many off speed grounders and Ks,

Ted


#5

Not heresy…it is expedient but the rub is that it may be a conditioned response down the road and thusly counter productive in the long run…the question being is current success worth future risk and whose call would that be?


#6

Conditioned response? Could be. My son still drools whenever the catcher puts 3 fingers down. :smiley:

Seriously, the risks for slowing the arm down are much less than incorrect implementation of a different grip or incorrect application of voluntary pronation or supination. In the mean time, he’ll have fun fooling batters, while throwing fewer pitchers and getting increased opportunity because of it. If it stops being effective he can discard it and move on just like pitchers do all the time. In the next 4 years his body weight will increase 50 to 100%. The distance will change from 46 to 50 to 54 to 60.5 ft. He will will grow a foot or two in height. His whole pitching experience will be constant evolution and adaptation. This is just another part of that and a minor one at that.

Be bold, experiment and have fun. Trust in your sons athleticism and ignore future risk where none exists.

best regards,

Ted


#7

You may think no risk exists from teaching a short cut or bad habit and I’m good with it, teach what you will and the chances are that it will not matter, I was explaining why it may be considered counter-productive…he can also drag his foot among other things…and you are right guys experiment and cast aside all kinds of things. My personal opinion is not to mess with he natural throwing process but that’s me and my experience…at 10, to me developing a fundamental soundness is much more important than developing a trick pitch designed to fool an age group…only to have to relearn something else the next step on the ladder…but we’re talking 10 yr olds…nothing wrong with a little fun and experimentation :wink:


#8

JD,

Although I have a low post count, partly because I’ve reregistered a time or two, I have read this board since '08 or '09. I’ve read enough of your posts to have a deep respect for your knowledge but more importantly, you are someone whose demeanor and character I greatly respect. I appreciate your reply to my slightly snarky comment and I hope you will accept any further snarkiness from me with the knowledge of my admiration for you. Back to our disagreement.

I do not consider throwing an off speed pitch with a slower arm and fastball body tempo to be a shortcut, a bad habit or a trick pitch. It is a skill. A skill used by every pitcher who throws a 94 mph fastball and a 65 mph 12-6 curve. That kind of speed reduction does not come from grip change alone. You can see it in the finish. One day high speed video and telemetry will prove beyond any doubt that arm speed slows on off speed pitches and I will be hailed as the visionary genius that I am. Until that day comes, I remain here in relative obscurity.

But regardless of my station I am respectfully yours,

Ted


#9

Ok…
But let me tell you that visionary genius thing ain’t all it’s cracked up to be…not that I know any mind you :roll:
And I much prefer quality to quantity with regards to posts…I’ve got nearly 6k and I’m still looking for my first “good one” :wink:


#10

Have him try the knuckle curve grip (but throw it like a fastball).

Basically, you tuck the index finger in so the first knuckle is against the ball. This means you’re throwing the pitch with just the middle finger, offcentered on the ball. It’s impossible to throw it with much velocity.