11 Year-Old Pitcher with Below Average Velocity


#1

My son recently turned 11. He’s a 4’ 9", 79 lbs. lefty with below average velocity. He recently topped out at 46 mph while being gunned from behind the mound at a high school baseball camp.

Mechanically he is sound, but like most kids his age he needs some work. He has some issues with rushing that cause his arm to drag and lose velocity, but, overall, he was pretty accurate at 44 and 46 ft. this past season with four pitches he uses regularly: 4-seam, 2-seam, circle change, and a tailing fastball.

My questions is simply what, if anything, can I do to increase his velocity. Beginning in August will begin long toss again after a month or two break this summer. He is working on some body weight excercises like push ups, sit up, etc. to build is upper body and core. Is there anything else he can do?


#2

46 mph isn’t really much below average at this age… according to Michael Axe, et al. 48 is the average speed of an 11-y/o thrower.

Anyway, I believe that dragging the arm should help, rather than hinder velocity. But anyway, the objective is to get to some sound mechanics that engage the whole body.

You knew this was coming: post some video.


#3

lol Yeah, I should’ve seen the “Post some video” comment coming. I should be able to take some Sunday. I will post it then.


#4

Velocity averages should be based on size as well as age.

From this information, he might be throwing faster than the average kid his size. You can only get so much out of a 79 lb body. There’s always going to be things you can do to add velocity, but keep in mind that if all things are equal, he will not be throwing as fast as another 11 year old that is 140 lbs.

Just last week I had two 11yo pitchers out for a bullpen. Both really good athletes though one was about 70 lbs and the other was last measure at 150 lbs. Knowing the physical limits for the smaller pitcher, we didn’t emphasize an overpowering fastball. Instead, we worked on movement pitches and locating the ball. Think Greg Maddux.

For the larger pitcher we worked on his fastball velocity and change ups while keeping it out of the sweet spots for hitters. Think Brian Wilson before tommy john. Both pitchers can be equally effective in a game, we just play to their strengths.


#5

What would really help you is if you knew what Tim Collins threw when he was 11…

That might help you set your mind at ease a bit :smiley:


#6

In my opinion it is really a waste of time to be concerned with velocity at that age. Have the kid throw everyday or most everyday if you want his arm to be strong and healthy. Not pitching off a mound, just playing catch and throwing with some gusto after a good warm up. Playing other sports is great for general health and developing coordination. At that size and weight the kid hasnt even seen the outer shores of pubery island I am sure, sort of worthless to speculate on velocity with a kid whos body is not even beginning to mature at this point. Give it time. Work on coordination and mechanics, body weight exercises are great, throw plenty and keep it fun. Dont get the kid all worried about velocity and gun readings.


#7

Definitely agree! When i was that age I had a decent arm for house players but come the rep season I was clearly behind the other kids. 7 years later I’m one the harder throwers in my league at low to mid 80’s. going into college now thats kind of low average but I’m a lot skinnier than most of these college boys and like it was mentioned before size has a lot to do with it. Just get him to keep throwing, preach sound mechanics and down the road he should be fine.