13 yr old velocity

13.3 yr old FB tops out at 66 using PC’s bushnell gun. He’s 5’5 110 lbs. CU comes in 8-10 mph slower, similar speeds with curve. His friend who is 5’7 195 lbs. came along last weekend, topped out at 68. Honestly believed this kid was throwing mid 70’s, looks must faster than my son. His FB variance was 62-68, my son’s was 62-66. Just curious how velocity stacks up against others in age group. Hearing lots of tales about their friends throwing mid 70’s, seen them and don’t believe it.

Mid 70’s for 13U is outside the norm. Yet, I wouldn’t get to excited about a kids velocity at this age. Not many colleges or Major League teams salivate over a kid throwing heat at 13. IMO, at this age, working on the foundations of pitching, protecting from arm overuse, enjoying th game and developing the child as a complete athlete (i.e. multiple sports) is more important than getting excited about throwing heat. We have a discussion quite often around here about which 12U kids will be the best players in High School. I always start the discussion by saying to exclude my son from any list, because we don’t know what his interests will be when he’s 16, nor do we know how much he will develop in comparison to others. (BTW, my son is already bigger than me, throws in the 70s and is a head taller than rest of the boys. And even he isn’t a sure bet.)

At 66 MPH, he’s doing very well for 13U.

Here we go again, worried about if our kids velocity and if it’s stacking up against other players. Again I think our thought process should be accuracy and technique vs worrying about speed all the time. I am encouraged about making sure that your sons change and cb are up to 10 mph off his fastball and this is more important right now than any speed.

If your kid can pitch inside, outside, up, down and change speed fast and slow then that is the type of player I want on the bump for me. Quit measuring your son against others based on fastball alone. All that will do is give him a complex that he doesn’t measure up if he can’t throw as hard as others. There are plenty of pitchers in the bigs that don’t throw 100 and do quite well.

Sorry, not what I was trying to ask. I’m not pushing for my son to hit 75. Play travel and my son throws harder than many we see his age although we occasionally see some throwing exceptionally hard. The kid that that was with us seems to throw harder than most, surprised him and my son were only a couple mph apart. Keep hearing about others (some I’ve seen) throwing mid 70’s. So many right around us, just wondering with so many if that seems normal.

I’d almost rather compare speeds for 10 yr olds than 13. The problem with this age is puberty. Some are just hitting it while others are well into it. Kinds skews things. At this age I see kids on the same team, one still looks like a kid while another is 6 ft and needs to shave.

So I agree with the others, concentrate on fundamentals and don’t let/encourage your kid to try to keep up when it just may not be physically possible.

Well if you happen to have the cream of the crop from your area it may seem typical. Kids who have schooled mechs will attain the maximum velocity available to their bodies…with some of the bigguns you see surface (From God knows what sort happy union :shock: ) it won’t surprise me to see guns lighting upwards to 80…now what that is going to do to the physical structure of their arms???
Having your guys working with a PC is good and likely the reason for the similarity in numbers.
The line is a fine one…between velo slavery and raising a kid with proper developmental reckoning, you need to be the balance, kids want to know where they stand and velo is easy to understand…it says who the Big Dog is and that is I think, something kids continually guage naturally…we all knew who the fastest kid in the league was or the two or whatever…the gun makes it a clear thing. Teaching them of it’s needed spot and the responsibility that goes with the use of any tool will come in handy at this point…I bet you and the PC are already there :wink:

[quote=“jdfromfla”]Well if you happen to have the cream of the crop from your area it may seem typical.
I agree, not concerned about my son’s velocity; think he’s more than adequate in his age group. Keep hearing from dad’s and kids about these speeds; seen them and don’t believe them. PC only recently started using gun to measure difference in speeds between fb & offspeed. I noticed the numbers which makes it hard to believe the numbers I’m hearing out of some of the others.

We’re having breakfast this morning, and the waitress ask me if I want a refill of coffee, then looks at my 12 year old son and ask him if he would like some more coffee. She must have thought he was 16 or older, instead of 12. There’s a wide gap in physical maturity at 12/13.

Stick with the PCs use of the gun. If your son is winning games with his stuff, learning how to pitch the game, and getting better mechanically, those are the keys. His mechanics and understanding of how to PITCH, not throw hard, are going to be the keys to his success in the future. As he progresses the hitters will get better and he will need this information. Lots of HS guys can and will hit the fastball a long long way.

Forget about what others claim to be throwing or especially what their parents claim that they are throwing. The numbers may be accurate, but, more likely inflated. More importantly don’t let your son get caught in those games of “I throw harder than you do”. They are counterproductive and could undermine what his PC is working with, ie. forgetting about pitching and trying to throw harder than the next guy. I’m not suggesting this will happen with your son, but I have seen it happen occasionally to some really good pitchers, trying to outthrow their friend or rival.

I agree with most of the responses about velocity. It’s been my experience teaching mechanics for many years that velocity comes with maturity and (of course) when proper mechanics are incorporated in the delivery.

Most kids still rely too much on their arm for velocity instead of legs and hips.

As I was working with one of my students tonight who just turned 17 (started working with him when he was 12) we remembered him struggling with velocity until about 15. Late bloomer, but he stuck with it and it has paid off big time for him. I still think he will put on another 5 mph by the end of this year because its just that time for him and his mechanics are solid. Most momentum going exactly where it needs to go; straight toward home plate.

I’ve taught several pitchers like him that mature late and parents are concerned. Many think they don’t have what it takes to be a pitcher because of velocity alone, but that simply isn’t the case during those years.

I myself was a late bloomer. I was one of the fastest pitchers in our league league from 10-12 years old; then one of the slowest, if not the very slowest from 13-15. I remember hearing in the dugouts man this kid throws slow. lol and then within 6 months to a year I became one of the faster pitchers in High School.

Stick to proper mechanics and he’ll be just fine.

Keep up the good work!

That in itself may be one of the big problems in youth baseball today. Instinctively, everyone wants to be Top Dog. Nothing wrong with that. However, the problems arise when a kid isn’t throwing hard enough for their parents. I’ve seen it repeatedly. Parents yelling to/at pitchers while they’re on the mound, to throw harder.

What sometimes/usually happens is the kid will try and please “Daddy” and overthrow the ball. Results? Yeah he threw harder. Is “Daddy” happy? No, the kid just walked the bases loaded, because he threw out his mechanics and tried to please the parent. Now the parents and coaches start yelling from the stands and/or dugout to THROW STRIKES.

Really? You’re a pitcher standing on a mound in the middle of the game, of course your trying to throw strikes. But you’re also trying to please your parent and not forget what your PC worked on last week when you threw so well in the cage. Why can’t you do the things you did in the cage? Answer, Cause of all the “suggestions” in your head now from parents, coaches, and fans, all of who should shut up and let the kid pitch.

Velocity will come in time with hard work and dedication. No kid is getting recruited or drafted at 10-13. There are plenty kids with above average velo at 13. This doesn’t always guarantee success at higher levels. The work and dedication it takes to reach those higher levels, whether it be HS or beyond, is still the same and increases as the level gets higher.

Interesting topic

I see views from both sides. I personally don’t see anything wrong with wanting to throw the ball harder and making that a focus. You hear the old saying that “You never forget how to throw hard”, well I think a lot of kids never learn to throw it hard. It seems that’s not really a focus. When we see a kid with “max effort” in his delivery, we as coaches say “he’s going to blow his arm out, etc…” Why is having intent to throw the ball hard a bad thing??

I understand that pitching is all about changing speeds and location, not arguing that. However, i just feel that there is a time and place to “throw the ball harder” Regardless of what coaches say, I don’t see too many kids at the D1 level or higher that are soft tossing righties that were recruited because they can do all these things. Should there be, sure. But it’s just not how it works.

At some point in your career you are going to be measured by what the radar gun says. So why not add intent to throw it harder at an earlier age as part of the repertoire??? I think you will find the body is amazingly adaptive as long as the goal is clarified and intent is there.

[quote]Why is having intent to throw the ball hard a bad thing??
[/quote]

I don’t think throwing hard is a bad thing. I think there are kids at 10-13 who haven’t matured enough yet to through as hard as others and some of these kids are getting alot of pressure from uninformed parents and coaches to overthrow the ball for the sake of velocity.

My own son was considered a hard thrower at 13. His FB at 13 was on average 70 to 74. He was clocked at tournaments and during sessions with his PC. However, during those sessions with his PC he was also taught to use his offspeed pitches off of his fastball.

That being said I agree there is nothing wrong with the intent to throw harder at a younger age, IF the kid has the ability to do so. Not because it’s what his parent wants so he can brag on the kid.

That being said I agree there is nothing wrong with the intent to throw harder at a younger age, [quote]IF the kid has the ability to do so[/quote]. Not because it’s what his parent wants so he can brag on the kid.[/quote]

What quantifies ability I guess is the question. I see it differently. I just cant say at a 'younger age" who will eventually throw the ball harder than someone else based on what someone terms ability. There are just too many factors that will transpire over the years. I will say this, regardless of ability, if a kid doesn’t try to throw the ball harder then you are absolutely right, he will not have the ability to do so.

I see your point on the kids parents and all the bragging that goes on and you are exactly right, its not about the parents, unfortunately, that is so often the case.

Let me rephrase this. If a kid has the ability to throw 70 at 12 years old, he should throw 70, no holding back. But, if a different 12 year old only has the ability at that age to throw 65, he should throw 65 and work toward hitting 70, as he improves, grows, matures, whatever. We should always strive to improve our game and velocity.

If the kids ability at 12 is to throw 65. Daddy ain’t gonna change it so he can be big dog in the stands. What his future holds, who knows. A lot of his future would probably depend on his desire and commitment as he matures. The 65 mph kid might wind up throwing 95 and winning a Cy Young. But he ain’t gonna win it at 12, and he ain’t gonna win it if he quits baseball cause he can’t measure up to daddy’s unreal expectations at 12.

[quote=“SomeBaseballDad”]I’d almost rather compare speeds for 10 yr olds than 13. The problem with this age is puberty. Some are just hitting it while others are well into it…one still looks like a kid while another is 6 ft and needs to shave.
quote]

So true. When my son was 11 he was 5’0" and 110 pounds throwing the ball 55-60 mph, then, the next summer he was 5’4" and 130 pounds chucking it at 68-72 mph. There are kids the same age who throw anywhere from 45-75 mph but it’s mostly about who can throw for strikes. Some kids throw so hard there is no one capable of catching them effectively.

From year to year it all changes. They grow so fast, I often wonder how they can maintain decent coordination!

I’d worry more about throwing strikes and trying to hit very general locations. When they do finally get the growth spurt and pack on the speed, they’ll be ahead of the game.

As a pitching coach, I spend a good deal of time helping people build velocity. But I spend just as much time helping people build control and coaching processes and preparation. Pitching involves the whole pitcher, body and mind. And both are moving targets for youth pitchers.

Where pubescent changes in players’ physical attributes are such a wild card, my thinking is that we should celebrate learning, confidence and positive mental processes in youth pitchers every bit as much as velocity. Anyway, a happy and confident player will be better equipped to have good performances, including throwing at their top speed.

The Positive Coaching Alliance’s approach is to focus on the ELM Tree of mastery, honoring the game and redefining ‘winning’.

The ELM tree concept is that Effort, Learning and your response to Mistakes is what counts. To give your best effort, learn to improve and not be afraid to make mistakes requires players to have a ‘full emotional fuel tank’, and that’s best done through positive assessments.

The PCA highlights respecting the rules, officials, opponents, teammates and self. The idea is to be a fierce but fair competitor, show good sportsmanship and honor the game.

Redefine winning: prepare yourself throughout the off-season, learn your strengths, build skills, routines… then take that preparation WITH PRIDE out to the mound and be the pitcher you need to be… make the pitches you need to make, …get swings when you need them, induce ground balls at the right times, or at least give your best effort to accomplish these things… Do your best and you always win.

The thing I love the about in-game pitching coaching is watching a players explore their own leadership qualities, putting themselves on the line, trusting their preparation and stuff and to making big pitches in big situations.

I think we should help pitchers look within and engage in that side of their pitching experience. That way, when they hang up the cleats, whenever that is, they’ll know they truly played at their highest level. Most of our players aren’t going to be pros, but they can all have that winning attitude.

Chris
www.PitchersWorkshop.com

[quote=“PitchersWorkshop”]…a happy and confident player will be better equipped to have good performances, including throwing at their top speed.

…learn to improve and not be afraid to make mistakes …

… (be a) fair competitor, show good sportsmanship and honor the game.

Most of our players aren’t going to be pros, but they can all have that winning attitude.

[/quote]

Very true. Having a good mental attitude, not letting the little things throw you off your game. Battling through tough spots. Not letting emotion be your guide. Poise under pressure. All these things baseball can teach you which benefit a person for the rest of their lives after ‘play time’ is over.

At the end of your baseball career, if you gave it your best effort, stayed healthy, had fun, built friendships, maintained respect for the game, learned valuable life lessons, and were fortunate enough to pass along the love and tradition of the game, you got everything you could hope for from baseball.

Making money in the entertainment industry (playing professionally) is not a primary function of baseball.

BTW this, like so many on Let’s Talk Pitching is an important topic… and very relevant at this time of year when players have the golden opportunity to improve their movements, pitches, efficiency, etc…

Continuing on this vein: any negative thought pattern –even subtle comparative self-assessments can be detrimental to skill development. Many pitchers expend so much effort on WANTING to throw hard that they block themselves from learning to do it! Things like rearing back to throw can cause inefficiency downstream and produce velocity sinkholes, but once a 14 year old (boy) gets something into his head… good luck!

From what I can see, young players listen to the gun. When something produces an uptick in velocity, you’ll get their attention. Otherwise, there’s something of an art to convincing pitchers, especially successful ones, to continue to refine their movement.

I would love to hear other people’s thoughts on how to help young pitchers build progressive self-improvement habits. One thought is for coaches to put velocity always in context and celebrate velocity achievements as measures of a players success in improving aspects of his or her movement.

Chris
www.PitchersWorkshop.com

You want to mess with the guy operating the radar gun during your warm-up? Throw a fastball into the dirt in front of home plate. It will turn an 84 mph fastball into a 90+ fastball. :shock:

It’s not about radar envy in 13U. It’s about throwing strikes and racking up the outs. Keep the defense involved and awake by enticing bad swings and weak contact. Throwing fast at the youth level is great if he’s throwing strikes. If he’s not throwing 60-70% strikes, the fire-baller will be throwing a ton of pitches before it’s all over because no one will be swinging the bat.