13 yr old velocity

[quote=“CoachPaul”]

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.[/quote]

My thoughts on 13U is it is still a time for development. Focus on the little things, such as grades, respect, honor, being a gentleman, giving a 100% effort - all the time; as well as developing the physical body and working towards consistency in mechanics. Accolades (e.g. pitching or hitting dominance) at 13U carry little weight in how one will do in HS, unless, of course, they carry through with their training/development into and through HS.

With regard to the FB, strengthen the lower body, the shoulder, the back and chest. Work on flexibility. Work on control in the bullpen. Teach him the importance of throwing through the plate. If you do these things, velocity will follow. You won’t have to search for it. It’ll be there. Look at the big picture and don’t get hung up about the kid dominating weaker/littler kids at 13U. Too many kids dominate early because they are bigger, throw faster, etc., but have major flaws in their mechanics and reach their peak performance at 13/14U.

A teacher commented about my son this week, “He’s a pleasure to teach. He makes every kid in his class feel important.” Then I met the kid’s (a 8th grade that’s not popular) mom, and she says the same thing, “I love watching your son play. He makes every kid feel worthwhile.” Baseball or basketball aside, what’s important at 13U is character development and how he treats his teacher’s, his peers and the lowest kid in his class/team.

Build the habits when he’s 13. As Pitchersworkshop said, “but once a 14 year old (boy) gets something into his head… good luck!”

This is my opinion and others who come from different perspectives have competing and varying thoughts. Most around me think I’m a fool for not letting him play with the highest level of competition all year and be showcased. But I’m happy where he’s at at 13U and feel he would be a jerk if he went the same route as everyone else.

W2E really gets it! :smiley:

My 14th birthday was yesterday and I can tell you from experience even at the higher level of travel ball if you have great location and movement you will be just as successful as an overpowering pitcher at this level. I personally am a very big guy at 5’ 11’ 165 lbs and my fastball is in the upper 70s but kids can still hit my fastball even if I throw as hard as I can. I have thrown a few no hitters and they have all been when I do not rely on my fastball and I mix up pitches and use my off speed to keep the other team off balance. I still have a lot of work to do on my mechanics but I have started to go to a pitching coach and he said that even if I take 15 mph of my fastball and have great location and mixing pitches I will not only preform better in games but it keeps the pitch count down and at our age you should not worry about velocity. The only time i ever get on the radar gun is to see if the mechanical changes I am making are helping me overall.
The main thing I have to say is he will keep growing and now is the time to develop mechanics and off speed. High school is where you have to start to worry about increasing velocity while maintaining the control and movement. Just keep at it and it will all get better don’t worry about the velocity, and I am currently in that age range and believe me a nasty curveball and a changeup are harder to hit than a flat 85 mph fastball.

Interesting to see this come up again. My original intent was to find out if such a large number of 13 yr olds claiming to throw mid to upper 70’s was normal. Son has a friend on another travel team and claimed he was clocked upper 70’s with a couple other kids in the mid/low 70’s. Got answer in the fall when both attended camp where radar gun was used. Kid clocked 70 & my son at 73. Turns out coaches on his team were using an iPhone app so guess speeds were not reliable. As far as use of guns; have my own opinions based on our own experiences. I believe it is a great tool to measure progress as well as differential in offspeed pitches. How else can you measure progress (velocity)? My son hit 76 early spring (now 14) before we put the gun away; will not use again until he’s taken his summer break & starts training for fall. Based on experience comparing bushnell with stalker now using (bushnell was -2 mph side by side) kid has picked up 8 mph since original post. When fall season comes we’ll put it away again until after his winter break; we’ll then get it out again for spring training. I think the information is useful.