Early puberty and velocity

My son hit puberty early and as one would expect, his velocity increased. He’s currently a 6 foot tall, 180 pound 7th grader who throws 75mph. He can grow some facial hair and at first glance looks like a high school jv player. At second glance, he’s got a goofy baby face and is clearly still a little kid. Awkward stage! Ha.

So my question- he will likely end up about 6’4, 200 plus pounds. He hasn’t done strength training beyond what his AAU team does. That continued growth and weight training should help him continue adding mph as he heads toward high school. Am I also correct in thinking despite his size and some facial hair, boys continue physically maturing between middle school and high school? I would expect some degree of muscle coordination and redistribution of strength to occur as he fully develops an adult body. As that happens, he will likely add additional mph. Is this likely correct?

He has good mechanics, although he grew so fast he had to relearn quite a bit in the new sized body. His pitching coach is great and I expect he’ll make some adjustments now that they are back practicing. My son wants to hit 80 by freshman year and 85 by sophomore. I think he takes for granted that with hard work he can hit those goals. He does work hard, watches his own pitch counts, takes required rest days, asks his dad to long toss on schedule, etc. He’s focused, but the facial hair and being that far into puberty made me wonder if physically he is just way ahead and his progress will stop early.

The answer is it’s anybody’s guess. There is no predicting how young kids will come out of puberty. I’ve certainly seen kids develop into studs early only to stop developing early and end up getting passed up by others down the road. I will say that early developers are the ones who tend to get overused so keep an eye on the pitch counts and rest. Given your son’s age, it’s still appropriate for you or your husband to step in and address things with his coaches. In the meantime, keep working hard but remember to have fun.

Pitchersmom,

“boys continue physically maturing between middle school and high school?”

This is assessed by bone growth and closure ratios called “Biological age”. Boy’s can be as much as 6 years apart in biological age. All growth plates solidify at 16 yo Chronologically/16 biologically in Equated maturers. This means if your kid is 2 years advanced he can train like an 18yo/ch. Equated maturer! Males turn adults when the Proximal (largest growth plate in the arm) Humeral growth plate solidifies at 19 in Equated maturers.

Parents can have their 12 yo/ch. x-rayed on both (comparison) Elbows to assess the biological age of each arm. Yes, if the throwing arm is perturbed they gain a loss in growth time by premature closure! Your ball side arm is biologicall older and by a lot in some.

“ I would expect some degree of muscle coordination and redistribution of strength to occur as he fully develops an adult body. As that happens, he will likely add additional mph. Is this likely correct?”

It continually goes up in youth pitchers until they reach their genetic speed threshold (not strength) that their genetics (all fitness the same) has produced.

“He has good mechanics”

What are good mechanics? Are you aware of what injures throwers?

His pitching coach is great !

I judge greatness in pitching coaching by the pathomechanics they ask for, then grade by ethics or ignorance.

“I think he takes for granted that with hard work he can hit those goals.”

Because the only way to help know is with biopsies on each muscle group that produces velo because of their percentage of type2 and 2Bfast twitch muscle fiber. That ain’t happening, so let the dream stay alive. What if you knew he would only attain 90 MPH, would you discourage him from the dream?

“He does work hard, watches his own pitch counts”

Pitch counts do not injure you! If you produce non injurious force applications. Does your son throw the traditional pathomechanical approach ?

“ facial hair and being that far into puberty made me wonder if physically he is just way ahead and his progress will stop early.”

All you need to know about male growth science and much more can be found at DrMikeMarshall.com who did his doctoral thesis on this exact subject!

http://drmikemarshall.com/ChapterFour.html

Thanks for the replies! I am interested in checking out that link. I don’t know the answers to many questions, but I know my son’s mechanics are solid. Coaches from other teams have recorded him during bullpens to show their pitchers, which is odd kind of, but it makes me believe my husband’s opinion that his mechanics are good.

His dad was a successful d1 pitcher who threw low 90’s. Genetically and size wise my son has luck on his side. The difference- hence my question- is that his dad didn’t hit maturity early like my son. His dad even grew 2 inches his freshman year of college. Given that my son is 6 feet at 13, I believe he’s on a different trajectory. I know my husband’s opinion but I figured some here would have more experience with knowing what puberty does to pitchers.

Right now my son thinks he’s capable of doing what his dad did and who knows, maybe he is. I just worry that some of his ability to dominate is due to being so much bigger than other kids. To find you’ve maxed your potential early would hurt any kid, but especially a kid who hopes he’s on track to play like his dad. That said, my son has excellent pitching coaches around him including his dad- although at this point we prefer having other voices in his ear. I am just hoping he finds that velocity continues to develop through whatever remaining parts of puberty he has.

My husband is big on watching pitch counts because an overuse injury in college blew his chances at any type of pro career. Due to this he has taught my son about pitch limits. He isn’t a kid throwing 80 pitches in March. He isn’t a kid throwing 100 pitches and then another 80 3 or 4 days later. In fact, I don’t believe he has ever thrown 100 pitches. Knock on wood, he has never complained of arm pain so the limits seem to be working for him.

Your son already has size so nothing to worry about there. He just needs to make sure he doesn’t get complacent and put it on cruise control. Keep working to continue developing both conditioning and skills. Your husband knows baseball is a game of development. You’re either working to get to the next level or you’re at the highest level and you’re trying to stay there.

One more thing… try to make it about being the best your son can be - not about him being as good as your husband (I’m not saying you are).

Great point, and I like how you worded it. My husband was great about letting our kids try various sports and positions. He never pushed baseball or pitching which I appreciated.

My husband has told him many times that he never set out to be a d1 pitcher. He played because he loved it and junior year realized he could hit low to mid 90’s and would be recruited d1. Prior to that he just played and didn’t think much about college. The world was different then. You could easily be a 3 sport athlete and there was no AAU. My husband had no pitching lessons outside of legion, and didn’t really know arm care. He learned all of the nuances over 4 years working with his college pitching coach. Now kids learn that stuff early and they set goals early. When boys develop at such different rates it’s tough to get early hype and then die out. As a mom, I’d rather he do what my husband did- just show up junior year after a growth spurt and surprise everyone. Unfortunately his growth spurt was 7th grade.