Frequency of Throwing for a U10


#1

I have a 9 year old son who pitches on a travel team with a 4 month season. I was curious as to what others thought was an appropriate frequency with which to play catch and pitch during the lengthy offseason. Even though I live in the North, we have access to indoor areas which allow us to throw in the Winter. When we have a throwing session, it usually consists of about 40 pitches or some long toss. My inclination is to throw twice a week for 25 minutes throughout the year, but I’m wondering if that’s too extensive. Any thoughts are much appreciated. Thanks!


#2

ASMI recommends, “No overhead throwing of any kind for at least 2-3 months per year (4 months is preferred). No competitive baseball pitching for at least 4 months per year.”

http://www.asmi.org/research.php?page=research&section=positionStatement


#3

Honestly, IMO he can play catch every day.
As far as long toss and bullpens go, twice a week should be good enough to keep him in shape.
Rest when he wants to rest and keep it fun for him.


#4

The amount of throwing/practicing in your off-season all depends on what your goals are. Those who just play rec ball and are content with it, are likely not to throw at all during the off-season. For those who play at a higher level, or wish to significantly improve their game, do practice plenty in the off-season. How much greatly depends on one’s goals and understanding of how hard work pays off.
I live up north as well (Cincinnati area). My son’s season is typically April-July. Fall Ball from mid-August thru mid-October. One month no throwing, then off-season training starting late Nov. leading up to Spring. My son’s off-season training involves all aspects of the game, not just pitching. He plays for a high level team, so off-season training is an absolute necessity if he wants to stay ahead of the pack. Taking 4 months off is out of the question.
IMO, at 9/10 years of age, throwing twice a week during this time of year is good. You’re doing more than most. My son just turned 14 and is throwing 3x a week. To see significant improvement, I would continue to throw at least 2x a week and set goals. Examples of some pitching goals for this age would be

  1. Improved mechanics (really any age for this). Perhaps post a video on this site for recommended changes. Incorporate drill work into your practices.
  2. Improved command. Being able to just throw strikes at 9 can sometimes be a challenge. If your son can learn to not only throw strikes but learn to locate them, he’ll have a strong advantage. During some of your bullpens, give your son a specific target (e.g. low, outside corner) for the entire time. Count how many times he hits it out of 20 or 40, or whatever. Log it and check it versus future sessions.
  3. Learn a change up. 9/10 years of age is a good year to start learning this. Try different grips until he find one that works. My son went through 3-4 grips before finding the one that works well for him.
  4. Learning pitching strategy. The most under-coached part of pitching. Too many youth coaches call every pitch of every game. Most youth pitchers wouldn’t second guess a catcher who calls for a change-up after a batter fouls two straight balls down the opposite field because he’s swinging late. Create scenarios when your son is pitching to you and ask him what pitch should be next and where.
  5. Improve pick-offs. IMO, another under coached part of the game. Teach him to control runners, and not let them control him.

#5

My son is 14 and will be trying out for Freshman baseball in the spring. He has not thrown hard since late October. He’s been focused on conditioning and hitting for the past 45 days. This week we will start heating him up again at least twice a week. Each week for the next seven to ten weeks we will increase his pitch count from 15 to about 60 per bullpen. During the season he will throw between 120-150 pitches per week. For a 10U, perhaps 80-100 per week would be sufficient. Playing catch in between bullpens or games certainly can’t hurt either.


#6

[quote]1. Improved mechanics (really any age for this). Perhaps post a video on this site for recommended changes. Incorporate drill work into your practices.
2. Improved command. Being able to just throw strikes at 9 can sometimes be a challenge. If your son can learn to not only throw strikes but learn to locate them, he’ll have a strong advantage. During some of your bullpens, give your son a specific target (e.g. low, outside corner) for the entire time. Count how many times he hits it out of 20 or 40, or whatever. Log it and check it versus future sessions.
3. Learn a change up. 9/10 years of age is a good year to start learning this. Try different grips until he find one that works. My son went through 3-4 grips before finding the one that works well for him.
4. Learning pitching strategy. The most under-coached part of pitching. Too many youth coaches call every pitch of every game. Most youth pitchers wouldn’t second guess a catcher who calls for a change-up after a batter fouls two straight balls down the opposite field because he’s swinging late. Create scenarios when your son is pitching to you and ask him what pitch should be next and where.
5. Improve pick-offs. IMO, another under coached part of the game. Teach him to control runners, and not let them control him.[/quote]

Seems like an awful lot for a 9-10 year old to focus on. My fear is that you’ll lose his attention or confuse him when he gets on the mound.
At that age I believe the goal should be to keep it simple. Teach the kid to throw and pitch with intent.
There’s plenty time to teach strategy and the lot. First and foremost is to establish a fastball.


#7

Most 9-10 leagues don’ t take leads off bases, so pick off moves are not a high priority. Focus on throwing hard because accuracy is easier to teach than velocity. Don’t get too :caught up in the “just throw strikes” philosophy. It leads to short-term success but also to short pitching careers once the hitters mature around the age of 13-15. Then, the kids who “just throw strikes” get shelled. Work on at least one decent off-speed pitch for those 2 or 3 hitters in the line-up who can time-up your fastball. Everyone else gets a steady diet of cheese.


#8

That’s my point exactly. I’ve seen alot of kids come into HS who never learned to throw with any intent. These kids are touted as good pitchers because they are strike throwing machines.
Problem is their lack of velo is like throwing BP to HSV hitters. Velocity is the key and the king. Without velo, as Paul said, these guys are going to get shelled.


#9

The kid will be playing 10u in the spring for a travel team. At 10u tournaments, I’ve personally never seen one where they couldn’t steal. However, I’ve seen plenty of pitchers at 10u tourneys that poorly controlled runners on base. Taking a few minutes every other session to work on pick-offs has paid off big time for my son, especially when he was at the 10u age. Whether it was him getting an out on a pick-off, or as a result of him holding runners close enough for the catcher to get a runner out stealing, practicing this in the off-season was key to his success in controlling base-runners.


#10

That’s great. As long as learning to throw the baseball with intent is not sacrificed.