How to ramp up 10U pitchers


We have just begun our preparation for Spring travel at the 10U. We will play a couple touraments at the end of March/beginning of April.

We have an indoor facility available once per week with mounds.

The team does 20 minutes of dynamic warm-ups and then we break into practice.

My question is what is an acceptable way to get the pitchers ready? Two or three sets of ten pitchers? Twenty? Time limits the staff to no more than 30 minutes total on the mounds.


First you have to know how many innings you need to cover, what the interval is between games, and what limitations are placed upon your players. Using the limits as your guide, determine how many arms you need to make that happen and map out your rotation. Figure out a throwing schedule that includes at least one bullpen or performance every 3-4 days. Build from a base of 10 pitches–not including warm-ups, and add 10 pitches every other session until the pitcher has reached his personal or league limit. One 30 minute practice per week will only allow for 3 pitchers to share the mound.


I don’t like the mound , flat ground workouts , towel drill , the max is 1000 pitches a year for a 10 year old , I will not let them pitch off a mound till we go out side ,then only 10 pitches a week ,all workouts on flat ground ,


Is it because the mound adds more stress on the arm/body?

If that’s the reason, I’d frankly rather seeing kids throw off the mound at 35-40 feet (bring the catcher up in front of home plate) vs flat ground at 46 feet. Throwing off a mound is just so important.


Practicing from a mound makes practice more like a game condition and enhances development. How many pitches do they throw from flat ground per week?


Short medium and long toss the hole time they work on the mechanics ,50 or 60 3 times a week


Your right ,most kids I deal with play LL and travel ball , I just don’t ever want to hurt any of them I will leave that to the high school coach , I just want to get good mechanics


Thanks CoachPaul. That is how I ramp up/work my pitchers during the warmer weather with a couple of bullpens per week. I use 2-4 sets of 5-15 pitches to simulate innings.

For NE winter workouts, I have all the pitchers throw a set of five pitchers and then a couple/three of sets of 10-15. We could get to three of four sets but time limits us as does to goal of having 6-8 kids work on pitching. We have two mounds available.

After three weeks, none of the kids report any arm issues nor do they look as if they are hiding any while telling us coaches what they think we want to hear.

I haven’t typically had kids pitch off flat ground for the reason Mr. Ellis mentions. I am intrigued with the idea of a mound session from a shorter distance to see the kids naturally adapt to getting the ball down.

Have others seen this positive effect?


This year we are 10U. We begin practice with stretches followed by warm up toss. Once we break into stations pitchers report two at a time with 2 catchers. We begin with a coach doing towel drills while a coach works with catchers on blocking, positioning, and footwork.
Once pitchers progress to throwing, we start with flat ground toss with distance starting at twenty feet until they are throwing 48 ft. No more than twenty pitches until they move to the mound. Once there, they rotate between stretch and wind up, 5 each. They throw on average thirty pitches from the mound before returning to practice and sending the next pitchers over.
On average we workout 7 pitchers a week in the gym. Most boys supplement their rotation workouts with in house practice and throw an additional thirty to forty pitches.
Our league allows for ten innings of in house pitching per week, which is equivalent of 50-125 pitches per week. I tend to limit to 3 innings per game, depending on pitch count. I also try to limit catchers from pitching and pitchers from catching as the workload is just too much on their young arms.


Kemkid, Do you mean by 10 in-house innings per week that 10U’s can pitch 10 innings per week in games? Seems like a lot.


In-house pitchers can pitch 10 innings in a week if you allow 40 hours rest anytime they go 4 plus in a game. This does not include any travel innings. The jump from mustang, which caps number of innings pitched per game, to Bronco is staggering.
I personally have only let a pitcher pitch 4 innings one time in a game because of a low pitch count, he had a 5 pitch 3rd. the most I’ve allowed a pitcher to throw in a week of a tournament was 12 innings. And it was the same player, my son.


Seems like an awful lot for 10U. My sons local league allowed 6 innings per week at that age, seemed like plenty. Just out of curiosity, any limit on pitch counts. How many pitches per week does a 10 or 12 inning week equate?


In mustang, which is 9/10 yr old kids, they were allowed to pitch 3 innings per game(only one pitcher per team) the rest pitched 2. And six innings per week, not including tournament and travel.
If a player hit twenty pitches in an inning he was guaranteed only two innings, if that. I kept the pitch count of any given week under 100 regardless of number of games. And if pitchers were over seventy for a week, they didn’t take a bullpen session.
Seemed high in number but some weeks we play three or four times so rotation and rest were crucial.


sorry for not fully answering, but a 10 to 12 inning week would equate to around a hundred pitches since I go by count and not innings. Since we only throw fastballs and change ups, the older boys have those limits. The younger boys would be on a sixty pitch count per week.


Don’t see how they can only have 100 pitches in 10 or twelve innings. That would be incredibly efficient innings. Don’t think I fully understand.


in our league, any inning a pitcher throws a pitch pitch is counted as a full inning regardless of number of batters faced. therefore he may only throw a total of six innings in a given week but still it would count as 12 innings. This also leads to the danger of over extending pitch counts with coaches trying to save pitchers over the week. That’s why I closely monitor the counts.


I look at this from a different perspective. Rather than consider what they are “allowed” to throw, I’d rather look at what I “desire” them to throw. A 13 pitch inning (or less) is our target for High School kids; for younger kids you can adjust up slightly but the idea remains to throw bullpens with the same attack the hitter mentality we want in a game. My 8 year old averages 10 pitches an inning and I won’t let him go over 25 in a game. We do sets of 10 one time a week because I want his bullpen session to simulate the length of an inning I would like to see in a game. Practice like you play because you will play like you practice. We chart balls and strikes as well. At these young ages, I would error on the lower side of any pitch counts as the amount of stress put on the growth plates from throwing is tremendous. Focusing on an “ideal” inning is the best way to reproduce these in a game.


My experience with this age group, which is limited, is if a kid is pitching well he may throw an inning where he should be out of it in 10 pitches or so, but, because of errors he is still out there with 18, 20, 22 pitches.
Overall pitch count is important for this reason at this age I think.


Absolutely, I’ve seen it too where pitch counts get up there due to plays not being made in the field. The idea remains the same; when my 8-9 year olds pound the zone the innings are shorter and pitch counts are lower. If a kid hits 20-25 pitches and is really struggling, we move to the next kid. I’m really trying to get kids to view “pitching” as simple “throwing.”


Ideal rarely happens. Prepare for what is likely to happen. Defense has more impact on pitch count than a pitcher does when you are talking 9-10 year olds. If a coach can’t get an average inning out of your kid, he’s not going to see much mound time. More likely is 2 innings totalling 40-45 pitches.