Limit to max velocity in young pitcher?


#1

My 15 year old son and I recently attended a pre-season session for his new summer team. Coaches looking to get monthly stats–bat speeds, velo, etc–to track improvement. One 15 year old (strong, husky looking, maybe 6 footer) threw 3 balls at 91mph (Caveat: running start). My son was obviously disappointed at his 79 in comparison. I told my son I would be worried and upset if he threw that hard at such a young age. That’s a lot of arm/body stress for a kid who hasn’t finished puberty yet. Isn’t it? Maybe I’m off and the kid will eventually throw 110.


#2

I think you’ll always see freaks…though with some of the advanced training methodologies I see and conditioning techniques that are getting better and more focused, it won’t be entirely uncommon for kids right above puberty developing that sort of velocity. It will be tough for the arms though…but with inning/pitch limits…who knows.
Very high velocity before a kid is able to develop the strength to support it would be very concerning…


#3

This ^^^^^^

I’d be inclined to use such a kid in relief only to limit his pitch totals.


#4

If this kid knows how to decelerate and is working on this as well, if not more than, acceleration–would that mean that he is able to “support” such high velocities at a young age? Might he be “OK” over the years? (I know there is no sure answer, just trying to get some feedback.)


#5

All pitchers should work their backside decelerators more than their frontside because you have more muscle groups for accelerating the arm than for decelerating it. That said, if the kid does this, he may actually see his velocity increase. The reason is you normally can only accelerate what you can decelerate so if you increase your ability to decelerate, you will be able to accelerate more.

So, I would still limit the pitch totals for the kid until he’s pretty much done growing (i.e. growth plates have closed up).


#6

Certainly makes sense. Appreciate your comments.


#7

[quote=“Roger”]All pitchers should work their backside decelerators more than their frontside because you have more muscle groups for accelerating the arm than for decelerating it. That said, if the kid does this, he may actually see his velocity increase. The reason is you normally can only accelerate what you can decelerate so if you increase your ability to decelerate, you will be able to accelerate more.

So, I would still limit the pitch totals for the kid until he’s pretty much done growing (i.e. growth plates have closed up).[/quote]

My son (14U) worked this with a former Major Leaguer this past summer, and I wish he could continue to work with him throughout High School. Unfortunately, he’s 3,000 miles away. :frowning: During these sessions he worked almost completely on the attitude and thinking that is needed to be a Major Leaguer, fielding his position (i.e. controlling the decelerating and landing in a defensive position), taking responsibility for every pitch, and working on his backside decelerator. Never worked on increasing his velocity. I don’t know how many times he said, “Throwing 105 means diddly if you can’t get a strike.” This coach kept him between 72 and 74 with control, confidence and command. BTW, on his 14th birthday, he was clocked at 89 mph (running start).

His doctor says he won’t finish growing until early 20’s. :slight_smile: He’s trying out for right field for his freshman year in High School. (He should make it. He has a gun for an arm and at 15 pound lighter than last summer, has good outfield speed.) He would also like to make the bullpen as a pitcher and continue to learn his craft, but is fine with not being a starter until his Jr year.