Throwing hard in practise!?

Hi guys!
My boy (10)isnt like really inclined to pump it up in practise.
Wether its pitching, tossing or fielding…he just does just enough.
Hes really good, thats not the issue…
The issue is im telling him to pump it up a notch.

He says he doesnt need to hurt his arm…and ill tell him you need to train the arm.
Ofc i dont want him to blow up his arm but my guess is one will need to train to throw like really hard.
I mean…throwing harder harder and harder cant be achieved by technique alone right?
I will never push him or anything but maybe i can convince him if you guys have the right arguments.

Anyways…i dont have any experience in this field but maybe you guys do.
In short the question is:
Do we need to train to throw hard by throwing hard ?
My guess is yes but i can be horribly wrong…tnx

By all means, throw hard in practice.

With that being said, you as the parent will have to consider how well the coach is economizing how much he’s making the kids throw the ball around in practice. If he’s making a ton of throws taking infield and outfield practice as well as pitching on the side, he may be better served to take it easy on most of his fielding throws and just open up for a few just to maintain game readiness.

Signs to look for that perhaps the coach has his thumb well hidden from the sunshine:

  1. during warm-ups the kids throw in the outfield while the coaches formulate a practice plan near the dugout. I’ve seen practices where the kids are playing catch for 10 minutes or more, some flicking the ball to each other, some playing chuck and chase, others perfecting their knuckle balls and telling jokes, some kids taking it seriously, but throwing too much because the coach has left them out there too long.
  2. infield practice of 30 minutes or more consisting of each kid taking 25 or 30 grounders and making just as many hard throws across the diamond. Which may not be bad by itself, but coupled with the warm up routine from above and an equally grueling outfield practice or relay drills and now you are talking quite a few throws. By the time it’s over, everyone’s arm is about half an inch longer on the throwing side. If the coach wants to focus on grounders, he should hit grounders, have the kids field and come up into a throwing position then deposit the ball into a nearby bucket and get into position for the next grounder.
    3)the coach may even have pitchers who are throwing a bullpen on the side or throwing some of the team’s BP making hard throws with their infield and outfield reps that same day.

If the practice is set up like this, it’s probably best that he’s not over-taxing his arm in practice.

Listen to what the kid is telling you.
Sure he’d like to throw harder, but he wants—and needs—to do it at his own pace and not push it to the point where he risks injury. Let me tell you what I used to do when throwing a bullpen session or warming up prior to starting a game.
With my catcher—and for bullpen sessions it was very often my wise and wonderful pitching coach—behind the plate, we would start off with an easy game of catch, maybe ten minutes. Then I would come in there with all my pitches, easy at first and then gradually ramping it up to my maximum (such as it was; I wasn’t fast but I could throw hard). I would sometimes experiment with a different way of throwing, for instance, a changeup—a different grip—and the catcher would observe and maybe make a suggestion as to something else I could do. I threw hard for maybe twenty minutes, then took a break while we discussed one thing or another he had noticed. And I never observed any pitch counts or other limits; I would go until I was thoroughly warmed up. Then we would stop.
And on the day I would start a game, I would put on a warmup jacket to keep the arm heated up, and then I would toss it aside when I took the mound, made my eight or ten warmup pitches, and proceeded to make the opposing batters look very silly. Oh, did I have fun doing that.

[quote]My boy (10)isnt like really inclined to pump it up in practise.
Wether its pitching, tossing or fielding…he just does just enough.
Hes really good, thats not the issue…
The issue is im telling him to pump it up a notch.

The longer he does just enough to get by the sooner the game is going to pass him by. To answer your question, YES, he needs to throw with intent to throw hard. If he continues to ease the ball in practice, it could transfer over to game situations. Practice is just preparation. Preparartion for game situations, and IMO you play like you practice.

Is he hurting? Is he sore? If the answers to those questions are no, then he may be making excuses to get out of working hard.

At 10 it’s probably more about lack of motivation. Whether he thinks he doesn’t need to work hard cause he’s ahead of other kids his age or he just really isn’t interested in putting out the effort, he needs to be motivated and encouraged to improve HIS game. That improvement includes throwing with intent(throwing hard).

Tnx guys…ill tell him him to to max it and see what happens.-)
Maybe he will dig it and maybe he doesnt i dunno.

Just out of curiousity, while were at it-).
Physically spoken…how or what are we developing when we throw hard(to throw hard)?
All muscles involved probably but by my knowledge it would be better to lift weights right?
And by my same knowledge bodybuilders probably wont throw very hard!?

In short:
what are we actually training since its not really a muscle thing and were not training to get stronger muscle wise?
Is it technique, muscle memory, the decellerators…maybe we train to dont be as sore the day after?

Like in:
if we dont need to lift weights, since being stronger wont make us throw alot harder…what in the hell are we training?
Do the muscles need to be long or short etc etc…

Im really sorry about this…since i dont have a real clue and cannot put it into words very well but hopefully you understand what i dont understand.

tnx a ton guys!!!

When the chips are down – when the tying run of the game is dancing off of third base – you are going to revert to what you have practiced.

Also… IMO the only way to learn control and command of a full-effort pitch is to practice at full effort. If you practice only at partial effort, you will always have to ease up in order to hit your spot.

With weightlifting, I have read that you get a lot of early gains from neuromuscular adaptation – you have to push yourself to your limits before your body starts figuring out how to recruit all of the muscle mass you have. Later strength gains come from hypertrophy of the muscles and take much longer to occur. There are probably similar things involved with throwing/pitching.

[quote]In short:
what are we actually training since its not really a muscle thing and were not training to get stronger muscle wise?
Is it technique, muscle memory, the decellerators…maybe we train to dont be as sore the day after?


Sure you are. Training to get stronger will increase velocity. Consider that velocity comes from legs, core, back, etc. Various training regimens including lifting weights all increase stregnth, which along with good mechanics increase velocity.

When throwing, if you never throw hard and get the rest of the body involved in the throwing process, how will you ever put it all together to maximize your potential and velocity.

Pitching with proper mechanics should not produce pain. Why not post a video of your son to check his movement for risk factors. Remember, a hard throw is different from a soft throw, so if you do post one, try to get him to throw hard in the clip.

As long as he’s not in pain, at age 10 you probably want to just lay back a little bit on him. …At any age, the motivation to work on pitching needs to come from the pitcher.

Just make sure that he understands that he needs to be honest about when he’s hurt.

But yeah, I have to agree with some of the other responses: throwing hard in practice is vital. You need to practice exactly what you hope to improve. Momentum Pitching’s creator Dr. Brent Rushall calls it ‘The Principle of Specificity’. That’s why throwing softballs won’t help you pitch. Weighted balls won’t help you. Lifting weights won’t increase your velocity. Towel drills won’t improve your form… High velocity baseball pitchers need to train to pitch baseballs at high velocities.

Another approach to your situation could be for you to design practices in a way that allows you to manage out some of the guesswork here… Consider:

  1. Every practice session should start out with the athlete’s assessment of how he/she feels; physically, mentally, etc…

  2. Bad assessments should indicate a need to reduce the length and perhaps the intensity of the workout

  3. Get your son warmed up and loose

  4. Get him up to his high speeds

  5. Practice at top output until he is finished (at age 10 about 30 pitches) OR until you notice EITHER a drop in speed OR a loss of control.

Once fatigue, soreness or pain or even mental anxiety is involved, any further training will be counterproductive.

Just out of curiosity, how many pitches does your son throw in a normal practice session?


At 10 years old, your son is in his first “window of trainability” which will last until “testosterone” kicks in. In this first window, he is able to most rapidly develop speed of movement. So tell him to chuck it up there to work on arm speed.

Turn 22, you’ve just hit on it—the real key to a pitcher’s power.
You mentioned getting the whole body involved. That’s IT. That is “The Secret”, which I learned a long time ago from watching how the Yankees’ Big Three rotation did it. And it’s this: they were driving off the lower half of the body, using the legs, the hips and the torso in one continuous (and, it seemed to me, seamless) motion, creating a flow of energy all the way up through the shoulder and the arm to the fingertips. They were generating more power in their pitches—and taking a lot of pressure off said shoulder and arm so they could throw harder and faster (even Eddie Lopat, who was not a fireballer) with less effort.
I watched those guys, and I saw how they did it, and I made a note of it and started working on it on my own. As I practiced this essential element of good mechanics I found that I was doing the same thing they did. The results were fantastic—and not a sore arm or a sore elbow or a sore shoulder or a sore anything else. I wasn’t fast, but I could throw hard; I found myself throwing harder with less effort, and my sidearm delivery had more snap and sizzle to it.
Yes, that is “The Secret”, and if the kid were to latch on to it and work on it, he would reap benefits galore. A good place to start would be the “Hershiser” drill, which aims at getting the hips fully involved and establishing that vital connection between the lower and upper halves of the body—and which requires no special equipment, just a fence or a wall. 8) :slight_smile: