Velocity plateau for 15 year old?


#1

Son’s had steady gains over the years and topped out at 78 about six months ago at about 14 1/2 years old. Since then he’s dropped off a little and bounced back but has not gained any since. No arm problems and pitching well. Freshman this year and participating in offseason workouts (with school team) for first time including weight lifting, medicine balls, weighted balls, speed & agility, running, throwing drills & long toss. Just wondering if plateau’s are normal for his age. Thanks


#2

Yep.
My son actually lost about 6 mph between Freshman and Sophmore years mostly because of a growth spurt I believe that had him tripping over his own feet.
He also lost weight in that time frame.


#3

[quote=“fearsomefour”]Yep.
My son actually lost about 6 mph between Freshman and Sophmore years mostly because of a growth spurt I believe that had him tripping over his own feet.[/quote]

Thanks for the reply. How old is your son now & how long did it take him to recover?


#4

I always like to trot out this velocity graph of a 15/16 year old that is in our program:


#5

[quote=“kyleb”]I always like to trot out this velocity graph of a 15/16 year old that is in our program:

http://www.drivelinebaseball.com/2013/05/23/frustrations-with-fastball-velocity-gains-understanding-the-long-run/[/quote]

Am I reading this correctly? If so 17 mph in half a year is very impressive!


#6

Yeah, had another 16 year old go from mid-70’s to touching 90 as well over a 5 month period (maybe a bit less, can’t recall).

But there are plateaus in all of that. It’s never a straight path upwards.


#7

Also consider that he’s begun weight training. He’s likely going through changes in his muscular structure.
The velocity will come back. Give it time.
My son, as a freshman, was named first team all district and won District pitcher of the year. As a sophomore he hit a plateau and a huge growth spurt. He worked through it and a third of the way through the season the velo was back and higher than ever. Honestly, this plateau is when he realized how important throwing every day is.


#8

[quote=“Pitcher17”][quote=“fearsomefour”]Yep.
My son actually lost about 6 mph between Freshman and Sophmore years mostly because of a growth spurt I believe that had him tripping over his own feet.[/quote]

Thanks for the reply. How old is your son now & how long did it take him to recover?[/quote]

After his Sophmore year he got back to where he was before + 2 mph, going into his senior year he was on schedule to make some gains and then hurt his elbow…from skiiing of all things, not throwing related. So, he ended his Senior year only 2 mph faster on average than his Freshman year.
He is a Freshman in college now (18 years old) and has picked up a few ticks over the summer. He is sitting about 82 ish now. Better than where he was but certainly not where he wants to be ultimately.
So, some kids throw hard from day one. For some it is a work in progress as with my son. Most, in my opinion, have to work at it and put in the sweat.
Large gains (as shown by Kyle) are possible depending on the work ethic and the kid and making sure they are doing the right training in the right way.
Turn 22 is right about there being an adjustment period when a new workout protocol is started.
It varies where you are to some degree but 78 for a 14 year old is above average in my opinion. He is starting from a very good point. Unless he is totally physically mature and shaving every day (doubtful) he will pick some up (maybe a lot) as he matures and continues to work out. Even if he is physically mature there are gains that can be made with the right training.
Be patient with him, he will get there.


#9

One interesting thing Ron Wolforth said at the last camp we went to was, he had not any kid in his camp who was throwing 80 mph as a freshman in HS, who didn’t eventually hit 90 mph. I thought that was interesting.

Obviously, there is not a straight line in improvement (and there is some selection bias because the camps tend to get better pitchers who are willing to work hard), but, yes, 78 mph as a 14.5 year old is very solid. Just keep working!


#10

Thank you all for the replies and excellent advice. I believe he’s got some room to grow velocity wise. Turn22; you are correct about a growth spurt. He’s sprung up about 3 inches over the past year up to 5’10. Weight has not followed as he’s pretty slim at about 135 lbs. Still not shaving but he’s hit puberty. Mclovern; we’ve been looking at Wolforth’s camp. Read about it and think it would be a good experience although will probably be some time in late 2014. Kyle; will follow your site. Wish we lived close by but in Southeast. Thanks again guys.


#11

Excellent advice. From Spring 2012 to Fall 2012 he gained 8 mph. From Fall 2012 to Spring 2013 he gained another 5 mph. We weren’t looking for same gains going forward but thought he would probably be hitting 80 or better by start of Freshman season which will be in February. Might still be possible but agree with you about being patient.


#12

Go see Randy Sullivan at the ARMory in Bradenton, FL!