Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Little League Pitching (correct answer)
I'm the father of a 13 year old travel team pitcher, at the end of last year as a 12 year old, he was throwing 58-60 mph to the glove, using the glove radar. According to the manufacturer of the glove radar and some other experts a baseball loses approximately 1 mph per 7 ft traveled. It can be a lot of fun talking about a 67 mph fastball, but realistically you should look at the average speed or speed of the ball as it crosses the plate. Our season consisted of 65 games last year and we saw a lot of pitchers. My son was not the strongest hurler on the team and definitely not the strongest that we saw, but he was the anchor because he had enough speed to be effective when used with a slider and a circle change. We saw a couple of pitchers that were off the charts. One on a high powered Wisconsin team that was a manchild throwing at least 75-80 across the plate, we couldnt even make contact on him and another chicago team whose pitcher brought it in the low to mid 70's. The other competitive teams' good pitchers at our level were fairly comparable to our own. If I can make a suggestion to all baseball fathers out there... enjoy those little league years, because when they move that mound back in the first year of pony at 13, it becomes a hitters game again. Look up 'baseball express' or 'baseball warehouse' on the web and get their catalogs delivered to you (it's easier than their web sites) they'll have some fairly iexpensive speed measuring solutions for you. stop watches that measure speed, glove radar systems, radar bucket, sonic gun, radar ball's, etc. my personal favorite is the radar gun... it's indespensible and pretty accurate. If you have a stop watch with lap time that breaks it down to the hundreths, you can time the pitches from release from the hand to the glove, this is a real challenge since hundreths of a second mean miles per hour. Take the distance that your son is pitching say 48 feet for 12 yr old bronco league, divide it by the time, let's say .53 seconds from release to glove that gives you 90.566 fps, multiply that times 3600 to convert to hours and divide by 5280 to convert to mph you should come up with 61.75 mph... that's the average speed of that pitch, so add about 3.5 back to it to get the release and subtract about 3.5 from it to get speed at plate. good luck on that one.
At the little league age though, just remember to protect that arm, get a cheap palm pilot and go to scorepad.com and buy their scoring software or get a handheld counter to track the pitch count. Keep the game pitch count under 45 (usually a couple of innings) and let them rest plenty befor the pitch again. Never let them pitch in pain NEVER! Be sure they warm up good. Slow and easy with about 25 to get loose and set a routine of warm up drills 5 pitches from stretch 5 pithces from full etc. Teach your son how to pitch, here is the secret for little leaguers... and I promise you this will work.
1. if they crowd the plate attack inside and throw hard
2. if the have a normal stance, have your catcher set up outside and throw to the mid to upper part of the strike zone, that pitch always looks outside to kids. whenever you can, attack the outside, it is the advantage of a little league pitcher.
3. have your son grip the ball a little wider like split finger and tell him to throw it like his regular fast ball. because of the wider split he'll naturally choke back and drop a couple of mph and the ball will drop a couple of inches at the plate and nobody will hit him solid. keep those pitches low and inside. go to his regular grip for the high or outside heat.
4. when you get ahead or you need a strike, if you've got a little speed, reach back and bring the heat letter to chin high, right over the plate... they'll swing... it's a genetic built in response... ( like the banjo minnow)
5. finally remember to change speeds alot and go up and down the ladder. you'll figure it out
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