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10 Year Old Pitcher, How Many Warm Up Pitches


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#1 abadrs

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Posted 26 April 2004 - 06:10 AM

I have a 10 year old son that pitches very good and was wondering how many or what should be the practice routine ? I don't want to over work his arm for sure but I also don't want to not work it enough to give it a good workout. Also keeping in mind that he also plays other positions and is not exclusively a pitcher.


#2 preacherman

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Posted 26 April 2004 - 10:48 AM

The second part plays a big role. My son pitches, catches, and plays short. I try to take it all into consideration. In Little League, I take into consideration how many times and how hard he threw back to the pitcher as a catcher. If he has been short stop, how many hard throws did he make. And last but not least. How much does he throw on a regular basis?
My older son throws about 100 baseballs a day during the season 4-5 times a week during warm-ups, situations, etc. He has never had a sore arm pitching. He does not throw hard either so he does not have the pressure.
To sum it up, I would not let a 10 year old throw more than 50-70 pitches within a 4 day period if he throws hard.

#3 wwjdwithca

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Posted 01 May 2004 - 10:58 PM

Some experts say you should have them throw until they are into a sweat, that one of the biggest mistakes Coaches make is to get their pitchers into the game too cold.

Now I'm not the most experienced Coach in the world, but from my experience I've found that most of my pitchers work better with less warmup. Work them hard in practice, and on gameday just let them get warm, and let them fire!

To me, the key is that they throw enough in practice. And I'm not talking about general playing practice. I disagree with previous poster. You cannot consider fielding practice, there is far too much delay between throws. You need to practice pitching, with nobody hitting, so they can build their arms, work on location, and teach them more than just a fastball.

#4 preacherman

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Posted 03 May 2004 - 01:00 PM

I strongly disagree with the poster of not counting their other throwing in how much they pitch. If he is playing shortstop or catcher, you have to consider that in determining how much to let him pitch. Remember, for every pitch a pitcher pitches, his catcher has as many throws back and a good catcher is throwing the ball back about 75% as hard as he pitches. So, if he is normally catcher, it will affect how much he should throw as a pitcher. You should not catch a kid all practice and then expect him to work on pitching after practice. Or you should not catch a kid for 100 pitches and expect him to come in and pitch.

The same with shortstop or other positions. How much have they thrown in the game or practice?

I was not saying that the playing of other positions will take the place of pitching practice. You just should not overuse a child's arm in one day. You have to take all things into account.

#5 wwjdwithca

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Posted 08 May 2004 - 05:42 PM

Preacherman, I have dedicated Pitching practices, and two of my pitchers are Catchers as well, and I've have never seen either of those kids get tired from Catching, Pitching yes, catching....never.

Pitching has so much more energy involved. Not only do they throw much harder than 25% (as you say), they are throwing change-ups and breaking balls (I teach them sliders). This requires 4-5 TIMES more energy than a simple return lob toss from the catcher.

Kind of common sense.

#6 preacherman

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Posted 11 May 2004 - 10:51 AM

I still disagree. You should only practice the arm so much in a week. Muscles are developed by breaking down and rebuilding. What you are telling us is that you only break down. You do not take into consideration how much time you give them to rebuild. The original question was how much should a pitcher throw in a specified time? My answer was you have to take into consideration all the throwing that the pitcher is doing in that specified time, not just the pitching. You have said that the other throwing he is doing as a catcher, infielder, or outfielder or just throwing does not fit into the equation.
I will say that you will burn a kid's arm out if you don't take this into consideration. Muscles can only be broke down so much without doing permanent damage. (Doctoral sense or common sense) I also don't think 10 year olds need to be throwing very many breaking pitches. Yes, I will agree the slider is a lot better on the arm than the curve ball but that is still pressure on the wrist and elbow. 12 is different, but 10 years old?
If a 10 year old can throw strikes, he doesn't need a breaking pitch.
Again, my final answer is that all throws a player throws in a specified period have to be taken into evaluation in determining how much to pitch.
Example, my 12 year old son pitched 3 innings in the first game of a tournament, 2 innings in the second. We put him at first the 3rd game to give his arm a break, he normally would have caught, because we wanted him to pitch the finals if we made it. If a player catches for 2 games that throwing has to affect his arm muscles ability to pitch.

#7 wwjdwithca

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Posted 18 May 2004 - 10:49 PM

I guess we will just have to respectfully disagree on the the workout of their arms.

Off speed pitches is another area we'll disagree about as well. I've done a bit of reading on this matter, and there's really no evidence of a slider causing elbow problems. The problem is that many kids don't want to throw a real slider, they want to see the ball break 3 feet, so they end up throwing a curve. I don't believe a slow curve is an effective pitch against a good hitter anyway, and since you don't throw curves at poor hitters...what's the point? But a well thrown slider is extremely effective. The hitter thinks he's seeing a fastball, and when it gets to the plate the bottom falls out. Extremely hard to hit!

I will agree with you that any off-speed pitch should be thrown only at selective times in each inning, and really never against weak hitters. For several reasons: I Coach Minors, and these boys just can't get that pitch over the plate often enough, you need to have a good catcher who will block the ball with runners on base, plus it's just more effective when the kids don't see it often.

But I cannot tell you how much more successful a young pitcher can be with having one effective off speed pitch. Now if the kid doesn't have any velocity on his fastball.....then forget it. What's the point? But if he has a solid fastball, he MUST learn a second pitch. There are just too many good hitters who can hit a fastball....one trip to the 40 MPH batting cage proves my point. After just a few pitches at the same speed and location even the weakest hitters can catch-up to a fastball. To be able to mix in an well placed off-speed pitch will take the best hitters to their knees.

I'll agree with you on another matter too. Throwing strikes is much more important than knowing any number of pitches. Two of my better pitchers have very good fastballs, but constantly suffer from not being able to throw strikes. Strikes, strikes, and more strikes. Half the kids you'll face want to Walk. Got to throw strikes. That's why I teach them a pitch I call a "Nice and Easy Strike." It's fastball grip, but the pitcher just takes a bit off just to get it over the plate.

Anyway, good discussion. Thanks.

#8 Pinata

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Posted 01 August 2004 - 12:39 AM

My general warm up for my 9 year-old brother who plays SS/P/C is to have him throw until he is comfortably into his pitching velocity. After that, I give him a number of pitches until he gets his accuracy down, usually in area of ten after he has reached his velocity, and then we send him out to his doom... err strikeouts usually. Almost no fielding support, so he basically has to strike everybody out if he wants to keep the score down.

#9 Coach G of BT

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Posted 05 November 2004 - 08:16 AM

Pitchers, catchers, and shortstops all use different muscles when throwing. A pitch uses more leg and back muscles as they push off the rubber trying to get maximum velocity on their fastballs. I agree that the warm up period is very important, but there are many factors that go into how many pitches a pitcher should throw before starting to throw to batters. Temp, humidity, personnal muscle mass, and I agree to some extent whether the player is warmed up from being in the game at another position. I don't think this will effect the number of pitches he can throw in the game unless he was playing catcher. This is the one position I believe takes a toll on a young players arm if not properly warmed up. Especially if there is stealing in your League or Division. One of my best relief pitchers is also my sarting catcher, when he come in there is very litttle time spent warming up. Its more getting used to throwing from the rubber and finding his pace. This works for my kids, I've never had a kid with a sore arm, but I make sure not to over use them in any one game and get at least 3 days rest between work.