The transition from 12U to 14U softball is the final jump players will have to make before settling into a permanent 43-foot pitching distance for the rest of their career. 12U softball’s pitching mound is secured at 40 feet. When players reach the 14U level, the pitching mound is moved back to 43 feet and that is where it will stay. The ball size will remain at 12 inches for the remainder of a softball players career as well. The only rule change players making the transition from 12U to 14U and beyond is that additional three feet from the mound. 14U will bring better competition as players are introduced to playing for and against club teams.
How to Adjust to 43 feet as a pitcher: The pitching change during the transition is only three feet, which to some pitchers can feel like a lot. Luckily with this transition, the ball size remains the same. My advice to pitchers is to incorporate distance pitching into your pitching practices before actually taking the mound at 43 feet. Pitch 10 pitches from 45-50 feet away and try to throw a line drive strike to your catcher. Emphasize using more arm speed, as well as bend and push forward with the legs to cut down the distance. After throwing 10 long, move closer and throw five pitches from 43 feet. Bounce back and forth a few times and you will find how quickly you get the hang of the 43 ft. distance if you can overcome the 45-50 ft. one.