Most pitchers will participate in each traveling age level for two years. When it comes to 10U, some players will choose to skip over 8U and will participate in 10U for three or more years. It is common for pitchers to hold off on starting their pitching careers in 8U and wait until 10U. The 10U pitching distance is 35 feet, and pitchers will throw with an 11-inch softball. The ball size and pitching distance may seem challenging to first year 10U’s, but by that second season, they will have grown, developed their skills, and will get the hang of it.
There comes a time in every young 10U softball player’s career when the jump to 12U occurs. This is probably the most significant adjustment softball pitchers and players will make as they move through the different age levels. At 12U, the pitching distance moves back five feet to 40 feet, and the ball size moves up to a 12-inch softball.
Some pitchers tend to struggle with one of these extremes over the other. The smaller pitchers will likely have issues with the distance change and will need consistent mechanics and a little extra force behind their pitch to get it over the plate. Pitchers with smaller hands will likely have trouble adjusting to the bigger ball. With any change comes an adjustment period and we call the transition from 10U to 12U a growing year for pitchers.
Below are a few ways to help pitchers make the adjustment from 10U to 12U.
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