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If you’re a college level softball pitcher looking to play at the highest levels, you’re probably wondering how your pitching speed measures up to the average college softball pitching speed. This will depend on what division you’re trying to get into, and below we’ll get into the average pitching speeds you’ll need for each division of college softball. But first, let’s answer the question: what is the average college softball pitching speed?
Average College Softball Pitch Speed
The average pitching speed for college players is 58 – 65MPH, or 66 – 74 MPH for higher end averages.back to menu ↑
What pitching speed do you need for the different softball divisions?
Division 1: 63 MPH or faster.
Division 2: 58 MPH or faster.
Division 3 and NAIA: 55 MPH or faster.
Junior College: 54 MPH or faster.
If you want to check your own pitching speed before tryouts, there are some great radar guns and devices available – here is a low priced option from Bushnell that is perfect for softball pitching speeds and easy to use from multiple locations on the sidelines or even in the stands:
Why improve your pitching speed?
One of the main goals of players in the college-level age group is to get recruited by a college coach, so that they can get into good softball programs. If you’re a pitcher who wants to get recruited into the best college softball programs, speed is one of the most important factors.
Nothing will get a Division 1 college coach’s attention more than a player who can throw fast pitches, consistently. Specifically, if you can consistently pitch at 63 MPH or faster during games, you’ll get the attention of college coaches.
As previously mentioned, the key is consistency, and maintaining that high level of speed during gameplay. If you can pitch like a speed demon during practice, but the pressure of competitive games gets to you and negatively affects your ball speed, that’s a problem.back to menu ↑
How to improve your pitching speed
If you’re trying to improve your pitching speed, the best way to do so is by focusing on your technique and mechanics. You won’t start throwing faster balls just by swinging your arm around so fast that it’s almost popping out of its socket. Rather, you need to have efficient pitching mechanics, which will naturally bring your speed up to at least the college average.
One of the most important pitching mechanics for improving speed is leg movement. What happens to many pitchers is they max-out their pitching speed because they’ve topped out on their arm speed and can’t seem to figure out what else to do in order to get their speed up. The answer in most cases is improving leg mechanics.
When trying to pitch at high velocities, it’s important to synchronize your lower half of your body to your upper half. Walk-through drills are great for teaching this invaluable skill.
Try incorporating this amazing three-step walk-through drill by Amanda Scarborough into your daily practice!
Having the proper equipment can also help vastly improve your pitches, check out our guide on the best fastpitch softball glove for pitchers here.
Improving your pitching speed will also come down to consistent balanced strength training, and getting in as many weekly pitching reps as possible. In other words, practice, practice, practice. The more balls you pitch, the better you will become at pitching. It’s that simple. But don’t forget to keep up with balanced strength training in the gym as well.
There are also several great training aids with solid reviews that you can buy to help practice pitching:
Image Credit: “Kat Espinosa” by KT King is licensed under CC BY 2.0