Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Best Way To Increase Pitching Velocity

December 19th, 2008 by sports12 | Filed under Sports Nutrition Programs.

Every college pitcher is looking to increase his pitching velocity. Most pitchers are throwing below 85 mph. For many an extra 3-6 mph of pitching velocity could mean not only much better performance but for some, it is a ticket to their dream…a chance to play pro baseball.

Unfortunately, many college coaches are giving out very poor advice on baseball pitching drills to pitchers who want to maximize their velocity. They tell them this time of year to go off and play summer ball and work on getting bigger and stronger. Bad, bad advice. Neither more weight training nor more long toss is going to have much of an effect on improving velocity, and yet the large majority of coaches at the high school and college levels do not know this.

There are no magic bullets to improve pitching velocity. Sports science research has proven this, but coaches do not read research. Instead they pass around the same old thoughts over and over that have no basis in fact. Magic bullets for improving velocity do not exist: not weighted baseballs, long toss or going into the weight room to get bigger and stronger.

Pitching velocity does not come from arm strength. All coaches and parents should read that again and again. Those who are selling weighted baseballs for improving velocity are ripping people off. And whatever else they are selling should be suspect as well. Higher pitching velocity comes from using the entire body to build momentum into a long stride. By the time the pitcher’s front foot is on the ground, he will not be able to produce much more velocity. This means that most of a pitcher’s velocity is produced before his throwing arm even starts to move the ball toward the plate. Hard to believe, isn’t it? But that and many of other facts have been proven by sports science research.

There is one tool however, that is the most powerful tool for helping pitchers increase velocity and yet you will rarely see it being used by even experienced coaches or high paid private instructors. What is that tool? The use of a simple camcorder that instantly provides all the feedback a parent or player needs to help recognize which mechanical faults are holding that pitcher back.

Unfortunately, most pitching coaching today is a waste of money and time. Any instructor who is not using a camcorder regularly is a fraud. Why? Because there is no way on this earth that any instructor is able to recognize mechanical problems using just the naked eye. None. Not even big league pitching coaches. This is why the most important aspect of our instructional DVD program is about showing parents, coaches and players how to videotape using a simple camcorder. Without this tool coaches and instructors are just guessing.

So if it’s so important to video analyze a pitcher, why don’t just about every instructor or coach at every level use it? Because they do not understand
baseball pitching techniques. Pitching lessons composed of pitching drills are largely a waste of time. The foolish towel drill, balance drill or kneeling drill will never in a million years help a pitcher improve his velocity or control. And yes, even the well known pitching gurus recommend every imaginable drill and seem to invent more each day. Drills are now used by pitching instructors to kill time during lessons because they don’t know what else to do.

What is required to improve velocity is usually improved speed of movement for developing more momentum into a longer stride. Or sometimes it just requires that the pitcher improve his timing so he is making a much smoother throw so that his body is building more energy longer. Smoothness in a pitcher equals good timing. Most pitchers simply want to get to ball release too fast. The secret to more velocity is to get to ball release later so that more energy has a chance to be stored in the body. That stored elastic energy is the secret to moving the arm faster. The arm does not move fast by itself. The body moving fast is required. Get this issue taken care of, and you can move on to working on your baseball pitching grips.

There are thousands upon thousands of high school and college pitchers who could improve their velocity anywhere from 3-12 mph by getting an expert opinion on their mechanics and also finding out how they are spending their practice time trying to improve. A video analysis by an expert is one of the most valuable tools for pitching improvement. But make sure that instructor is an expert.

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