Most pitchers think that they can't gain velocity during the season.
Here are 6 tips that can contribute to improving velocity over the course of a season.
Another way to look at it is these are 6 things that could hold you back from gaining velocity during the season.
- Improve Your Warm Up Quite a few of our students did not reach their max throwing velocity until mid season. Here is what they did. They changed their warm up to resemble our near exact warm up's at Fastball USA.
It's amazing how much better a player will throw with a really good physical warm up. Place a greater emphasis on getting the body moving, and get the body sweating. By the time you pick up a ball to play catch you should already be 95% loose. Just increase your physical warm up. If you're not sweating, don't throw.
- Emphasize Quick Twitch Movements During The Season warm up's put a high emphasis on short 5 second burst of energy. Get the body to move in short explosions. Give your time to get back into full breath in between and then fire the circuit again. These short burst movements can be added into the warm up's, or even the day after pitching for recovery purposes.
Explosive quick twitch movements can be done in a variety of ways. Agility, hurdles, ladders, sprints, to name a few. If you're still running poles, plan on velocity going down during the season. Running long distances builds up more lactic acid than pitching itself. Stop the poles! Focus on quick twitch instead of slow twitch, long duration exercises.
That's right. The body has a tendency to want to slow down. During your
- Improve your ability to finish your pitch and your overall deceleration pattern!
A poor deceleration pattern will lead to quicker arm fatigue or even soreness or pain. That in turn kills velocity. Yet during the season when throwing strikes becomes the main focus, finish the pitch actually get's worse because pitchers start aiming the ball or simply start over throwing. Stable front foot and leg, complete rotation of the shoulders and hips, head locked in, good trunk flexion are just a few traits of a good finish. Plus avoiding the throwing arm banging out and hyper extending after release. A poor deceleration pattern will get the arm tired a lot quicker. The arm will become sore a lot quicker.
Poor deceleration is NOT good for maintaining velocity.
Focus on how you eat (training is fueling the body)
Focus on what you're drinking (stay hydrated)
Focus on getting quality sleep (8-10 hours)
Step 2 - Do you have a throwing cycle? Recovery Day, Mechanical Day, Push Day, Off Day, or are you just winging it? Have a plan for each day to get you back to 100% before the next time you have to pitch. It sounds obvious but many pitchers slow down naturally because of accuracy. Playing catch and just trying to throw strikes will sometimes slow people down. Make at least a few throws almost daily near max effort it your arm feels