Tips to Gain Velocity In Season

April 15, 2023
Don't Make This HUGE mistake!

Most pitchers think that they can't gain velocity during the season. 

Yes you can!   The problem is people don't do the little things well and velocity
actually goes backwards.

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. 

  1.  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. 

  2.   Emphasize Quick Twitch Movements During The Season That's right.  The body has a tendency to want to slow down.   During your 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.
  3.   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.    

     4.     Sleep!  The typical season has players up late, and up early.   Sleep, hydration, and rest is all apart of training.   Sometimes less is more.  Focus on getting better sleep, more sleep, and watch the velocity grow as the season goes on.  Remember, you are only human.

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)  

   5.   Throw hard!  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 up to it.  Even if it's only 5 throws.   Get the feet moving and let the ball fly out of your hand.    Throw hard in order to throw hard.    You don't throw harder by throwing slower.    The problem is most people will slow down naturally to control the ball during playing catch and especially when they pitch.  Throw hard almost every day, even if it's just a little bit.  6.    Improve Your Recovery Process  (A lot of hidden velocity in recovery)What do you do after you are done throwing or pitching?   Are you still icing?  Ice is for fountain drinks.  Why players are still putting ice on the arm I don't even think they know.   They just do it, because somebody else is doing it.  Stop the ice and focus on the right things in recovery.  Then watch how well the velocity will go up. The goal of a good recovery process is to get you back to feeling 100% by the next time you have to perform or specifically pitch.  Step 1 -  Blood flow.   What exercises are you doing within the next 24 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. 
Step 3 -  Strength Work, Mobility, Flexibility.  As the season continues on many players lose mobility and or strength.  What are you doing to maintain or enhance to make sure you recover better to throw better. Be really good at these 6 things and watch your velocity climb during the season.   It will open up doors of velocity improvement even during the season. 
Mike Ryan
Fastball USA 

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