Archive for the ‘Velocity Development’ Category

One of the most overlooked factors when it comes to throwing velocity is mobility/range of motion. By increasing mobility in certain areas of the body, you can unlock the ability to throw with higher velocities without even touching a weighted ball or dumbbell. Now, that’s not to say that you shouldn’t train with weights or throw weighted balls if you’re looking to increase your velocity, but if you’re not following a good stretching program that improves range of motion in the RIGHT areas, you’re likely leaving valuable MPHs on the table.

With that said, here’s 5 stretches you can do right now that will help increase your throwing velocity.

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This post stems from a discussion I had with one of the softball players I train. I made the statement that most softball players could benefit from overhand throwing instruction, because their mechanics are typically substandard when compared with those of baseball players. She retorted that softball players have to short-arm the ball and throw with a low elbow because they have to get rid of the ball more quickly due to the fact that they play on a smaller field. In other words, they “don’t have time” to utilize proper mechanics. But in reality, throwing with proper mechanics doesn’t take any more time than throwing with poor mechanics.

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Although the sports world has largely accepted strength training as an effective way to improve sports performance, there are still a few hard headed old-schoolers who refuse to believe that increasing strength will improve athletic ability. This is a ridiculous notion. Baseball coaches seem to be the most reluctant group to acknowledge the benefits of strength training. Often, this is due to the incorrect beliefs that lifting weights will make you inflexible (it won’t), or hurt you (it won’t if you do it right). But some coaches simply don’t believe that weight lifting will improve any aspect of sporting performance, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Yeah, being strong has nothing to do with being good at sports. Just ask Bo Jackson.

Yeah, being strong has nothing to do with being good at sports. Just ask this weakling named Bo Jackson.

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One of the 13-year-olds I train came in early to throw with his dad before training last week, and I came over to watch a few throws. Whenever I watch one of my students hit or throw I always try to come up with one thing they’re doing well, and one thing they’re doing poorly that they need to work on. In this case, the thing I noticed about Tommy’s throwing motion was a lack of hip/shoulder separation. I’ve talked about the importance of hip/shoulder separation and the stretch shortening cycle before in this article on my site, and this article on Stack.com. If you haven’t read those articles, give them a look to understand why hip/shoulder separation is so imperative to pitching velocity. Basically, we want the shoulders to stay closed while the hips open up, which pre-stretches the muscles across the front of the body, causing a more powerful contraction in those muscles, which makes you throw harder.

That said, one of the most common problems I see in young throwers is that their glove side will open too early (known as “flying out” or “flying open”), which eliminates any chance for hip/shoulder separation. (more…)

Even with all the strength training my athletes do in the offseason, I always tell them the most effective way to develop throwing velocity is just throwing a baseball (or softball). That’s not to say that strength training isn’t important; building strength in the offseason allows players to exert more force and minimize injury risk during the season. But all the leg, core, and rotator cuff strength in the world will do you no good if you can’t figure out how to apply your strength properly when throwing. Enter: long tossing.

In my opinion, if you’re a baseball or softball player and you’re NOT long tossing, then you’re stunting your development as a ballplayer.

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