Did you know that the average fastball speed in Major League Baseball has been steadily increasing over the past decade?
In 2010, the average fastball speed was 91.1 mph, while in 2020 it had increased to 93.3 mph. That’s a difference of over 2 mph!
So, if you want to keep up with the competition and increase your pitching speed, and learn how to increase pitching velocity, it’s time to start focusing on the right equipment and training techniques.
In this article, we’ll explore how you can use technology and equipment to improve your pitching velocity and take your game to the next level.
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What is pitching velocity
Pitching velocity is the speed at which you throw the ball. It’s basically how fast you can make the other team look silly.
Measured in miles per hour, pitching velocity is critical in determining your pitching prowess.
If you are completely new to baseball, I recommend checking out my beginner-friendly baseball guide.
Why You Need to Know how to increase your pitching velocity
Let’s be real.
Who wouldn’t want to throw faster? Increasing your pitching velocity can have a lot of perks, such as:
- Striking out batters more easily
- Improving your overall pitching performance
- Boosting your chances of getting noticed by scouts and higher-level teams
- Reducing your risk of injury and improving your longevity as a pitcher
How to Increase Pitching Velocity: – The Secret Sauce to Throwing Fireballs
If you want to throw faster than the speed of sound (well, almost), you need to have the proper mechanisms in place.
It’s the foundation upon which you build your pitching speed. Proper mechanics not only help you increase your pitching velocity but also reduce the risk of injury.
So, it’s a win-win situation.
And best of all?
Improving your pitching mechanics is not rocket science. It involves a few key factors that you need to keep in mind:
#1 Balance and Weight Transfer
Your balance and body weight transfer play a huge role in your pitching velocity.
Focus on keeping your body weight over your back leg during your windup and then transferring it to your front foot as you deliver the pitch.
This helps you generate maximum power and velocity.
#2 Arm Path
Your arm path is like a magic wand that can make or break your pitching velocity.
Focus on keeping your arm loose and relaxed as you wind up, then whip it forward in a straight line toward home plate.
Avoid twisting or contorting your arm, or you may end up looking like a human pretzel.
#3 Follow through
After releasing the ball, follow through with your arm and body, using your legs to help decelerate your body.
This ensures maximum energy transfer and reduces stress on your arm.
#4 Drills to improve mechanics
To master proper mechanics (and eventually improve pitching velocity), you need to practice, practice, and practice some more.
There are numerous drills and exercises you can do to improve your pitching mechanics.
Try practicing your delivery in front of a mirror or working with a coach to figure out where you need to improve.
You can also use technology such as video analysis to fine-tune your mechanics.
Technology can also be used to help determine pitching velocity. handy for when you are not sure if you are throwing pitches fast or slow.
By focusing on these key things and practicing regularly, you can improve your mechanics and bring out your inner pitching beast.
Strength Training – Get Ripped for Pitching
Strength training isn’t just about getting buff for the beach; it can also help you throw heat on the mound.
By building lean muscle mass, you can increase your force production and improve your pitching mechanics.
So hit the gym and start pumping some iron.
Key Muscle Groups To Focus On
Not all muscles are created equal when it comes to pitching velocity.
Here are some key muscle groups to focus on to increase your pitching speed:
#1 Legs – The Foundation of Pitching Power
Your legs are like the foundation of a house; without them, everything crumbles. Focus on exercises that build strength in your legs, such as squats, lunges, and box jumps.
By building leg strength, you can generate more power and velocity on the mound.
#2 Core – The Center of Your Pitching Universe
Your core muscles help you improve your balance point and stay stable when you pitch.
Exercises such as planks, Russian twists, and medicine ball throws can help you build core strength and increase your pitching velocity.
#3 Shoulders – The Engines of Your Pitching Speed
Your throwing shoulder is the engine behind your pitching velocity.
Focus on exercises that build shoulder strength, such as shoulder presses, lateral raises, and rotator cuff exercises.
By building strength in your shoulder muscles, you can generate more force and throw the ball harder.
Exercises to Boost Pitching Speed – Get Jacked for the Mound
If you want to become a pitching monster, you need to train your entire body to generate maximum power.
Building lean muscle, improving arm strength, and creating a solid kinetic chain are just a few ways to increase your pitching velocity.
Here are some exercises that can help you throw faster:
#1 Dynamic Cable Lifts
Dynamic cable lifts are a great exercise for building arm strength and power throughout your entire body.
Start with a lighter weight and focus on maintaining proper form throughout the exercise.
Focusing on building a strong kinetic chain will help you generate more power and pitch faster.
#2 Rotational Movements
Rotational movements such as medicine ball twists and cable rotations can help you build trunk rotation and generate more power in your throwing arm.
They are helping you improve your internal rotation.
By building a strong and healthy body, you can improve your muscular endurance and generate more velocity on the mound.
#3 Stride Length and Foot Strike
Your stride length and foot strike are crucial components of your pitching motion.
Focus on creating a longer stride length and landing on your lead leg with proper foot positioning.
This helps create energy and momentum, leading to a more powerful throw and increased velocity.
Check out this video for some easy yet effective exercises!
Flexibility and Mobility – The Secret to Pitching Velocity
Improving your flexibility and mobility is a secret weapon for increasing your pitch velocity.
By loosening up your muscles and joints, you can improve your range of motion, increase your balance point, and generate more force in your pitch.
With the right stretching and mobility exercises, you can improve your pitching velocity and throw like a pro.
Key areas to focus on
Here are some key areas to focus on when it comes to improving your flexibility and mobility for pitching velocity:
#1 Hips – The Key to Unlocking Pitching Power
Your hips are like the key to unlocking your pitching power.
They play a crucial role in your pitching motion, and improving your hip mobility can help you generate more power and velocity on the mound.
Focus on exercises such as hip stretches and lunges to improve your hip mobility.
#2 Shoulders – The Upper Body MVPs
Improving your shoulder mobility can be a game-changer for increasing pitching velocity since your upper body MVPs are your shoulders, and better mobility in them can enhance your arm speed.
To improve your shoulder mobility, you should do shoulder stretches and exercises like shoulder rotations and dislocations.
#3 Core – The Foundation of Pitching Mechanics
Your core muscles are very important for keeping your balance and stability when you pitch. Focus on core exercises such as planks and sit-ups to improve your core strength and stability.
#4 Stretches and exercises to improve flexibility and mobility
Stretching and mobility exercises, like yoga and foam rolling, can help you become more flexible and mobile as a whole.
These exercises can help you improve your range of motion, reduce the risk of injury, and increase your pitching velocity.
The Mental Game – Leveling Up Your Pitching Velocity
Sure, having a strong arm and good mechanics are essential for pitching velocity, but don’t overlook the power of the mind!
Mental preparation can help you pitch faster by making you more focused and calming your nerves. When you’re in the right headspace, you can execute the perfect pitch with ease.
Techniques to improve mental preparation
If you want to improve pitching velocity, it’s essential to focus on your mental game.
Here are some techniques to try:
#1 Visualization – Picture Perfect Pitching
Visualizing yourself throwing the perfect pitch is a great way to improve your mental game and increase pitch velocity.
Imagine yourself throwing a fastball with perfect form and the ball flying straight into the catcher’s glove.
This will help you build confidence and mentally prepare your body for the perfect pitch.
#2 Positive Self-Talk—You Got This, Champ!
Positive self-talk is a simple yet powerful way to improve your mental game.
By using positive affirmations such as “I can do this,” “I’m a great pitcher,” and “I have the best mechanics,” you can improve your confidence and keep yourself motivated.
#3 Breathing Exercises – Take a Deep Breath and Let It Out
Breathing exercises can help you reduce anxiety and improve your mental game.
Take a deep breath in, hold it for a few seconds, and then exhale slowly.
Repeat this a few times before stepping onto the mound to help calm your nerves and get your mind in the game.
Pitching Tools and Tech – Amping Up Your Game
Proper finger positioning, release point, throwing arm, lead leg, stride length, kinetic chain, and more play a role in pitching speed.
Equipment and technology like radar guns, weighted balls, and resistance bands can help you measure, build strength, and improve form to increase your player’s throwing speed.
#1 Radar guns
You can’t manage what you don’t measure, and radar guns help you track your pitching speed over time.
They are an important tool for setting and reaching goals, keeping track of progress, and figuring out where to make changes.
#2 Weighted balls
Weighted balls are a great way to build lean muscle and improve wrist snap, which enhances pitching speed and power.
They come in various weights and sizes, so working with a pitching coach is important to ensure proper form and prevent injury.
#3 Resistance bands
Resistance bands can help you focus on specific muscle groups and increase overall strength, which is important for a healthy and powerful pitching arm.
They’re versatile and great for both warm-up and cool-down exercises.
Safely Using Pitching Tools and Technology
It’s important to use pitching tools and technology correctly to avoid getting hurt and get the most out of them.
A pitching coach or trainer can give you advice and make a program for you that fits your needs and goals.
Using these tools as part of a safe and effective training plan can help your player become a better pitcher.
So there you have it, folks. If you want to take your pitching to the next level and start throwing like a pro, it’s going to take more than just a lucky rabbit’s foot or a pre-game burrito.
It’s all about incorporating the right techniques and tools, like proper finger positioning and resistance bands, and putting in the time and effort to train your body for success.
Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a blazing fastball.
Stay consistent, stay dedicated, and always seek the guidance of a pitching coach or trainer to help you along the way.