You hear it a million times… "Speed isn’t that important”. But in reality, speed does matter, to an extent. College and pro scouts carry a radar gun for a reason. Many scouts believe they can teach a hard thrower how to pitch, but it’s a lot harder (or impossible) to teach a control pitcher how to throw hard. If you want to throw with harder there are a few things you can do to increase your velocity.
Make sure to do long toss on a consistent basis. It will develop arm strength, increase arm endurance, and could possibly even improve your mechanics. When doing long toss, start out at 30 feet and back up until you can no longer one hop your partner. Be sure to use good mechanics with long toss to prevent arm injuries.
Lifting weights can also help increase velocity. As a pitcher, you want to be concentrating on your core and legs, but don’t neglect your upper body. Squats are great for the legs, and medicine balls work wonders for your midsection. Having some sturdy triceps help assist in the deceleration of your arm, so be sure to work in some press downs.
In order to maximize your velocity, you need to perfect your mechanics. It is hard to correct mechanics via an online article, but if there are any major flaws in your delivery, it would be in your best interest to get them fixed. Not only will having a flawless delivery maximize your velocity, but it will also decrease your chances of injury. Seek help from a qualified professional pitching instructor.
If your arm is sore, take some time off. Be sure you are taking proper care of your arm, such as running after you throw. Also, if you experience an abnormal amount of tightness, it is advisable to ice your shoulder after a throwing session. However, icing is only necessary if you are experiencing extreme discomfort.
In order to maintain a healthy arm, it is important to do stability work. Having a conditioned shoulder will help keep your arm strong and your velocity at its peak. Do a Google search for Thrower’s 10 exercise program. Doing these band exercises on a daily or every other day basis will help your arm stay healthy and you may even pick up a few more miles per hour.
In the end, every pitcher reaches their velocity limit. Genetics plays a large role in how hard a pitcher can throw the ball. The above techniques will help pitchers reach their full potential, but you must realize when you reach your limit. Trying to force past your personal limit can result in injury.
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