ARM SPEED-developement


#1

What is the best drill, or technique, for developing a quicker more explosive arm speed? Thanks for any help.


#2

A couple of questions: what arm angle do you usually use, and how hard are you throwing right now? 8)


#3

You leave a lot of questions to be asked and answered, but a general way to improve arm speed (ball velocity) is to first make sure your mechanics are as efficient as possible. A good segmented whip pattern for throwing the ball is what you want to achieve.

Secondly good overall body strength (a “good” nervous system goes a long way to delivering the ball at high velocities). This comes through training and maturity.

Third, drills and techniques such as long toss, and max effort throwing will yield benefits.

You also need to listen to your arm. Get the proper amount of rest between sessions (varies for everybody). Make sure you are doing all the “injury preventive” work such as rotator cuff work, band work, throwers 10 exercises etc. for your arm, elbow and shoulder.

Make sure you train hard, train consistently, and eat right (yes eat right…just like mom always said). If your diet is garbage, you are losing out.

If you do all these things, you would most assuredly see some velocity improvements.


#4

101mph is right on. Long toss and max effort work. Actually, all work should be max effort work. When you train at 70% your body performs at 70%


#5

i disagree with the don’t train at 70% and here’s why.

it depends on what you are working on. there are 4 kinds of bullpens and pitching arm strength work:

  1. arm strength and velocity - this is done at maximum or near maximum levels. you need to do this to develop arm strength. the problem is you can only do this for a limited amount of time before you fatigue and expose your arm to injury.

  2. stuff- you want to work on getting movement. you do not focus just on velocity or throwing strikes, you are getting as much movement on the ball and harness this movement for strikes later.

  3. location - this is where you focus on throwing strikes and hitting your spots. you do not have to throw at near maximum levels to work on location and throwing strikes.

  4. mechanics bullpen - you work on changing or refining your pitching mechanics. this may take enormous amounts of repetition and sometimes this level of repetition cannot be performed at near maximum levels. the good news is to work on mechanics you do not need to throw at near maximum levels. 70% is just fine and doesn’t put high levels of wear and tear on your arm.

so it depends on what you’re working on. it may be understood from my posts that i say just throw at 70%. that is not it at all. it depends on what you need to develop. that should guide your intensity.

this program is used by veteran major league pitching coaches. primarily leo mazzone and vern ruhle. both had more than 8 years experience and both were fired, so go figure.


#6

Great post, Dusty.

I’d add one suggestion in the strength department. Consider training your decelerators. The body will generally only let you accelerate your arm to the point it can decelerate the arm.


#8

Radar gun.

The man my son takes lessons from uses it a lot and it’s a great tool, used right.

He lets them “chuck it” he calls it, and guns them. He always stops them and ask how their arm feels, where does it hurt. If it’s been a couple of minutes since they tried it he always makes them build back up. It’s seems to be a great game for the kids and really works their arm.

It’s interesting to see their reaction when he shows them they can throw the ball harder from the wind-up than running up and chucking it. It’s also neat that he has the kids throw 80% a few pitches, then grunt it as he says, then throw 80% again. Almost always the speed is almost equal, and he points out to them how many innings could they grunt it as opposed to 80%.

80% being a way to say throw it hard but don’t shi* your pants of course.

edit< Sorry, I noticed your son is 14 so this post may not be relevant.


#9

I disagree with some of the posts in this thread, a tiny bit.

I like my kids to work at game speed in their bullpens. If game speed is 90%, or 95% then that’s what I want my students to try and command at. I like to stress tempo and timing. I think the two T’s are very important. If we throw bullpens at 70%, we’ll get good with our tempo and timing and command at 70%. This doesn’t always translate into commanding at “game speed”. I like my pitchers to be able to command and throw hard at the same time. If this means we throw 35 quality hard pitches instead of 60-70 easy pitches, then so be it. This is just my personal opinion though.


#10

hammer,
i thought the same thing but after reading pitch like a pro by mazzone, and the recommendations of the asmi website i decided to try it. it worked and the command of our staffs was the best in the league. you can throw more pitches and more often working mechanics and location at 70%. if you go at near maximum, 50 pitches is about all you can do, and normally you need a couple days rest between sessions or they get sore.

it worked for us and one of the best pitching staffs ever assembled (the braves under mazzone) but everyone has their own ideas. in six innings of pre-season scrimmages, my guy has not walked a hitter and struck out 10 and giving up one earned run. he’s throwing low to mid 80’s which is nothing special but nothing to worry about this early as a sophomore. i think the additional repetitions are critical to developing good command and confidence. especially with the change up. it’s a tough pitch to master and even throwing it this much it comes and goes.


#11

[quote]hammer,
i thought the same thing but after reading pitch like a pro by mazzone, and the recommendations of the asmi website i decided to try it. it worked and the command of our staffs was the best in the league. you can throw more pitches and more often working mechanics and location at 70%. if you go at near maximum, 50 pitches is about all you can do, and normally you need a couple days rest between sessions or they get sore.

it worked for us and one of the best pitching staffs ever assembled (the braves under mazzone) but everyone has their own ideas. in six innings of pre-season scrimmages, my guy has not walked a hitter and struck out 10 and giving up one earned run. he’s throwing low to mid 80’s which is nothing special but nothing to worry about this early as a sophomore. i think the additional repetitions are critical to developing good command and confidence. especially with the change up. it’s a tough pitch to master and even throwing it this much it comes and goes[/quote]

Nice post Dusty.
Not without precedent in other sports where high speed mechanics are crucial…boxing or any of the combat disciplines use shadowing and less than 100% to refine technique and sharpen the bio-mechanical motion, they do walk throughs in football…on and on. I agree I think, with both of you that 100% off the mound is a necessary pen, but so is this and it a very important pen for a well rounded pitcher. I don’t think one excludes the other.
I do disagree with you on this aspect though Dusty…low-mid 80’s is outstanding for a sophmore, it to me, is the shiney end of what is possible, sustainable and least injurious for a sophmore aged body (Freaks of nature excluded). It looks like he’s in great position to have an outstanding high school run…Spend the time to enjoy it…I promise you won’t believe how fast it is til he’s throwin for some college/university out there.


#12

Applause for Dusty and JD


#13

The best workouts for any sport are using drills that utilize the movements needed to perform that sport’s needs. If you’re a baseball player, long toss is the legitimate way to strengthen the arm. Whatever you do, don’t let them rainbow it. Make sure they throw it on a straight line, even if it does hit the ground a few times. As for actual workouts, the bands are a good workout for rotator cuffs.


#14

[quote=“Roger”]Great post, Dusty.

I’d add one suggestion in the strength department. Consider training your decelerators. The body will generally only let you accelerate your arm to the point it can decelerate the arm.[/quote]

Very good point. In general, the Cubs doc who worked on my shoulder said shoulder injuries tend to occur during the deceleration phase of the delivery, not the acceleration.


#15

P.S. Leonheart, get a new pic in your sig that hasn’t been deleted :slight_smile: