Can a heavier glove help you throw harder?


#1

Some people say heavier gloves help them throw harder. Others say lighter is better. (And, of course, some say it makes no difference.)

So what do you think and which do you prefer when pitching – a heavier glove or a lighter glove?


#2

I’d imagine that it wouldn’t make a difference. However, if someone can prove me otherwise, I’ll be the first to buy the high velocity leather!


#3

I think that a heavier glove is just as bad for your arm as throwing a weighted baseball or wearing weights on your ankles which mess up your knees. It sounds like an interesting concept but not one for me. Then again, the only draw back I think it would have is messing with your wrist or elbow. Of course, that depends on the structure and age of the pitcher.


#4

A heavy glove? On your glove arm? It’s not going to do any damage to you.


#5

When a pitcher brings his glove in towards his body and snaps that wrist, it puts a little more strain on those small muscles than usual. I’m not a doctor but I’d imagine that’s what would happen. The picture in my head shows me that if someone gets so used to using a weight glove, when they return to the original weight it will cause such a difference either for the good or for the bad. It’s your preference.


#6

I switched back and forth between heavy and light gloves all the time. For instance, in my opinion, TPX and Nike’s gloves are quite a bit lighter than Wilson and some Rawlings models. Nokona always felt super heavy to me. Mizuno were OK, but they didn’t have as many all-black midels that they do today – and I only pitched with an all-black glove. (Remember, Scott Erickson??) But Zett was perfect and the one glove I went back to over and over again.

Perhaps I just thought about gloves waaay too much when I played :slight_smile:


#7

This is more of an issue for young pitchers. Youg kids have more trouble stabilizing a heavier glove out front. That leads to dropping or sweeping the glove which, in turn, can lead to postural issues and timing issues. Some of these issues (e.g. opening up early) can, in fact, lead to health issues in addition to performance issues.

I always encourage young kids to use light gloves.


#8

That’s about as ridiculous as the people who say wearing under armour increases velocity.


#9

well thats obviously true


#10

I fell the same way as you steve :stuck_out_tongue: The only gloves I use are black rawlings.

However I can see where maybe a heavier one would help because when you tuck the glove to your pit, you thrust downward with it to levitate your throwing arm. So maybe it would help get your harm up. Just a small thought though. Other then that I would assume its the same.


#11

Since Baker isn’t here I’ll try and pass on some of his information that I remember.

He used to talk about a guy he played for that would put lead weights in his fingers to help him to throw harder. He said the guy was very small and used them to gain some momentum but could bring some heat.


#12

The only way I can see how glove weight would impact velocity is if you are using the glove to pull the shoulders around. Since that is one of the bigger flaws a pitcher can have (in my opinion), I guess I would say my answer is “it shouldn’t”.


#13

I thought HasBeen’s answer to this (somewhat weird-sounding) question was pretty insightful.

From a slightly different point of view I’m sure that Roger will confirm, if asked, that Tom House has a very definite and carefully thought out opinion about glove weight.

House has pointed out that a typical baseball glove weighs more than a pound, while a baseball weighs less than 1/3 of that amount. Some kids use over-sized gloves, that have absorbed a bunch of lanolin or oil or whatever, weighing as much as 2 pounds (6x the weight of the ball).

However, in a well-balanced efficient delivery, between first separation of the hands and touch-down of his stride foot, the pitcher’s throwing arm and glove-side arm actually mirror one another in terms of the angles at the elbows and wrists. The phase of a delivery House calls “opposite and equal” arms can take several different-looking symmetrical forms but the over-arching point is that the best pitchers do achieve balance and symmetry with their arms–in the same vein as a tight-rope walker might use symmetry for balance.

Under the stress of a high-speed pitch delivery, it may be inefficient to purposefully increase the amount of weight imbalance between the throwing arm side holding the 5 oz. ball and the glove-side by wearing a heavy oversized glove.


#14

I know, I know, it’s a weird question. But we’ve gotten some pretty good discussion around it, which is cool. That was really the point I was after. And … it’s not all that crazy a question. I was literally asked this by a little league parent last year.


#15

A weighted-glove or even a small weight (2 to 5 lbs.) with a center-hole to fit at least two fingers (in the non-throwing hand) can be useful to improving throwing mechanics and possibly higher throwing speed if used wisely over time. This is based on the physics of a medieval throwing device called the trebuchet. As a physics professor and former pro pitcher, I’m doing new research into this method. Thus far, with impressive results.


#16

I can understand it as a conditioning aid in a thought out program perhaps. The premise of using the glove as a counter balance works with full on momentum pitching but many pitchers I see at elite levels tend towards the front side as stabilazation not a momentum multiplier, with a high degree of repeatability.


#17

From a physics standpoint, a heavier glove would require more energy to start it moving toward home plate, but once it is moving, it would require less energy to maintain its forward momentum. Probably a wash.


#18

In my research, I provide a weight (2 to 5 lbs.) with a center-hole for easy grasping (in the non-throwing hand) rather than a glove. The weighted glove was the topic of conversation, which is why I featured it. Again the reason for the weight is to act (that is move) in similar fashion to the motion of the counter-weight in the "advanced" trebuchet (in this case, the weight falls initially straight down and then back), which is not necessarily the motion of most pitchers. This was the first order of business: getting pitchers to try out a new motion bringing the center-of-mass further forward before the front foot lands (as in a tennis serve where I first worked on this "physics problem" if you will). As the front foot is landing, the small weight has fallen to the end of its journey downward (thus exhausting its potential energy) and is now being thrown backward (kinetic energy) as the upper body pulls the throwing arm forward and down. With the weight, this turning force is greater just like in the pulling force of the trebuchet. The greater force translates into greater translational energy of the throwing arm; hence the exit velocity of the baseball is higher. An interesting effect: not only for the players (throwers) in the study, but also for myself as a former pitcher (who throws hard for an old man; despite various arm injuries). Certainly well worth trying if folks want the details.


#19

This is one of the main “force applications” we train with. By “force coupling” your Acromial line ( imaginary line that run thru your shoulder tips) thru full range of rotational length while your driving the ball satisfies coach Newtons law of reaction.

Dr. Mike Marshall-

“Marshall baseball pitchers point the glove arm at home plate. Therefore, they pull the glove forearm straight backward. As a result they force couple their arm to increase the amount of oppositely directed force that they apply toward second base.

“Marshall baseball pitchers coordinate the push back toward second base of the glove leg with the pitching upper arm extension and inward rotation of the pitching upper arm, extension of the pitching elbow and pronation of the pitching forearm through release. Therefore, they also “force couple” these parallel and oppositely directed forces. As a result, they increase the amount of oppositely directed force that they apply toward second base.”

We have been strapping on a 5 lb. wrist weight as a demonstration of force being added by pulling back against the glove side arm and glove for 20 years.

The best single throwing motor drill ever devised is the “no stride” drill where the thrower learns by feel to initiate forwards acceleration by pulling against the glove arm and glove side leg with your center of mass driving ahead of your glove leg.


#20

Dr. Marshall had his disagreement with Prof. Don R. Mueller (that’s me; the physics professor) when I suggested he try supinating the wrist prior to pronation; the supination occurring as the arm moves behind the head and then as the arm thrusts forward to throw, it naturally and more powerfully turns toward pronation. I call it Power-Pronation. When he became angry (over the phone) at such a suggestion, I told him that it would be easier for me to teach him Quantum Physics. He then hung up the phone. His loss… When I played, I threw 90+ but had oh so many arm injuries doing what I was told. Today, I can throw hard again (mostly tennis balls; as an old man) thanks to new training methods based on my physics research into throwing and swinging sports. The NY Times calls me Professor Tennis:.http://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/11/sports/tennis/don-mueller-rackets.html