Creating velocity

Ok some help would be appreciated

My son is getting pitching lessons from a very reputable clinic in our city. The thing is the instruction seems to differ from everything I have read or seen online or in these kind of rooms. ( oh and my son reads this stuff and thinks the guy doesnt know what he is talking about )

I want to ask the instructor how does one create velocity and make the ball go faster.

Now I dont want genetics and size as the answer.

Anybody care to give me their opinion on 3 to 5 things that lead to greater velocity from a delivery standpoint. Obviously funtional strength and flexibility and nutrition will help thats not what I am asking for.

Fire away

[quote=“jdrocks”]

Anybody care to give me their opinion on 3 to 5 things that lead to greater velocity from a delivery standpoint. Obviously funtional strength and flexibility and nutrition will help thats not what I am asking for.

Fire away[/quote]

Velocity is generated by the speed to which the arm, and more specifically, the hand, can accelerate. Period. The ball can only go as fast as the arm/hand that is propelling it. That said, there are several things that can influence the speed of the hand at delivery:

Shoulder/hip separation
Throwing against a firm front leg
Release point
Linear movement of the body to home plate, led by the front hip

More than any one thing in my opinion is the timing with which the pitcher can accelerate most efficiently and deliver the most effective velocity. This is why every pitcher’s delivery is different. That is why so many pitching coaches can claim success each with their own method.

These are the things my coach/instructor keeps repeating in my pitching lessons

  1. Fingers behind the ball on the fastball, in front of the ball on the curve, and pronate the hand to keep the fingers from being behind the ball on a circle change.

  2. Stay closed as long as you can, but don’t throw across your body

  3. Timing is very important - not too fast & not to slow - the faster you can get your delivery while maintaining proper mechanics the better off you will be

  4. Extend towards your target and try to make up ground with your backside -

My best fastballs happen when all these work together.

jdrocks,

I thought hoseman and kidmullen both made some good points.

Here’s my list–it basically re-states some of hoseman’s and kidmullen’s points:

  1. Starting from a stable balanced posture, get momentum toward the plate started with a weight shift at the hips as soon as leg lift begins. (Avoid “stop at the top”–pitchers that do that must restart all of their forward momentum from a static position while balanced on one leg…not efficient!)

  2. Studies that the NPA has conducted suggest that about 20% of a pitcher’s velocity comes from the stride. One way to test this number is have the pitcher throw from his knees–most guys can get about 80% of their normal velocity without any stride whatsoever.

  3. About 80 % of velocity comes from hip-shoulder separation. Potential energy is stored in the core by rotating the rips open with the shoulders kept closed. Good pitchers can get between 40 to 60 degrees of separation before the shoulders violently rotate open. When the shoulders rotate open the potential energy briefly stored in the core is converted to kinetic energy that powers the arm. There is really very little contribution to velocity from the arm itself, although it must be strong enough to maintain proper and highly consistent form during the acceleration provided by the torso. The arm must also be able to withstand deceleration after release of the ball–you won’t ever be able to accelerate a ball to a greater extent than your body’s capacity to decelerate after it’s release…unless you are willing to ruin yourself.

I disagree with kidmullen’s point about not throwing accross your body–most pitchers don’t do it but some good ones do. I don’t think that is necessarily a serious issue if you know how to accomodate it on the rubber.

Overall, careful attention to physical conditioning and mechanics, timing, and sequencing can help any pitcher live up to his individual genetics.

In simplest terms velocity can be increased by maximizing mechanical efficiency. If I was to pinpoint one area of the body to develop to help with increasing velocity, it would be the abdominal region.

Medicine ball exercises will help immensely in generating the maximum external rotation.

go buy the book sandy koufax: a lefty’s legacy by jane leavy and read chapter one. in about 16 pages it will tell you in simple, beautiful language how to throw the baseball as hard as you can throw it. then come back and post your reactions and conclusions.

what is the instructor telling you that you question so strongly.

The instructions I am questioning

The leg lift should stop at the top and the pitcher should be in a totally balanced and static position. No forward movement until the leg is straight with the foot being the first thing to move towards home. He is saying the the stride foot should be about 2 inches from the ground and go foward from there

The arm circle is being taught to have a stop positoin at the top in most drills. The throwing part has the shoulders and hips moving as one actually trying to avoid seperating hips and shoulders. Try to be throwing downhill really concentrating on the down part. Avoid all urges to rotate.

The glove is to be held out in front of the pitcher and by this I mean artifiacially held out about 1.5 feet and held there. I can understand the reason why firming the front side can a big positive. This not the rerason why he teaches it.

This sounds like the objective would be how to limit velocity.

[quote=“jdrocks”]The instructions I am questioning

The leg lift should stop at the top and the pitcher should be in a totally balanced and static position. [/quote]
This is an outdated teach, IMHO.

This will result in the front leg opening opening up early which will likely take the hips with it. It will also cause the lower-half weight to “stay back” which will minimize how much he actually gets out of the lower half.

This is a cookie cutter approach.

Maybe this coach views the hips rotating before the shoulders as a form of rushing? Regardless, it’s the opposite of what should be done.

More cookie cutter. The front side is very important to timing and its positioning needs to “fit” each individual pitcher.

And overall effectiveness.

i’ve only encountered the don’t move forward till you get the arm up one other time when i listened to the current pitching coach for the university of texas. he obviously has had sucess with what he is doing but the teach didn’t work for me.

all the video and pitching coaches that make sense to me teach leading with the hips and getting the hips closed. many on the forum talk about the horrors of counter-rotating but i think it is extremely difficult to counter-rotate too far.

i have contemplated posting the new thing i’m thinking about and working on so now is probably as good a time as any.

i think once you understand and master setting the back foot and getting the hips out in front and some tilt in the shoulders, the next thing i think you should look at is the path of the lead leg knee after it reaches it’s apex.

if you can coordinate the rolling down of the back knee during tilt and getting the hips out front with the eliptical rotation of the front knee back and toward the body (instead of fanning open by taking the front knee forward and away from the body), this puts the body in an extremely powerful position to throw the baseball.

this arc of the front knee is clockwise for righties and counter-clockwise for lefties. i need to make a brief video but hopefully the explaination makes some sense.

this action keeps you closed as you move down the hill, creates and maintains torque in the core of the body, and if you unwind from bottom to top, promotes hip/shoulder separation.

something to think about. the next thing i teach after this is getting the elbows in a strong position away from the body ready to throw.

[quote=“jdrocks”]The leg lift should stop at the top and the pitcher should be in a totally balanced and static position. No forward movement until the leg is straight with the foot being the first thing to move towards home. He is saying the the stride foot should be about 2 inches from the ground and go foward from there

The arm circle is being taught to have a stop positoin at the top in most drills. The throwing part has the shoulders and hips moving as one actually trying to avoid seperating hips and shoulders. Try to be throwing downhill really concentrating on the down part. Avoid all urges to rotate.[/quote]

This is wrong.

The guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

Maybe this coach views the hips rotating before the shoulders as a form of rushing? Regardless, it’s the opposite of what should be done.[/quote]

I know that Brent Rushall (and possibly Dick Mills) believes in ZERO hip/shoulder separation.

That an indefensible position, IMO.

Maybe that’s this coach’s POV.