Does slow tempo create low velocity?


#1

Been reading a couple of articles on this subject. Does a “slow it down” teach result in lower velocity? My son’s been taught to go slower and stay under control. From 9th to 11th grade he’s only gained around 5 mph despite being bigger & much stronger. I’m convinced he’s going to have difficulty gaining velocity going forward unless he changes his approach. I’m disagreeing with his instructor on this.


#2

There are no absolutes so a slow tempo doesn’t automatically mean lower velocity. I’m sure you can find an MLB pitcher who moves slow but is able to crank it up at the last moment. But I think a slow tempo does make it more difficult to maximize velocity for most pitchers.

A slow tempo also makes it more difficult to have good timing. And it takes more strength to stabilize posture and maintain balance through the delivery when you move slower. These things can also affect velocity.


#3

This is a common problem.
Slow down, up down and out, balance point, all the usual nonsense.
Coaches coach this way to get kids to (they think) throw more strikes. This goes on all the way through in baseball. I have not really seen a coach be able to “teach” someone to become a strike thrower.
There will be progress made in terms of teaching command at some point, probably soon, with technology. How does the body learn to move in an efficient way…that is what it really comes down to. Cutting cutter stuff is usually nonsense and this is the norm in baseball.


#4

I think @Roger has nailed it. Also, I’ve found that people that move at a quicker tempo have fewer mechanical issues. Often the source of moving slow is that a pitcher has too much going on in their head about their delivery. Keep it simple. A pitcher can be swift and smooth. Advise to “slow it down” should be directed at the pitcher’s brain speed and not the body speed.
Place a board on the ground and walk across it. No problem right? Scurry right across that bad boy. Place that same board 15 feet off the ground and try to cross it. Big difference. The task didn’t get any harder, your brain is getting in the way.


#5

Thank you @roger @fearsomefour @CoachPaul
Instructor was out of town a few weeks. Son jumped up to 85-87 in late August. First session back was told to slow his body down. End of fall he was down to 80-82, pitching well but velocity obviously down and command not as good. He thinks it was just his schedule, played 6 out of 8 weekends. His arm felt great, no problems. I think it’s slowing his body down. He’s been doing some training with the core velocity belt. Seems like slowing the body down is the opposite of what the belt self teaches? He’s been shut down from pitching since the third week of October although he continues to throw & train. I think when he starts back up the first of the year he can’t be encouraged to slow down.


#6

Here’s something you can try…

Have your son pitch from the stretch while you put stopwatch on him. Time him from first movement to front foot plant. Shoot for a time of about .95 seconds. This will give you a tangible, measurable goal that also lets you gauge repeatability.

.95 is the low end of the scale (.95-1.05) for timing of front foot plant as recommended by the NPA pitching timeline.


#7

I believe that’s great advice. A showcase he did at a mid level D1 during the fall touched on the subject. Pitching coach gave a presentation to all pitchers and one of the issues he discussed at length was tempo. Had video of before and after of some of his pitchers. He did have a goal on time although I don’t recall exactly what it was. Each case he sped up slow tempo guys. Increased velocity and improved strike percentage in each.


#8

As always good advice from Roger.
It is frustrating. My son is at a small college. They recruited him because they liked what they saw him doing. Liked is approach and velo ect for their level. As soon as they got him there they started messing with his mechanics…up, down and out…slow down. Of course his velo dropped. Sadly, this is typical. You have pitching coaches who’s greatest qualifier for the job is they played at that level. Does that really mean anything? Who knows, a lot of times not. A lot never evolve either. This seems to be more of an issue in baseball than any other sport and it is maddening.
Imagine if you went for a tennis lesson and the instructor was talking about doing static stretching, touch your toes and gave you a big clumsy wood racket to use…living in the past…this is a lot of baseball. Cookie cutter nonsense.
The sad thing is it limits a lot of players I believe. If you are a kid starting the recruiting process, remember, their (coach, PC ect) job is to win at their level, not to develop you as a player. Most could really care less about that to be honest.
If the body is forced to move quickly it will find efficient movement patterns. There may be some struggles at first, but, the body usually adapts. If you want to clean up some lifting form, put heavier weight on the bar. The body will either fail in the lift or it will quickly organize a more efficient movement.


#9

Very appreciative of advice. Thread has confirmed my belief he needs to move in a different direction tempo wise. Really completely opposite of what he’s been told to do in the past.


#10

This. :+1: