It seems impossible for me to gain velocity and i am trying everything i can. My friend tells me that my windup takes too much time and is very slow. I have a overhead type of delivery like andy pettite and roy halladay. My friend told me to cut that out and focus on keeping my hands in the middle of my body and basically speed up my delivery. will it help with my velocity at all?
Good evening, Ray.
I don’t think the speed, or lack of it, of the windup has anything to do with the speed of the pitch. Ever watch Mark Buehrle? He pitches from the full windup much of the time, and he works fast. You might try doing the same sort of thing he does, and be aware that what you need to do is get your whole body into the action, not just throw with your arm and your shoulder. Pitchers who drive off the lower half of the body, using the legs, the hips and the torso, will generate more power and more velocity on their pitches because the energy flow from the lower half up through the body to the shoulder and the arm is continuous, uninterrupted, so they can throw harder and faster with less effort.
Another pitcher who uses the old-fashioned full windup is Paul Byrd—ever see him pitch? He does the same thing, and he too works fast. So—what you want to do is hit the gas pedal when you wind up, regardless of what style you use. Give it a try and see what happens.
Yes and no. Speeding up any movement prior to lifting your leg out of the full or stretch has little to no impact on velocity. But, getting the hips moving quicker down the mound as your lift leg drops and expands sideways can – having a more powerful sideways expansion and synching up the upper and lower body is a factor.
I wrote a two part article on my site about rhythm and tempo for pitchers. Now take them with a grain of salt as I’ve only coached little league but like many on this site I have studied and read and observed a lot of pitchers. I probably wouldn’t have written about it to such an extent but I read a great article on insidepitching.com by By Derek Johnson of Vanderbilt University, The Importance of Tempo. (
) I have talked to kids about tempo before but when I coach again someday I will definitely emphasize it much more and encourage kids to find “their” best rhythm and tempo. I think it will help velocity and control and more importantly I think kids will have more fun being athletic and “letting it fly”. More than once I’ve seen a kid field a grounder and smoothly throw a bullet to first. Then he goes to the mound and he moves slow and deliberate trying to get the motion “correct” and suddenly his velocity and accuracy are gone. Not saying it’s the only way, just something to consider.
The windup itself will not affect velocity on its own. The two things you want fast is the opening of the hips (which you want to do as late as possible) and your body falling over your front leg.
Also, if you posted video someone could pick something out in your mechanics that is slowing you down
One simple way I like to look at it is to pick up the pace of the delivery. You can start on the slower side, but then pick up the pace as you go.