I went to a college baseball camp last weekend, and they did all sorts of evaluations. We played a scrimmage game and I was the starting pitcher. They clocked me at 68-71 MPH on my fastball. I feel like I throw harder than this at practice. The temperature was 35 degrees, and I don’t really know how much of a factor this has on speed. Can anyone tell me if they have experience with lower velocity during cold temperatures?
This guy found about a 1 mph decrease in cold weather: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/instagraphs/quick-study-cold-weather-effects-on-velocity/
During colder temps there isn’t as much humidity in the air so the ligaments tend to tighten up to protect theirselves. Imagine a dry noodle versus a boiled, limp noodle. With the addition of humidity in the air it allows the ligaments to be more flexible and expands easier during whip action of the arm with quality retraction after release. It is a well-known fact that dry climate, higher altitudes and hotter atmospheres can determine athletic performance and is detrimental to the outcome. Runners, MMA fighters, Football Players and Boxers train differently when they know they are going to perform at an higher altitude, dryer or wetter climate/enviorment than what they are accustomed to. When you know that you are going to throw in colder temps drink a couple of bottles of water and run until you build up a sweat. Sweat will indicate that you have acquired heat from your inner-core replicating humidity. Your ligaments will perform much better after this. Also, make sure there is no sitting around between the run and the time you are scheduled to throw to ensure a cool-down process has not taken place until after you are done pitching. I hope this helps.
Can you please provide some documentation for this humidity hypothesis. Athletes struggle with altitude because of the lack of oxygen. Ligaments have very little blood flow and use very little oxygen. They train at altitude so the muscles get better at recruiting the limited available oxygen.