How To Increase Velocity

Hey, I was just wondering what ways work for you when you want to increase your velocity.

Hard work, generally. :wink:

i don’t know why I get so irritated with the “how can i throw harder”, question. you don’t just become a pitcher because you throw hard in fact 75% of pitching isn’t velocity.

I kinda get irritated when people say that velocity is not very important in pitching. It is still a prominent part of pitching. This guy knows that velocity isn’t everything but it is something and he obviously wants to work on it so the answers posted should have been like work on mechanics, keep doing the standard lifts, sprint, run, med ball, resi band ect…

im not sure why people get so upset with this question and about velocity because most pitchers inquire about it because:

  1. its a very important part of pitching being able to throw atleast the minimum for your age/division
  2. it is the easiest thing a pitcher can do to get better!!

You can say ohh you can throw so you can get better control, really?? Then how come some major league pitchers cant hit the strike zone in general when they want too?
You can say go work on your mechanics, well if you dont have someone to really coach you in terms of mechanics you can actually be teaching your self something worse in your mechanics.
But gain in velocity is one simple thing, gaining strength through working out hard, and gaining flexibility by streching often.

i don’t agree that velocity is the easiest thing a pitcher can do, I defiately think the easiest thing is to develop better mechanics which are repeatable and therefore have more control vs the very difficult techniques and body building to develop more speed.

There are plenty of 90+ mph guys that don’t pitch in the bigs because of suspect accuracy.

I feel that since younger pitchers that get away with having good velocity never work on accuracy because they don’t think they need more till one day the wheels come off the bus. Younger pitchers need to first deveop good solid mechanics and therefore better accuracy, then start to increase velocity over time. having good technique means that the body will be ready to develop additional velocity.

I agree with buwhite. The first and most important thing is good solid mechanics—posture, balance, glove control, finding your own comfortable arm slot and sticking with it, follow-through…stuff like that. Very few pitchers have the requisite speed right from the get-go; for most it will come in time and with hard work and patience. And some pitchers, no matter what they do, will never be fireballers like Feller, Raschi, Gibson, Sabathia and the like. Unfortunately, a few of them give up. They shouldn’t; they should go in the other direction and become finesse pitchers, such as I did long ago—concentrate on a good repertoire, control, command of one’s pitches, learn to change speeds and keep the batters off balance.
I can tell you about something I learned way back when which may help you get started. I call it “The Secret”, and I learned about it when I used to go to the original Yankee Stadium and watch the Yankees’ Big Three rotation—Allie Reynolds, Vic Raschi and Ed Lopat, two power pitchers and one “snake-jazzer” who threw everything but a fast ball worthy of the name. I saw what those guys were doing—all three of them were driving off the lower half of the body, using the legs, the hips and the torso in one continuous (and, it seemed, seamless) motion. In doing this they all were getting more power into their pitches, and also they were taking a lot of pressure off the arm and the shoulder so that they were throwing harder—and faster (even Lopat)—with less effort. How not to get a sore arm. I watched them, and I saw just how they were doing this, and I made a note of it and started working on it on my own. In a short time I found that I was doing exactly what they did.
I was throwing harder with less effort.
One way you can start in on this is something called the “Hershiser drill”, which aims at getting the hips fully involved in the throwing process. The fact is, the hips are the connection between the lower and upper halves of the body, and when that connection is extablished you’ll find that this is the real key to a pitcher’s power. You can find this and some other useful drills and exercises on this website. And you don’t even need any special equipment to do this drill—just a fence or a wall.
And when working on repertoire, learn a good changeup. Babe Ruth—and he knew what he was talking about—once said that a good changeup will cause batters more grief than anything else. I’ve seen this time and again. And I for one had a whole closetful of changeups and offspeed pitches to choose from!
So—whichever type of pitcher you turn out to be, some advice from my own wise and wonderful pitching coach: “Move the ball around—high, low, inside, outside, change speeds, and stay away from the middle of the plate. go for the corners. Make the batter go after YOUR pitch, what YOU want them to hit. And trust your stuff. It’ll win games for you.” Good luck. 8) :slight_smile: :baseballpitcher:

for those of you citing professional pitchers that throw 90+ in the minors without accuracy and never make it to the bigs…that is true. However, those pitchers would never have gotten a shot at professional baseball in the first place without their 90+ mph fastballs. In college, I’ve noticed that there is often a gap between which pitchers succeed at that level and which pitchers get to move on to the next level. The pitchers that PITCH the best have consistent mechanics, command of 3 pitches and often throw in the 87-88 mph range. The pitchers who move on to the next level tend to be those who are consistent 90-92+ and often have command of at least 1 pitch with promising but unpolished secondary stuff.

My point is, there is a very slim chance of making it to the next level, regardless of how smooth your mechanics are or how good your command is if you can’t at least sit upper 80s comfortably.

It doesn’t matter that my 85-88 mph two-seam moves a foot, I haven’t gotten scout interest and will continue to be looked over until I hit 90 consistently or flat out dominate against the best hitters in the country.

Care to guess which select pitchers received scout interest at my summer league’s scout day? The few who hit low 90s, regardless of their secondary stuff or their stats or their control…one position player with a good arm hit 92 and got interest, despite not even being a pitcher.

So the question becomes, do we train for velocity to have a chance at playing at the next level? Or do we focus on other factors hoping that our results alone will win us a chance?

Great post, Lanky. It’s all about velocity. PERIOD. For those of you out there that have attended any showcase events of any kind, you will notice that the kids that are bringing the heat are the ones that are getting noticed. Or, if you are a big strong kid with decent velocity, you’ll get looks (that is, if you’re “projectable”). “Projectable” = will probably throw a lot harder in the future. I have seen this at showcase after showcase after showcase. There is a bit of a velocity discount for left-handers, in my opinion. However, they compete among themselves. In other words…the harder throwing left-handers win. I’ve yet to see a “crafty” lefty turn any heads.

Here we go round the mulberry bush…and round and round and round, until we all get dizzy. And does this answer the question? Uh-uh.
It isn’t all about velocity, important as this may be. Let’s look back in the history of the game—and about some pitchers who didn’t have the speed. What they did have: good breaking pitches and offspeed stuff…good to excellent control and command…a great working knowledge of batters’ strengths and weaknesses…deception and misdirection to spare…and yes, most of them were lefthanders, although there was one notable righthander (Murry Dickson) among them.
And every one of them had a favorite patsy, a team they absolutely owned.
Ed Lopat was a prime example of all of the above. He actually started out as a first baseman, but while he was in the minor leagues one manager saw something he liked and converted him to a pitcher. Lopat spent a few years perfecting his craft—and making a serious scientific study of pitching and pitchers, which led him to build up a repertoire that included everything but the kitchen sink. The turning point came when he was in the AA Southern Association.
Yes, many scouts said that he would never make it to the majors because he didn’t have a fast ball. But the president of the Association, a former major league umpire, saw beyond that and convinced the Chicago White Sox to take a chance on him. The Sox agreed to take him on a 30-day trial basis—something unheard of, even then—and when Steady Eddie promptly established himself as a good pitcher with what was then one of the lousiest teams in creation, they decided to keep him. He spent four years with the White Sox—during which time he acquired his favorite patsy, the Cleveland Indians (who at that time were a good team), and proceeded to beat them to an unrecognizable pulp, again and again. The Yankees had taken notice of him—and
several things struck them, most notably his control; his average was one walk every five innings or so. They realized that anyone with that kind of control could win big for them, and so they acquired him in a trade that to this day still has the White Sox scratching their heads and wondering how they ever let him get away.
The rest is history. And there were others besides him—the St. Louis Cardinals’ Harry Brecheen—the aforementioned Murry Dickson—the snail with the arm, Stu Miller—and in our time, Jamie Moyer. Not to mention Preacher Roe, about whom it was said that he threw a change off a change off a change, he was that slow. Incidentally, contrary to popular belief, Lopat did have something of a fast ball—he could hit 90 when he chose.
So—although velocity may be important, it is definitely NOT the be-all and the end-all. You still need a good changeup and a breaking pitch or two, plus control…and some good fielders behind you. 8) :baseballpitcher:

Good post, as always, Zita…

Let me explain my post a bit more. There are many very good pitchers and a lot more throwers. A well pitched game is a real pleasure to watch and much more impressive than a game with two flamethrowers who are walking the park. Of course, at the professional level, you will often see both (think Jon Lester, for instance). The point I was trying to make (and I think the one that Lanky was trying to make, as well, if I may be so bold) is that the kids that are going to get a look at the next level (whether that be Varsity, College, or the Minors) are going to get it by turning heads with their velocity. So, I would encourage everyone to follow this formula and they will have a better change of succeeding:

  1. Proper diet
  2. Long-toss
  3. Proper conditioning (see Cressey, et al.)
  4. Band work
  5. Proper mechanics

Look to increase your velocity first and foremost. Of course, during your bullpen sessions, work on hitting spots and work on command of a 2nd pitch (preferably a change-up) and maybe a 3rd pitch (a curve, perhaps).
Again, im my humble opinion, START WITH VELOCITY. The fact is, coaches and recruiters will pay much more attention to a kid throwing 85 than they will to a kid throwing 78 (even if the kid throwing 78 is a better pitcher).

I think the answer to whether or not velocity is important depends on how far you actually want to go in baseball.

If you want to get to the next level from where you are at it may be important. But say you’re in college and you think this is as high as you’re going to get or you’re in high school and have no intentions of continuing on. I this case I would say work to be a better pitcher with what you have, develop control, off-speed stuff, etc. and have a great time, try to win now if you aren’t going on. Fact is, some people (like me) will never hit 90mph no matter how hard they work, I’ve worked my ass off just to be able to throw in the mid 70’s and can only hit 80 every now and then when I rear back.

So college club ball will probably be the furthest I get but hell I’m going to make it a hell of a time and try to win, win, win.

Agree! Great post. It’s always helpful to remind folks that the name of the game is fun.

Or as Yogi Berra said, “90% of the game is half mental.”

[quote=“gettingthere”]So, I would encourage everyone to follow this formula and they will have a better change of succeeding:

  1. Proper diet
  2. Long-toss
  3. Proper conditioning (see Cressey, et al.)
  4. Band work
  5. Proper mechanics

Look to increase your velocity first and foremost. Of course, during your bullpen sessions, work on hitting spots and work on command of a 2nd pitch (preferably a change-up) and maybe a 3rd pitch (a curve, perhaps).
Again, im my humble opinion, START WITH VELOCITY. The fact is, coaches and recruiters will pay much more attention to a kid throwing 85 than they will to a kid throwing 78 (even if the kid throwing 78 is a better pitcher).[/quote]

Good Post. If your goal is to reach the highest level, then velocity should be your first concern. Think of it this way, increasing your absolute strength (squatting) will increase your speed (sprinting). However, sprinting will not necessarily increase your squat strength. The same holds true for the correlation between velocity and accuracy.

If you have a kid that can hit 90, even if he has control problems…it will be easier to teach him to throw 85 on the black, than a kid with perfect mechanics throwing 80mph, tryin to throw that same 85 on the black. Increasing your velocity increases your overall potential.

Staying balanced.
Stabilizing the back leg.
By working on gaining leg, lower body, and core strength.
Having a decent stride (around 100% of your height).
Using hip rotation and delayed shoulder rotation.
Throwing with the whole body, not just the arm.
Having a well-conditioned body and arm.
Warming up properly before pitching and cooling down properly after pitching.

[quote=“Mammoth Strength”]Good Post. If your goal is to reach the highest level, then velocity should be your first concern. Think of it this way, increasing your absolute strength (squatting) will increase your speed (sprinting). However, sprinting will not necessarily increase your squat strength. The same holds true for the correlation between velocity and accuracy.
If you have a kid that can hit 90, even if he has control problems…it will be easier to teach him to throw 85 on the black, than a kid with perfect mechanics throwing 80mph, tryin to throw that same 85 on the black. Increasing your velocity increases your overall potential.[/quote]

I see this was your first post.
Welcome!
Glad to have another poster on LTP.