I recently attended a Perfect Game Showcase. I have been clocked many times and im always in the range of 77-80 on my fastball. At the showcase they clocked me at 73. I have been feeling sick and the mound wasn’t too comfortable, but there is no way that those things could’ve caused me to drop that much in velocity. I was wondering if anyone out there had some ideas of why there was such a difference.
Sorry to hear about the MHP slipping. What kind of gun were you using in the past? Chances are the radar gun you were using was slightly off, especially if it had not been tuned recently. You have to remember that your arm is going to be inconsistent in the force it produces because of your age. I have seen younger players’ velocity go up and down many times. Your body must get it a habit of producing force at a very high level on each pitch. This occurs through maturity and functional strength level, so don’t be so worried. Just relax about the velocity and continue to build strength, endurance, and solid mechanics. If you are able to get people out for you team, you will get noticed by scouts and college coaches.
Some questions about your situation:
Where are you located geographically? Have you been able to play long toss outside? If not, this could cause some dip in velocity. Have you used resistance training to help improve the strength and health of your arm? Have you tested your strength in your lower body in comparison to your body weight (Quads, Hamstrings, and Groin Strength) How does your arm feel?
PG uses Stalkers which tend to read about 2 mph less than JUGS guns. If you weren’t feeling well then that added to a 2 mph difference could easily get you down to a 73 mph reading.
since we’re talking about perfect game, I have a quick question…
Are the velocity numbers marked on player profiles maxes or averages?
This happened to me a lot. Most of the time reductions in velocity happen because at these types of showcases, you’re “trying” to throw really hard. Now there’s nothing wrong with that. But it can lead to tenseness, which can easily knock 4-5 mph off the fastball.
The key to really do well at these events (and later, when you go to pro tryouts) is to stay really loose, really work up a sweat by jogging and stretching before you’re called to showcase your stuff, and let it fly. The key, though, is to be loosey goosy. This is something that often comes with experience (simply going to showcases on a regular basis, for example).
Yea, I was definately trying to throw really hard. I understand 100% about gaining experience, which is partly why I did a showcase before I was truly in mid-season form. Part of the problem had to do with the mound. It was at an indoor facility and there was turf laid over dirt, but the turf happend to have a rip exactly where my foot lands. I had to shorten up my stride which really didn’t allow me to use my normal leg kick and get the extension I need to throw hard. I understand everyone was in the same position which is why it’s not a worthy excuse. I’m just wondering if you, Steven Ellis, have any good feedback about how to bounce back from such a confidence killer like that (because I have another showcase on March 5th with a few colleges coming to watch me)
Another thing to do is have a small (i.e. 10 pitches or less) portion of some of your bullpens where you throw for speed. Every pitcher needs to have a feel for the speed they can locate at, the speed they can get the ball somewhere around the strike zone at, and the speed they can throw at with no control whatsoever.
When you’ve practiced enough throwing at each of these speeds with a gun for feedback, you’ll know how to reproduce each of these in a game situation. You’ll also be much less likely to tighten up and throw slower because you’ve gotten feedback on what works and what doesn’t when you are trying to throw hard. While it can be useful for a showcase it is even more important in game situations. You have to know what your limit is for locating pitches and throw most of your fastballs at that speed. You have to know how to dial it up and still be able to throw it somewhere around the strike zone. (Watch Schilling pitch a game sometime when he is healthy. You’ll see a lot of pitches in the high 80s and low 90s thrown to locations and then you’ll see the high hard one thrown in the mid 90s when he needs it.) You also need to understand how it feels when you are throwing so hard you don’t have control so you can recognize when you are getting out of control during a game.