Improving velocity


#1

Hi, I’m an 18 year old, 6’ 2", 200 lbs pitcher with big league dreams.
I have always been on par regarding velocity with others my age until I tore my ACL at 14 years old.
I have never been able to catch up since. I’ll be going to college next year however I only throw 75mph and am just recovering from a pinched nerve in my shoulder which took me out for a year.
In your opinions, what can I do to improve my velocity when I am healthy again?
I’ve looked into a few programs which will help me when I get healthier such as the driveline baseball weighted ball program, thrive in throwing, tuff cuff, and others.
What else should I be looking into?


#2

I would also recommend the NPA’s “Velocity + Arm Care” program.


#3

Just remember, strength and conditioning really is only 1/3 of the equation. Mechanics and throwing are the other necessary elements. It requires all three to throw harder.

Here’s an article I just finished that highlights 22 ways to increase pitching velocity that you may find helpful, and I suspect there are a few ideas here that you’ve never considered before:

http://www.youthpitching.com/velocity.html


#4

Thanks Roger, although I did some research on the program and found that the holds they do in the program can injure a players arm.

Steven, thanks for showing me the article. But how do you do some of these things such as increase maximum shoulder external rotation and increase elbow flexion velocity?


#5

Shoulder, scap and upper flexibility exercises like in TUFFCUFF or perhaps other programs. Examples below. Good luck.

Band External Rotation
Arm at 90 degrees of abduction, elbow bent to 90 degree
Squeeze fist as tight on band
Shoulder blade back and down
Rotate ONLY at the shoulder, control arm back down to starting position

Band Pull Apart
Standing tall, abs tight/back tight
Arms at 90 degrees of flexion, performing horizontal adduction
Scapulas are performing adduction, squeezing tight in the middle of the back

Full Can Raises
Standing tall, abs tight/back tight
Shoulder blade backs and down
Hand by the pocket, thumb up, squeezing weight tight
Perform shoulder flexion at 45 degree angle
Stopping when shoulder reaches 90 degree of flexion

YTI Scapular Adduction/Stabilization
Laying on a bench or on the floor
Squeeze shoulder blades back and down
While scapula is in adduction, the arms can be raisedin flexion, extension, and horizontal adduction (armsstraight or elbows at 90 degrees)

Push Up Plus
Get into push up position, abs tight, butt tight
Perform scapular adduction, then press into scapular abduction

Wall ABC’s
Standing tall, abs tight/back tight
Shoulder blade backs and down
Arm at 90 degree of flexion
Press ball into wall and write the alphabet (upper/lower case)


#6

Sounds great! Thank you!


#7

Steven, could you please elaborate on this process a bit more…

Thanks.

Also, I think that having more knee bend beyond what is shown in the Verlander still essentially drains energy into the ground instead of carrying it forward. Do you share that opinion?

One other interesting thing about the pitching delivery is that the ball and the glove are stationary during the external rotation phase.


#8

Leroux24,
The holds are designed to help build up shoulder strength…the “braking” mechanism of throwing motion. I don’t see how they would injurious to the arm. There is a question whether holding as opposed to throwing is the best way to develop it. NPA does holds Driveline Baseball does throws for example. I think both are good programs.
Tuff Cuff has a lot of good information and touches on a lot of information as opposed to just being a throwing program.
You are 6’ 2" and 200 lbs. So, size is not an issue. Are you strong? Do you have a decent level of conditioning? You don’t need to squat 400 lbs or be able to run a 4 minute mile (in fact you would want to avoid distance running) but I have found a good level of fitness is needed as a base to build on. Being flexible and being able to move with fluidity and balance through the pitching motion is key as well.
I would always recommend going to a qualified physical therapist or personal trainer…the 22 year old muscle head at the local gym is probably not qualified…to get an assessment done as to you movement. See if there are existing imbalances that need to be addressed as well. The most common that would effect someone trying to pitch are shoulder imbalances, hip imbalances and lack of mobility in the hips and ankles among others.
I think there are a bunch of great programs out there…Tuff Cuff, Driveline, Wolforth, Lantz Wheeler, NPA, Setpro ect. The key would be to select one that makes the most sense to you and buy in…no missed days, no missed reps. Every rep done with clarity of mission and with focus. Complete the program and re evaluate where you are.
Just my opinion of course.


#9

Leroux24,

I think your research on the NPA program has uncovered some bogus information. The NPA program has been validated by the USC School of Medicine. The NPA has put more than 2000 pitchers through the program without injuries. In fact, the NPA program was initially created as a shoulder health program. Not to mention the NPA folllows a “health first” philosophy.


#10

I did a bit more research on holds. It looks like I made a mistake. Although it does seem like there are some pros and cons.
Kyle Boddy from the driveline baseball program believes that holds can change mechanics and decrease blood flow to the arm, making it tired more easily. I must have misread the article the first time around.
Steven, I do have decent conditioning and I have a decently strong upper body. I need to focus on strengthening my lower body.
As for which programs I do, would it matter if I do both the driveline weighted ball program and the NPA program? As an example, if I do the driveline baseball program first, would that mean that I would not gain as much velocity if I did the NPA program after since they are so similar?


#11

I’ll dig a little deeper on this concept, but I believe the research indicates knee bend is beneficial to an extent at this stage in the delivery because the pitcher braces up that same leg as the torso comes forward. Too much bend, however, seems counter-intuitive and might make people think a shorter stride is beneficial, which it may not be.


#12

I am aware of Kyle’s opinion on holds and I won’t argue that mechanics might differ slightly when doing holds. I just don’t feel it is an issue because that would be saying that any drill that isn’t 100% the same as as one’s pitching mechanics would be detrimental and that just isn’t the case. Pitchers do drills all the time. While there are folks out there who do believe pitchers should not do drills, I am not one of them.