I’m a junior in high school and play shortstop and pitch. I’ve asked this forum a lot of questions because it bothers me when my arm isn’t a strength in my game. I’ve fixed problems I’ve had in previous questions due to yalls help so I figured I’d ask another one. Some days I throw harder than other days, some days my balls dives before first base and others I throw through the first basemen with lots of velocity. I was wondering if maybe I don’t need to throw my hardest when I’m warming up every day? Possibly I’m doing to much throwing and too little maintence work? Would my arm be stronger if I didn’t throw hard in practice but saved it for games and continued to do rotator cuff workouts? Basically I’m wondering if throwing light most practices will decrease my velocity when I want to throw hard in games, or if throwing light will give my arm optimal performance when I need to throw hard on game day? (assuming I stick with my every other day y’s, t’s, and i’s weight excercises) When college players warmup for practice do they throw light and save arm for games or put zip on it throughout the season? Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!
How do you hold the baseball when you throw it? Practice throwing with your fingers across the seams like a four seam fastball. You should be able to take the ball out of your glove with your fingers across the seams properly. If you can’t do this every time you need to practice this constantly. Do not look just go by feel. Manny Machado is perhaps the best in the business at doing that. Your arm should feel ‘oily’ before you try to throw hard. A limber arm should not feel any tightness at all. I am old school. I am convinced that the only way to improve arm strength is to throw properly and often. Never throw hard if your arm feels any stiffness or tightness at all.
Try this, lay flat on your back on a table. Stick your throwing arm straight out at a 90 degree angle from your spine. Let your elbow extend past the edge of the table. Now hold your elbow at a 90 degree angle with your forearm parallel with the edge of the table. Relax your arm and note how much flexion your elbow has. How far does your right hand go below the table with your hand open with the palm facing toward the ceiling. Remember to keep your arm relaxed. Note if your fingers naturally form a curve as if they are holding a baseball. DO NOT FORCE YOUR HAND DOWN OR PUT STRAIN ON YOUR ELBOW.
Repeat with your non-throwing arm and note the difference. Your throwing arm should dangle more than your non throwing arm. Flexibility means more than strength when throwing with velocity. Experiment. Remember this above all else it is your arm and your body. I am just giving you a way to look at flexibility. Use your own mind and think about why and how you want to develop velocity.
Proper throwing mechanics are the most important part. Question all advice including mine. Ask how and why. The answers should be based on physiology and physics. Never fear questioning. Good coaches should welcome questions.