Which is more important? I’ve always believed especially for younger kids intent to throw hard is more important than trying to throw strikes. Recent experience of my son’s solidified my opinion. Been sitting low 80’s & touching 85 in bullpens. No gun but suspect slower in games & more in some than others. I’d quiz him after game & he’d say he was “taking some off” to throw strikes. In addition to decreased velocity his control & command was inconsistent. Recent game out of nowhere he started throwing the *iss out of the ball. No idea how hard but noticeably harder than I’ve seen in pens. Control & command has never been better & he gave up only one base hit, no walks & no more than 2 balls in a count. Asked him what’s the difference after game; response was decided to throw hard in pen before game & see how it went. Went well so continued into game. I’ve always believed (& told him on numerous occasions) I believe trying to “take some off” to throw strikes slows his entire body & arm. He’s continued into the next two bullpens with “intent” & looks like an entirely new pitcher. I understand pitchers don’t always throw 100% but isn’t it better to throw hard as opposed to “trying” to throw strikes?
We are never truly good at something athletic until we can maintain control and form with max effort. Why not practice with max effort? I totally agree that taking something off to maintain control is a band-aid and promotes bad habits in the long run.
Tell your son to let it rip! But also have a few memory cues if things get a little out of whack in a game. Mine was always “stay bowed up” (don’t fly open with glove arm) and “finish my leg kick” (don’t get in a rush down the mound).
Agree 100%. It took reading/listening/watching Lantz Wheeler’s stuff to realize that mechanics were not my son’s problem. He was slowing everything down on the mound which was throwing off his timing and led to erratic pitching. He finally bought in and went out first scrimmage as high school frosh throwing with intent…result was a very high strike-to-ball ratio in 2 innings, facing 6 batters, 5K’s. He still has a lot of work to do but has a very live arm and is feeling more confident. In my son’s case…intent is leading to more strikes!
…intent is leading to more strikes!
Absouletely what I see with my son. Throwing harder is a great benefit also.