Just curious

How common is it for a 14 year old (last November) to be throwing 72 to 75 mph?

Would you recommend throwing full speed behind an L screen to teammates in the cage at this point in the preseason, or wait until closer to the season - if at all?

Will doing 55 lb bicep curls and 5 lb wrist curls cause problems with mechanics, or will they be positive muscle building exercises?

Thanks!

mid-70s mph for a 14 yo is good velocity. The key, of course, is how to continue developing it. Bicep curls alone won’t do it. But adding functional, “balanced” strength will. Get on a good strength-building program, but keep it balanced strength, so you remain flexible.

I personally never liked throwing from behind an L screen. We did it in Spring Training with the Cubs and while I was in college. If you can avoid it, and not throw to a hitter, do that. But if you’re facing hitters as you throw your bullpens, it’s the only “safe” way to really do it. Do you wear a batting helmet, too? We used to – in college, not pro ball.

“I personally never liked throwing from behind an L screen. We did it in Spring Training with the Cubs and while I was in college. If you can avoid it, and not throw to a hitter, do that”

Boy, I so agree with this, my feelings are that this breeds bad habits.

This is a good speed.

Bicep curls will build your muscles but won’t improve your velocity.

This is a good speed.

Bicep curls will build your muscles but won’t improve your velocity.[/quote]

JWBBSLO
Isolated single joint exercises are pretty much a waste of time unless you are in a rehab mode. If you want to throw harder you must become more explosive & athletic. It’s more about the nervous system and better utilizing your motor neurons more efficiently, especially those motor neurons that activate the larger muscles that start the kinetic chain of events. I suggest looking more at multi joint olympic type lifts to accomplish this goal. You also need to be able to more efficiently utilize the stretch shortening cycle to better access the elastic properties of the muscle fascia, tendons, & ligaments.

jwbbslo
Nice post!!

Welcome to the board.

Could you explain what this means, and perhaps give an example or two of the types of exercises you mean?

Thanks!

If you are going to do bicep curls you will want to also do some tricep work and keeps things balanced. Last year I overworked my Bi’s and I developed a case of bicep tendonitis.

I have corrected that now by working my triceps but it hurt when I threw and killed my velocity. I am not sure that curls don’t improve velocity, because last year it had a postive impact on my velocity. But I think as long as you balance all of your workouts yo ushould be just fine. As for throwing behind an L screen, I was hit last year twice. Once in the hip, (a line drive) and once in the shin, (line drive). They both hurt like a you know what $#@!..but It didn’t cause any serious injuries other than a nasty bruise. But our coach got us to throw tennis balls during practice. That way we wouldn’t get beaned. And when we threw with real balls, it was a live practice/ (scrimmage). But if you have to. Try and get behind the net as quick as you can. Goodluck. High 60’s low 70’s is good for a 14yr old, but don’t think that just b/c you or whoever throws that fast now will throw 95mph+ when they are 20. Just all depends on physical maturity when you are that young. But build off your fastball at your age. 70’s is though to hit at that age.

Could you explain what this means, and perhaps give an example or two of the types of exercises you mean?

Thanks![/quote]

This type of training is basically a precursor to the load/unload process that is part of swinging or throwing. The best hitters don’t load their hands and stop before starting their swing and the best pitchers don’t get their shoulders externally rotated and stop before they start their internal rotation. Obviously there is a very slight pause while changing directions, but IMO a quick turn around is the best way to get maximum “tip speed.”

The elastic energy produced as a result of this stretch enables the hitter or thrower to apply more force to the swing or pitch. Olympic lifts such as the power clean asks the body to produce the same type of stretch shortening action.

It is my belief that the quicker and more forcefully you can contract the larger and more proximal muscles in the swinging and throwing process, the more efficiently you will be able to apply force at the point of release or point of contact. The nervous system plays a huge role in this process. If you want to learn more about this concept, I suggest that you look at the material on www.inno-sport.net.

Hoseman, go back and look at the last few of dtrain’s post, we’ve been talking to him about the need for a comprehensive strategy to gain velocity. Doing one excercise is no shortcut, jwbbsio looks to have some excellent suggestions as where to start on conditioning. Just remember to do all of the things necessary, for example don’t just go get some weighted balls and expect to hit 90 next week. Get yourself a goal and a plan. Include diet, conditioning, strength, mechanical work all within your scheme. Then when you see the results adjust as needed. Good luck!!! And KEEP WORKIN ON THAT CHANGE-UP!!! Your old man is worried all about the amout of slide piece you whup out there and so are we.

I’ll tell you also…and remember I get nothing for this…except helping you…Get Steven’s book “Tuff Cuff”, it is a great aid in working on your entire baseball body. I bet you could even get your dad to “pitch in” on it.

For some reason my last post didn’t show up, so I’ll reiterate.

My 14 yo son Nolan has been using Ron Wolforth’s system, under the management of his coach and pitching coach, for a year. It seems to be working. He has been throwing in the 70’s since last year. He just hit 81 mph the evening after I started this post. Now that was a one time thing so far. I don’t gun him very much, normally at the beginning and end of the season. But I think this requires closer scrutiny. Was it an aberration, or is it something he can sustain? This was with his normal pitching motion, no straining at all.

He is doing the total back-shaping workout 3 times a week with his coach, with baseball pitching-specific excercises. His desire to work his biceps is to strengthen up for football and to impress the girls. My concern is whether these types of generic muscle building excercises will be detrimental to his pitching.