Mph slower


when i pitch off the mound or just to a catcher i throw pretty hard

but when there is a batter i throw a lot slower.

i am pretty sure i am not afraid to hit him, its just something about it that makes throw slower, and i slow down my mechanics


Oh, oh—I see trouble ahead.
You say that when you’re facing a batter there’s something about his just being in the batter’s box that makes you slow down. I’ve never heard of anything like this before, and it tells me that either you are afraid of hitting him with a pitch, whether you realize it or not, or something is very much amiss with your mechanics or your delivery. Let me ask you something: have you ever been in a situation where the batter hit a line-drive comebacker at you? Also, where do you stand on the mound, and what arm angle do you use? I would suggest that you get a good pitching coach to observe you closely—with and without someone in the batter’s box—and see just what you’re doing differently. Then you guys can work on the problem, whether it’s psychological or mechanical.
I remember Mark Wohlers, who used to pitch for the Atlanta Braves back in the '90s. He was a very good pitcher with blazing speed, 97 to 99 miles an hour—and then came the fourth game of the 1996 World Series, where he had to face Jim Leyritz with two on, one out and the Yanks behind 6-3. And Leyritz destroyed him; he kept fouling off the fast ball and wouldn’t bite on the curve, and when Wohlers came in there with a slider—his third best pitch—it hung there, and Leyritz blasted it over the wall to tie the game. The Yankees won it in extra innings. And poor Mr. Wohlers was never the same after that, and eventually he dropped out of baseball.
I’d hate to see that happen to you, so I’d advise quick action—get a coach to see what you’re doing that makes you slow down, and work to overcome this problem. 8)


I don’t recall that game but that’s a good close baseball game. I agree with the pitching coach suggestion. And remember pitching is just as much mental as it is physical. If you find that you can’t figure something out, try not to think too much about it. If you think about it too much, you’ll end up making the same mistake without actually fixing it. I was pitching high in the pen yesterday and I couldn’t figure out why my fastball was going up when I did everything the same. I kept talking to my catcher about it and he said those words. “See, now you’re just thinking too much”.


If possible, post a video of you pitching without a batter, and post a video of you pitching WITH a batter, so we can compare the differences with your mechanics.


I think there’s section in the Mental Game of Baseball book that addresses this. If you don’t have a copy, I’d encourage you to pick it up. Super, super read.


Hi loco123,

I agree with the other posters that their does appear to be a mental block here for you. I know I did not like it when batters crowded the plate because I felt it was harder to pitch inside. However, the only way you are going to be able to get around this is to trust in your pitching. As a pitcher you want to get to a point where you really don’t even see the batter at all. When you are in the zone, everything else gets blocked out except the catcher’s glove. I think the best thing you can do to get over this hurdle is to practice your throwing with someone standing in the batter’s box. Also, throw inside and throw it hard. Here, is even a mental visualization drill that can help you zero into the glove:

Mental Visualization Drill

Just remember, that after enough practicing, you will relax and recognize this is no difference in the situation and see your velocity return.

Hope this helps,
Jack Elliott