Perceived velocity

Any tips on making my fastball look faster then it really is? Here are a few that I’ve heard:

-Longer stride
-Release point
-High&tight fastballs, or just inside fastballs

  • Mix fastball with change up


Grip as loosely as you effectively can will help actual velocity.
Increased rotation rate makes a ball look faster.

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Definitely develop a good change up… Speed the bat up, slow it down. Speed it up, slow it down.

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Not to brag, but I’m a proud parent. My son finally gets it! You can perceive that he is messing with the hitter’s now rather than randomly trying to keep them guessing. He’s formulating a plan using in-out, up-down, fast-slow. He just turned 16 and is in a prep league for 16-19 year olds and he’s doing great. He’s throwing over 80 mph and has been a shut down reliever for them this summer. Compared to his off speed, his fastball looks like a bullet. He’s had one walk and five Ks giving up 2 hits in his last 4 innings. The only run to score was an inherited runner on second base. Counting spring and summer he’s got a 2.27 ERA. His pitch counts are way down because he’s not trying to strike people out.


The term “perceived velocity” normally refers to actual velocity plus distance from release point to the plate (which affects batter reaction time). Any mechanical adjustments you make that creates a longer stride or moves the release point forward will increase your perceived velocity.

Add in the consideration of the effect of location on a batter’s timing and now you’re getting into the topic of “effective velocity”.

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Good description! So effective velocity is perceived velocity plus the additional variable of pitch location. I like that.

Here is a primer on effective velocity.


Steven, there’s a little more to effective velocity so it’s not quite that simple. But that’s a good start. Maybe the primer linked by Slewbacca gives more insights (I haven’t read it yet).

Thanks, Roger. The SBNation article is quite good. Thanks to Slewbacca for posting it.