Lefthander, righthander, standing on your head—it doesn’t matter. Velocity is something that can’t be taught, but you can ramp up what you have. Let me tell you about two things I used to do.
to begin with, there’s what I call “THE SECRET”. I learned it a long time ago when I watched the Yankees’ legendary Big Three rotation in action, and I saw what they were doing: they were all driving off the lower half of the body, using the legs, the hips and the torso in one continuous motion, and that was how they were generating the power behind their pitches. This is the real key to a pitcher’s power—using the lower half in a way that enables that continuous action up through the shoulder and the arm (and, in the process, taking a lot of pressure off the shoulder and the arm so that you throw harder with less effort). I picked up on that and started working on it, and I found that although I would never be a rip-roarin’ fireballer I could make the most of what I did have and could do. I threw harder—with less effort—and learned to pitch smarter, acquiring a nice arsenal of stuff. You just may turn out to be another one of those finesse pitchers—not much on speed, but the fact is that if you can’t overpower the hitters you can learn to outthink and outfox them. (Later on I found that I had picked up some speed, coming up with a good four-seam fast ball in the low 80s with a lot of movement on it.)
The other thing is something I used to do as a little snip and continued well into my playing days. I would get a catcher, and we would go to an unused playing field, and I would take the mound while he would set up behind the plate. We would play a little game we called “ball and strike” wherein he would pisition his mitt in various places, high, low, inside, outside—wherever—and I would work on control (nowadays they call it location), concentrating on getting the ball smack-dab into the pocket of the mitt, varying the speed, using all my pitches, and even using the crossfire (I was one of those infuriating sidearmers!). What a sweet, satisfying feeling to hear that resounding “thwack” as the ball hit the pocket of the mitt! We would go at it for an hour at a time.
So, i say to you—work on what you feel capable of, enjoy what you do, and good luck. :baseballpitcher: