Sudden drop in velocity

Searching for help I found your website. My son is 19 and at a JC. This summer he was recruited as he was pitching 86-88. Any suggestions to explain a velocity decrease of 5-8 mph in just 3 weeks? He was pitching 84-85 with good control the first week of practice. Then the last two weekends he couldn’t get his fastball above 80! He had some mild pain in the inner elbow area–which he’s never had before. Temps have dropped from 70+ to about 55-62. He has also lost about 10 lbs since mid August when he had a sinus infection and his wisdom teeth out. Do you think its the cold and that he’s changed something in his mechanics–leading to the elbow discomfort. He was pencilled in as the 2 or 3 starter, but now the coaches are saying he’s #7 which means relief only.

Sounds like they’ve had him throwing more than he’s used to and now he’s in a deficit. In other words, his arm isn’t able to recover fast enough from the workload it’s getting. If that’s the case, he needs to let his coach(es) know and ask if he can back off a bit.

He also needs to be eating nutritional food and doing lots of cardio work like riding an exercise bike, light jogging, etc. - exercises that promote blood flow in the body without really working the arms.

The cold could figure into it a bit, I suppose. For this, he needs to make sure he takes the time to do a good warm-up. Standing around doing static stretches doesn’t cut it. He needs to be moving. Google “dynamic warmup” and read some of the articles that come up to get an idea of how to warm up effectively.

Regarding his mechanics, it’s certainly possible that something has changed. In fact, there’s probably a good chance that a coach asked him to change something. If he really thinks this is the case, then he needs to have and honest and open discussion with the coach. If you can post some video of your son pitching (in the Mechanics forum), you’ll get some feedback on his mechanics.

You are talking a 8-10 mph drop given your numbers. First question I’d like to know is; What was he throwing volume wise this summer (Pitch count or innings)?
Is he used to that sort of climate?
Have you had his arm looked at? Numba 1!
Is he gaining back any of the weight?
How does he/ did he condition?
Is he at home or dorm? What is his mood/attitude?

Crap looks like a bunch of variables…he (What I get from your thread) sounds like he got weak from the stuff (Sinus/Wisdom teeth) and hasn’t recovered yet/completely. I’d see if I couldn’t jam some protein into his system, get him as much sleep/rest as I could get him and make sure the arm is good…then I’d get at it, conditioning wise and pitching wise. Knowing that it’s intense conditioning/prep time right now means you better help him understand that he should resist attempting to go before he’s ready…if getting him right means relief for now, then…well you guys will have to figure out what is right for now (Whether getting all the way healthy or some shade of that, is in his best interest at this moment), but I’d recommend having him bite the bullet and get all the way healthy and conditioned instead of risking his 4 years of eligability never quite being right/fixed whatever that means at this point.