Tennis Balls = Increased Speed?


#1

Usually every day after school me and some friends play wall ball after school. We don’t throw all out but usually around 50-75%. Then after someone gets 3 outs they go up to the wall, turn around, and we all throw the tennis ball at them from a shortish distant. (if you hit them shoulders or above then you go to the wall) But I also have a radar ball that I think is pretty close to being accurate. It use to come up as 73-74 but now comes up as 75-77 on my fastball (4seam). I usually dont throw baseballs that much but I do play wall ball every school day. (I plan to start throwing a lot more to get better control on my change-up and fastball)

I was wondering could it be that playing wall ball and throwing the tennis ball actually brought my speed up or could this somehow hurt my arm in the long run and the increase of speed was either nartural or something is wrong with the ball?


#2

No way to tell for sure, but throwing a tennis ball is the same as underload throwing and that was shown by Coop DeRenne’s studies to be as or more effective than throwing overweight balls.

I remember doing that as a kid and I will say that I had more of a tendency to hurt my arm throwing a tennis ball. You can get your arm moving faster with the much lighter ball and therefore the decelleration loads are greater. However, if you are really only throwing at 50 to 75% then it probably isn’t helping with velocity or hurting your arm and you’ve just picked up the velocity due to growth, maturity, etc.

So, yes it could be contributing to more velocity and yes it could be dangerous for your arm. It would probably be better to work with about a 4 ounce ball instead for doing your underload throwing, but then again that wouldn’t be as much fun as playing wall ball.


#3

Thanks CADad. I did forget to say we throw 100% when someone is at the wall and usually 3 people go to the wall a day (1 throw per person) and I’ll look into the 4 ounce ball throwing and I’ll try to look for Coop DeRenne’s studies on underload throwing . Thanks for the suggestions CADad.


#4

Another way in which you are increasing velocity is the “conditioning” you are doing just working hard having fun. Your body is becoming stronger and getting stronger in areas in which can only help your pitching. That is if you subscribe to the idea that the “work” of throwing a ball (Some folks pelt other kids with vollyballs, or those red play ground balls) in a recreational way is a positive thing. Chunkin a tennis ball at someones head is right up there as the most fun a high school kid can have before during or just after school (Usually underclassmen waiting for a ride)…A noble sport if you will, comes from nowhere, really just has whatever modified rules whoever is playing it uses…a sort of tame riot…great fun, as long as you don’t pop your spleen or something and ruin a mlb career.


#5

Radarball = inacurate


#6

yea those things dont work if they did, radar guns wouldn’t exist :cry:


#7

I like to practice with tennisballs (just throwing them around my house and experimenting with grips) but the problem with tennisballs is that they are slightly smaller than baseballs.
Does anyone know if you can get bigger tennisballs that have a diameter similar to that of a standard baseball?