The fine line between Velocity and Command


#1

I think the big thing with having any consistency throwing the ball is having purpose with every throw you make. If that’s at 45 feet or 300, flat ground work, mound work, etc. Being deliberate with every rep is the key to improvement.

Command is a tricky subject for me. I don’t want to take away from velocity. But the ability to throw the ball in the area you want is needed. I’m not about being picky and throwing around hitters. But, being able to throw to areas for weak swings/contact is important.

Throwing as hard as you can, attacking hitters and having conviction with every pitch is great. But there has to be a certain knowing of where each pitch is going and a certain amount of execution with those pitches. Throwing the ball up, down, in, out when you want without taking away from velocity is the overall goal.

How do you build command without reducing velocity?


#2

Heat alone is nothing if you can’t throw the majority of your pitches for strikes. There will also come a level where you will need to hit locations within the strike zone. It’s just like you mentioned. You need to know where the batter wants to see the ball and avoid those spots and use the rest of the zone to your advantage.

Reform that question into a statement, and that’s how you do it. :wink: Don’t reduce velocity just to throw strikes. Each time you reduce velocity to throw a strike you are surrendering an opportunity to throw a strike with max effort and robbing your body of the opportunity to train itself to execute at max effort. You are also altering your mechanics in the process.

Focused bullpens. Tell yourself, “Today, I am working exclusively on my 4 seam fastball to the low extension side. Every pitch I make today will be thrown as a 4 seam fastball located low to the extension side. I will track how many times I was able to hit my spot divided by the number of attempts. I will work to improve that percentage until it’s at the acceptable level. Only then will I truly own a 4 seam fastball that I can throw to the low extension side on demand.”

With each bullpen, rephrase that paragraph based on the pitch and location you are trying to master that day.

Repetition until mastery is the key. Then continue to maintain the feel of that pitch because if you don’t use it, you will lose it.


#3

In bullpens when mastering a certain pitch with location, do you agree with the repetition approach of Dick Mills, where you pitch in sets of fives to the same location?


#4

I usually do it to more of an extreme of sets of 10, and I don’t vary locations…but I guess it’s a similar approach. It also depends how many throws are planned for that pen.


#5

Someone in another post said that a pitch thrown without conviction is a pitch that gets hammered. I agree.


#6

A simple way is to create the mindset of throwing the fastball THROUGH the target. This approach will enhance command without sacrificing velocity, plus increasing Conviction. With a relaxed focus, know where you want to throw the pitch, mentally see yourself execute the pitch, then physically do so, by sending all of your energy THROUGH the target,