Weighted Ball Success

Name Baseline Test Second Test Change
Senior 75 MPH 80MPH +5
Junior 69 MPH 77 MPH +8
Senior 64 MPH 74 MPH +10
Freshman 63 MPH 61 MPH -2
Junior 61 MPH 64 MPH +3
Freshman 60 MPH 64 MPH +4
Senior DNT 67 MPH NA
Junior 68 MPH 73 MPH +5
Average Gain 5.05 MPH

These are the results after three weeks of training with the Decker Weighted Balls on T/TH mornings. DNT means did not test. The freshman that lost velocity had been sick for 1 1/2 weeks with influenza. Pretty good so far, but the next phase is the most challenging.

I know this is hard to follow because the numbers are bunched up because of the margins. I could not get the proper spacing. Try to follow as best as you can.

I’ve seen incredible gains for my son with the weighted ball system, but make sure the kids are doing tubing, medicine ball, and bull pens, too.

My son has an imbalance between front and back muscles that the doc says is from too much front-side exercise and not enough back-side. Caused an impingement.

There’s no doubt in my mind that this system can work…the jury is out on whether the gains are permanent or only last as long as the kids are throwing the balls. However, my son went from 63 mph four seamer at 12 to a 72 mph at 13 to an 81 mph 4 seamer at 14. Some of that is the natural growth and maturity he would have experienced anyway, but knowing my son and his mechanics, I would have to say that a lot of that was from the workouts.

How much was from strength training, and how much from the weighted balls is unclear. But regardless, I am sold. I guess I’m one of those “opinion” guys everyone frowns on in this forum 8)

Hey hoseman, there should never be any frowning on opinions when they’re presented as opinions. Present opinions as fact, or present unsubstantiated hearsay as fact, then that will jerk people’s chains. :wink:

Was something done differently with the freshman who threw 2 mph less than before?

Roger, Roger! I’m just trying to keep my head above water in this deep pool of thought. Some very bright and knowledgeable folks speak on this board. Hopefully, I’ll learn enough to keep from sinking.

You’re obviously a connoisseur of the fine classics. :mrgreen:

Like I said, the freshman that lost velocity missed 50% of the workouts because of illness. One limitation to the test results were they took place after a 2 hour workout. The 75 MPH’er that was DNT gets tested this morning without the workout before throwing. So, we will see how the workout effected the players throwing speed. Though, it would be tough to generalize on just one player.

What was the weighted ball program and what other throwing did they do during the three weeks?

I’ve also heard it mentioned that the results from weighted balls are not permanent. Anyone have any theories or insights into why this should be the case?

I’ve also heard it mentioned that the results from weighted balls are not permanent. Anyone have any theories or insights into why this should be the case?[/quote]

Just for the record, what Jerry did – while admirable and interesting-- isn’t a scientific test, so the results aren’t necessarily conclusive.

To do this right, you have to have two groups. An experimental group and a control group. The experimental group would throw with weighted balls for the time period and the control group would throw with standard balls.

That would help you determine whether the results were due to throwing with the weighted balls or just from throwing.

No proof here but I believe that the results from weighted balls come from 2 different mechanisms. The first mechanism and it seems to result in near immediate gains is that when pitchers throw a weighted ball they learn to put more effort into throwing.

The second mechanism is actually strengthening or quickening up the arm and this takes quite a while longer to occur especially as the initial gains from this process get covered up by the near immediate gains from learning how to throw harder.

Eventually gains from any type of strength or speed work will go away if you don’t do something to maintain it. Why should weighted balls be any different? Eventually there is a limit to how hard an individual’s physical attributes will let them throw and weighted balls won’t take them past that limit. They will however help them get there and get there a bit quicker.

As far as the comments about the validity of the study. Who cares? The controlled studies have been done and the process has been shown to work. Coach Kreber is just passing on the results of implementing the techniques.

The senior player that wasn’t tested on Monday hit 80 MPH on Wednesday we throwing for the radar gun. That was a 5 MPH gain. What Chris said is correct. To be scientific, the experiment must have two groups: control and experimental. If not, it is considered a one-way experiment. My question as a coach, especially after reading countless studies on weighted balls, is why set up a control group when we know weighted balls work?

For the next three weeks, we are incorporating a new twist to the experiment. This time I have an actual control group to compare the results with. In the past, we had a workout and stayed with it for the experiments duration. This time, the schedule is more flexible. So, we are targeting the glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps. According to Vern Gambetta, a former strength coach in the MLB said the elite athletes have 150-200% body strength in their quads, hamstrings, and glutes when compared to other athletes. So, staying with the arm, we are going to add the leg curl, seated leg extension, hip flexor machine, and stiff-legged dumbbell dead lift. The players are doing 3 sets of 10 at 70% max at duration of 4 times per week.

The overall objective for the experiment is to get 3 players to create velocity above 80 MPH, while generating the force through entire body mechanics not placing too much stress on the arm. The players seemed very excited about the first test results, so using that momentum I hope they can work diligently to keep improving. I know if they don’t keep working, all their strength will be lost. Thinking back to my coaching classes, I think it is called the Law of Diminishing Returns (?) Does that sound right?

I know many of you are getting started this month, so I wish you the best of luck in 2007!!!

I would focus on core strength. A lot of rotation exercises with medicine balls. Explosive movements will translate well to pitching. I agree that legs are important, but the core is the key.

Thanks for the tip. Now, I have been looking for explosive abdominal drills to perform. I like the Russian Twist on the Swiss Ball as well as the Standing Dumbbell lifts for the obligues. I need about 2 more explosive drills to use for the last three weeks of weighted ball training. We do not have medicine balls, so I am looking for high level resistence movements using weights. Does anyone have 2-3 to share???


When you throw with the weighted ball do you throw later that day with a baseball? I tried to warm up with a weighted ball and ended up throwing slower than i normally do. Should i use the weighted ball similar to lifting weights, on a routine without regular throwing later that day? Just curious, because I’m very interested in any way to increase my velocity.

Baseline 1st Test 2nd Test Gain Since Baseline

SR 75 MPH 80 MPH 82 MPH 7 MPH
JR 69 MPH 77 MPH 79 MPH 10 MPH
SR 64 MPH 74 MPH 79 MPH 15 MPH
FR 63 MPH 61 MPH 65 MPH 2 MPH
JR 61 MPH 64 MPH 69 MPH 8 MPH
FR 60 MPH 64 MPH 65 MPH 5 MPH
JR 68 MPH 73 MPH 74 MPH 6 MPH

65.7 MPH Baseline Testing Avg.
70 MPH 1st Testing Avg.
72.6 MPH 2nd Testing Avg.
6.75 MPH Gain Avg. Since Baseline

This is the last week of throwing. We have moved the program up a level and tried something new. After Week #7 we changed the program, taking the 6oz ball and making it the standard ball. We brought 7oz balls and used them as the overweight ball. Then, we took the 5 oz. balls and used them as underweight balls. So we bumped the over/under weight training principle up to the next resistance section. We have two more throwing sessions left. So I’m hoping to end the program on a high note.

I hope this comes out easy to read. If not, I am sorry it is so hard to post the results.

Glad your weighted ball program worked for you. Im interested in how you did it. You know, what sequence with the balls, heavier to light?
What distances? How many thrown balls for each weight? Be great if you could post your throwing program, bet a lot of guys would like to try it, I know I would.
Bill :smiley:

If anyone has a chance, pick up Tom House’s new book Fastball Fitness. If you look in Chapter 12 you will see our 2004 Weighted Ball Study. This is the work that has led to our other weighted ball experiments the last three years. Give it a look…

I was curious what your thoughts were on the book.
If there’s anything new that makes it a worthwhile purchase.

Even a couple mph would make the 25 shipped worthwhile.

I am not sure what the rest of the book has to offer. I think the Table of Contents is on the National Pitching Website. All I know is Chapter 12 is my favorite. If you are not sure about the purchase, check it out at the public library.

Good Luck…