So,I had a theory. If I treat a weighted baseball just like a regular one and use that when I warm up, long toss, everything usual, when I pitch it’ll be easier to throw gas. Is that true, has that happened? Last time I warmed up with a weighted baseball. I threw about 20 back and forth, I went to the mound with a regular baseball and threw absolute gas. Is this safe, smart, or frowned upon?
Thanks for your time.
Any tool used in ignorance will have negative repercussions, this includes tools which are “normally” safe. If you condition with anything, learn how, learn safety, it’s your arm, you can enjoy baseball as a recreation for as long as your body hangs in there but if you want to do it for an extended period in hopes of reaching the highest level you had better understand how to do it in a way which helps. You wouldn’t just snatch up a chainsaw and start whacking away without understanding how to use it would you…if the answer is yes…you may find yourself on a “Darwin Awards” listing.
So if I am going to extensively use baseballs that are weighted, I better do it correct, is what you are saying?
Yep, unless you like the idea of stainless steel pins embedded in your bones that cinch down a titanium rope which holds your shoulder together…
More than a couple of very good places out there that promote a scientific approach and have conditioning methods which can very much be of assistance.
Good advice from JD.
I’ll add that I’m not aware of any weighted ball programs that have you throw weighted balls at any distance. I’m also not aware of any programs that have you throw weighted balls to another person.
Do your research to identify reputable programs (hint: NPA, Driveline), select one, and then learn it well.
Driveline has a free 10 week weighted ball program on their website, I believe. I’d check that out.
What about using a softball? A regulation softball is larger and heavier than a regulation baseball. Why not train with that? As a kid, I lived where the Baltimore Orioles did their spring training. Many of the players rented houses and apartments near me. Some players owned homes near me. I remember going to the public school field a few blocks from my house and watching Jim Palmer long toss with a softball. Worked out for him.
Weighted balls used correctly can be a very useful training tool, agree with earlier poster check out Driveline. Unfortunately weighted balls used incorrectly can cause harm. Do some research before using.
My son is 14 and very lanky. I choose to stay away from Driveline at this point . He throws hard and is progressing nicely. Others on his team are catching up a bit because of the weighted balls. Was wondering if the velocity jumps I’m seeing from his teammates are temporary jumps. My son is more consistent where he lives and can go deeper into games and still throw hard, his teammates that use Driveline seem to be inconsistent and there velocity does not last as long during the game.and has wider ranges.
Desired results of weighted ball use is to increase arm speed. I know of no other better than Driveline if seeking a program (may be some better but I don’t know about them). If used correctly I believe they are useful. If misused they can be harmful.
Thanks pitcher 17. I’d rather him not take the risk until he’s older, stronger and more mature.
Tom House and the NPA developed a weighted ball program that was initially designed as a shoulder strength and durability program. After running a bunch of pitchers through the program they noticed an interesting side effect - increased velocity. It was also very safe as they had put hundreds of pitchers through the program without any injuries.
The original program was customized for each individual pitcher. But I believe there were some legal issues with the business that was running the program commercially so I’m pretty sure the NPA currently offers only a generic program. Regardless, I’d still be confident in the safety of their generic program because their custom program had been validated by the faculty of the medical college at USC and the NPA adheres to a “health first” philosophy.
This is a really good read regarding the NPA’s weighted ball program:
NPA Weighted Ball Training
My 2 boys have been doing a weighted ball program for 2 years now and they’ve been successful. Arms felt great all summer long and never once did their arms hurt. They put in a lot of training to be at the top of their game. Always training, if their not at arm care then their at the gym lifting, training, long toss, etc.
If you do it, its more than just going and throwing heavy balls 2 times a week. You need to find out what exercises/machines you should be doing at the gym, etc., good diet.
Last time they was tested in December
13 yr old (5’5) 86 mph pull down and 80 off mound
15 yr old (5’6) 87 mph pull down and 82 off mound
Good luck and let us know how your doing
My son started doing remote training with Driveline last October. He is strict about the program, lifting and nutrition…
While he was home for Christmas break I would go out and throw with him. There were a limited number of throws with the heavier balls at a distance of roughly 120 ft. I really don’t recall the exact distances or number of throws as I was always concentrating on just making it out there without a fractured hand and all of my teeth still in place…
There were things I was trying to work with him on last summer such as not rotating his upper body too early, getting his momentum going sooner down the mound and not collapsing his drive leg… He did all of the plyocare drills religiously. The only “coaching” I offered was for him to try to move laterally when doing the “walking windups”. During his workouts my only responsibility was to keep the radar gun readings.
I believe one of the principles of the Driveline program is that the drills and “pull downs” will clean up mechanics by forcing the body to “self organize”. The day before my son left to go back to school he had a “velo test day” off the mound. It was 38 degrees out and he was throwing off of a fake mound due to the ground being so wet… he only hit 87 a few times but when I went back and looked at the videos I took his mechanics were near “spot on” from what I could tell… the three things we worked so hard on over the summer were so much better…
When he returned to school he threw an indoor bullpen and was 88-91… he threw in an inner squad game the following Sunday when it was just above freezing and he said he felt like he was getting sick and was 87-90… his last two outings in inner squads they didn’t have the gun on him but his catcher told him it was the hardest he has seen him throw… just as important as the velocity gains is that he says his arm has never felt better and his command of all three of his pitches has never been better.
The point of the above is that, at least in my experience, weighted balls will actually decrease the probability of injury due to the better throwing mechanics that have developed.