Saturday, August 29, 2009

Getting the Most Out of Your Fastball

By Dan Gazaway
There is not a pitcher out there who doesn't want to add some velocity to his fastball. Even Major League pitchers who have been known to hit 3 digits on the radar gun wish they could throw a couple of miles an hour faster. There is no doubt that pitchers are throwing faster as time goes on. What is contributing to this? More pitchers have the ability to throw in the high nineties now and one pitcher who just got drafted from Fresno state has been clocked at over 100 several times. I think his changeup goes faster than some Major League fastballs.

If you are looking to increase velocity there are a couple of factors to look at and analyze. Are you throwing with proper pitching mechanics? That means, in a nut shell, are you utilizing your entire body to throw or relying on your arm to create velocity. Most Little League and High School level pitchers are doing just that. They are relying too much on their arm to generate the velocity they are looking for.

So how do you solve the velocity problem? The first thing you need to do is take a look at your stride. How long is your stride? If a pitcher has a short stride, less than their height, they are losing momentum. The majority of pitchers, or at least average pitchers, have average strides that are less than their height. Lengthening your stride is one of the first things I would suggest.
Another pitching tip as it relates to increased pitching velocity is balance. As a pitcher, if you don't have balance you lack control and velocity. Is your momentum all going toward home plate or are you throwing your body every which way you can? You need to make aggressive movements as a pitcher, however, if you make aggressive movement away from the general direction you are trying to throw, this generally means you will put undue pressure on your throwing arm and you could end up with a sore arm.

My advice to anyone who is seeking to throw faster is to learn the correct way to throw the ball mechanically. You will find balance and more explosive power if you do. The velocity will then naturally happen when you find the appropriate leverage in your body to throw.

The Pitching Academy is a resource for pitchers who want to learn all about pitching. We also give you the best baseball drills to do to improve your overall ability on the mound.

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