Monday, November 29, 2010

Gain Velocity on Your Fastball

By Dan Ramos Dominko

One of the most asked questions when it comes to pitching or baseball in general is how to get more velocity. There are countless number of ways to get that velo up but one of the quickest ways to see a jump is by getting more extension.

Throwing harder is all about generating torque, the more you have the harder you will throw. To increase your torque you need to create separation between your arms and your legs. It's very similar to hitting when the batter steps forward and loads his hands back to create more power.

There are two parts to getting extension, with your lower and upper body. When you get more extension with your legs you increase your stride with your front leg while keeping your weight on your back leg as long as possible. By extending your stride you automatically create more torque and separation between your upper and lower halves. Once you land on your front foot you need to extend with your throwing arm as far as possible. Every extra inch you can extend you are generating more force and backspin into the ball, not to mention movement as well.

Towel Drill

To work on your increasing your stride you can use the good ol' towel drill. For those of you not familiar with this drill all you need to do is grab a hand towel and wrap it around your middle finger. Start from the stretch and go through your motion as if you are throwing a ball. Once your front foot lands walk five steps (heal to toe) from that spot. You can place a chair here or even better grab a teammate and have him hold his glove thigh high. Go back to where you started in the stretch and go through your motion trying to hit the glove with your towel. I would recommend doing this drill 3-5 times a week roughly 20-40 repetitions.

Towel Drill Tips

* IMPORTANT, when doing this drill you should have a ball in your hand. Just using the towel is too light and can injure you by hyper-extending your shoulder or elbow.

* If you find that 5 feet is too long or too short for you then move your target accordingly. Your goal is to have the target as far away from you as possible, but still close enough to where you can hit it a majority of the time.

* Don't cheat! A lot of pitchers want to place the target much further than they can reach. When you do this most of the time you will end up jumping and not striding. You want to extend to your target, not jump.

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