Baseball Pitching Instructions – Faster Speeds

The 7 Steps to Huge Pitching Velocity Gains
 by: Bill Mooney 

Now we all know that pitchers can get hitters out without throwing the ball with Nolan Ryan type speed.

But why are most of us so obsessed with throwing the ball with obscene velocity?

In visiting with good friend and Minor League Pitching Coordinator of the Washington Nationals, Brent Strom, I recently asked him ‘What are professional scouts looking for in baseball players?’ His response, ‘The first thing we look for in a pitcher AND a position player is ‘speed…arm speed…bat speed…foot speed. For pitchers in particular, we are looking for a live, dynamic, loose, whip-like arm action. Bottom line, if the young man’s arm isn’t explosive…even if he is great at getting people out…he will never, ever get on our radar screen.’

Let’s take a look at the significance of what he just said. In all frankness and candor, if you’re a pitcher and you are not SERIOUSLY developing and enhancing your ability to throw harder…and harder…and harder on a daily, weekly and monthly basis…your already slim chances at professional baseball evolve to almost zero. That probably sounds harsh. Nevertheless, it is the truth. It is the reality of moving up at almost any level in baseball.

You know that on a team of 12 year olds or the high school varsity team…the one who throws the hardest will be treated differently…he will be given more time to get lined up…he will be given more chances to fail. Another 12 year old or varsity pitcher who is identical in every other performance measure (strike %, ERA, BB/K ratio, Hits/ Innings pitched etc.) but throws slower…will be pulled sooner… and will get far fewer chances to ‘right his ship’ if he struggles. THAT is simply reality. Fair or unfair, that is the way it has always been…and that is the way it will always remain. Doesn’t matter if it is a 12 year old, a high school varsity player or a college level pitcher, the harder throwers will always get more opportunities in baseball.

The 3 Little Secrets About Throwing Velocity

If you know velocity is critical…& I know it is critical…surely other baseball people also have to know it. Why then do most instructors never seem to talk about how to improve velocity?

baseball pitching speeds

The 3 little secrets about velocity that nobody talks about are…

1)Most instructors & lessons givers certainly do realize that velocity is critical…and although most would never admit it…they really aren’t sure exactly how to improve it. They say…it will come in time. The standard, boring and make-that-person-go-away answer.

2)To a vast majority of all instructors of pitching, velocity is a mystical, mysterious discipline. When talking about improving it, most will say something vague and smacking of profound conventional wisdom like… ‘use his legs and hips more…get longer on the back side…lift weights…drop and drive…more over the top…push off more…throw more long toss…use weighted balls, etc. The same old warn out excuses.

3)Another small group of instructors simply throw up the white flag and try to talk you into the fact that ‘velocity is genetic’…or ‘you can’t teach speed’…or…sound like a Real Estate Agent and say the key to pitching is ‘location, location, location’.

And the Truth IS….

Velocity is indeed a very complex part of pitching. Location is important, but velocity is too. Most athletes never work on this discipline. We’ve been told all our careers, just throw strikes! Here are some facts about velocity:

Velocity comes from many factors…namely baseball pitching specific strength, momentum and inertia, pitching mechanic sequencing and most importantly, body part synchronization. With the right pitching program, you can address all of these simultaneously.

Velocity coming from a pitcher’s are is certainly genetic. But most athletes under achieve when it comes to velocity. Nobody can break through their genetic ceiling, but most grossly under achieve. Since we may never be able to quantify our true genetic potential, we must work on this discipline disregard any estimates or limitations we personally put upon ourselves…or worse, what others may put upon us.

Many, many times our preconceived, self-imposed limitation of what is possible is the problem. We most often get in our own way. We underachieve. We convince ourselves that we can’t throw any harder.

Velocity can be improved.

Velocity is by far and away the number 1 determining factor in whether a pitcher moves up to the next level or not. It doesn’t matter if that level is club ball, HS, college or professional. The conversation between coaches, scouts, pitching coordinators and GM’s begins with velocity. Now is it the only factor? Heck no! But anyone who would suggest velocity isn’t the number 1 factor is simply not being truthful.

The 7 Steps to Huge Velocity Gains

Pretty simple really.

It’s just not easy. It takes consistent and dedicated effort. No quick fix here.

1)First you need to examine your existing level of fitness.

2)You then need to set up a pitching specific fitness program. This program should include exercises for explosive power work, flexibility, stability, and endurance.

3)You need to evaluate your current throwing mechanics to determine inefficiencies and energy leaks.

4)Begin a principle centered throwing mechanics program. Principle centered is a concept that is not based on old school or conventional wisdom, but a program that looks at all disciples of pitching.

5)Test and quantify your progress. Both on the conditioning side and the throwing mechanics side of being a pitcher. We all need to keep score to see how we are doing.

6)Break your throwing and conditioning regiment into at least 4 segments. Segments such as: off season, pre-season, in-season, and post-season.

7)Set specific attainable goals. Not just for velocity, but all disciplines of pitching and physical conditioning.

Throwing harder takes a dedicated effort, planning and discipline. For some it comes easier than others, but don’t let that deter you. Make it a challenge to reach your genetic ceiling.

Dominate your competition!

Bill Mooney

About The Author

Bill Mooney is the owner and lead instructor at the BioForce Baseball Academy in Beaverton Oregon. Here’s what former Major League Pitcher and Pitching Coach has to say about Bill Mooney and BioForce Baseball.

‘As a former major league pitcher, pitching coach and current coordinator of pitching for the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals, I am always searching for information and instruction that can help me improve. Most would guess that the best, most informative teachings come out of the professional game, but it has been my experience that the instructors who have dealt with hundreds of kids from all ages really have seen what works and doesn’t work. Such is the case for Bill Mooney and BioForce Baseball Academy. Having watched him interact and teach what we know today to be right, I would not hesitate to allow him to work with our pitchers. To place that trust in someone is the highest compliment I can pay to a fellow pitching coach. Without question, Bill Mooney is an outstanding coach and one worth learning from and training with.’

Brent Strom

Former major league pitching coach for the Houston Astros and Kansas City Royals and currently the Minor League pitching coordinator of the Washington Nationals

To find out more about Bill and BioForce, go to the website To contact Bill, you can email him at

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Baseball Swing Mechanics – Understand Your Body

The key to being a good hitter is to understand how your body works so that you can develop the correct mechanics in your swing and understand how to recognize changes in your technique that are resulting in a slump at the plate.

Baseball Swing Parasites And How To Debug Your Game – Part 1

Baseball swing parasites are those unseen and sometimes unknown things that affect your performance at the plate in a negative fashion. Without taking care of the parasites, your baseball swing will begin to decay, wither, and become quite vulnerable to good pitchers. This is true especially as you get older and the pitching gets progressively better. I will be writing a few articles on three very common parasites that can damage your baseball swing. The reason for splitting the articles up is simply length and retention. So stay tuned for a couple more after this one.

Parasite #1 – Failure To Understand Your Machine

Your machine in this sense is your body. I find that most athletes tend to receive baseball instruction to the extent that it will correct problems identified by the instructor. However, this is where things break down. Few players take that next step and learn how mechanical problems are caused, and then what to change to solve the problem on their own. Without this root understanding, a player is continually frustrated by new and/or continuing problems that affect his swing since he lacks the complete knowledge of how his machine works.

There are multiple reasons for this lack of awareness of how the body works during a fundamentally correct baseball swing. Most have to do with a deficiency in vision for what benefit complete understanding would give the player. Below I’ve outlined a few good reasons why you invest some time and effort into creating a smooth swing at the plate.

1. Find a way to up the stakes. Think of the need to learn all parts of your swing as if you were getting paid to do it. The more you read, watched, and learned about the swing process, the more money you would get paid. Hey, a Major League Baseball paycheck is nothing to scoff at, it’s some good coinage. Start the long-term thinking process now.

2. If you don’t learn how your machine works, you are allowing the potential for poor coaching and advice to creep into your game. When you receive live baseball instruction, watch a video, or read a book on the skill you’re learning, how do you know it’s good advice if you don’t understand proper swing mechanics. It’s safe to broaden your understanding.

3. Understanding your mechanics will bring confidence to your game which will translate into positive self-esteem on the field. Baseball players who fail to understand these mechanics are typically emotionally inconsistent players who are excited when things are going well, but very frustrated when things aren’t. Their game becomes a roller coaster of consistency and emotions.

Look for the follow up article, as I’ll discuss the second of three hitting parasites, Letting The Upper Half Of The Body Begin The Swing.

By: Nate Barnett

Article Directory:

Nate Barnett is owner of Your Sport Guru, a sports information website designed to improve your sport. 

Hitting Adjustments

"I saw a player with some enthusiasm and love for baseball, that was the first thing," Lees said. "Then I saw him hit a home run and hit another ball in the gap, and I saw a player who was athletic enough to play at this level. "We took a little bit of a chance, … When Santos arrived at OSU, the Beavers’ coaches started tinkering with his hitting mechanics, concentrating mostly on his stance and his approach to hitting Division I-level pitching.

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Baseball Instruction – A Mental Approach

Baseball Instruction – Is It Just Your Imagination?

These are some very good tips about how to mentally prepare yourself to play baseball or golf for that matter.  The true test of any athlete is to control your mind when the game is on the line.

Have you even been up to bat or on the mound and wanted to hide? Just maybe crawl under the plate, or peel back the pitching rubber and slip underneath for a bit and let someone else deal with the situation?

I’m laughing while I’m writing this because I can’t tell you how many times those thoughts had occurred to me while playing through college and professionally. But, for every one of those quick moments of despair, confusion, uncertainty, or dread, I’ve had dozens of high quality confident thoughts. And that is the key. The ratio of high quality to low quality thoughts needs to be significantly greater.

So, if you are working with an athlete (or 13 of them) who struggles with confidence on the field, take some of these words to heart and reach out and include these ideas in your baseball instruction.

baseball pitching tips,focus,baseball

An athlete can only have two different kinds of thoughts while playing the game, high quality and low quality. Here are the definitions of each.

High quality thoughts: These are positive forward thinking thoughts that are meant to build the confidence of the athlete. High quality thoughts remain in the present tense (while in a performance) and help an athlete rise to a challenge. For example, "I will hit (present tense) this pitcher for a double in the gap", or "There is no chance this batter hits me now (present tense)".

Low quality thoughts: These thoughts are negative in nature and do nothing to help an athlete succeed. The more the player is struggling, the more prevalent low quality thoughts are. Low quality thinking lives in the past or the future tense. They are disease ridden and can affect a performance tremendously. Examples include, "I hope I don’t strike out (future tense)", or "I really can’t believe I walked that guy (past tense)."

Now that you have an awareness of the two types of thinking in an athletes’ mind, the question is how to add it into your baseball instruction.

Try these couple suggestions during practice (or games).

1. Prevent your athletes (or your son if you’re a parent) from speaking anything negative about his game. Negative talk can be directed towards oneself, others, the game, the length of practice, conditioning, or a myriad of any other situations or things. Preventing this type of low quality conversation will reduce the amount of time the mind will choose to access negativity in uncomfortable situations.

2. Use focus points. I’ve written more in depth on this in other pieces, but the short of it is when the mind is fully focused on any given thing, there is no ability for any other thought to pass through the mind. Therefore, train hitters or pitchers to focus their attention onto a part of the plate or a piece of the glove (for pitchers) just before they retrain the focus back to the pitcher, or hitter. This brief moment of 100% focus will dismiss any poor thinking occurring within the athlete. Focus will then be retrained back on the task at hand without low quality thinking.

A final recommendation for you is don’t give up on this technique if it’s strange or uncomfortable at first, it takes practice. Combining a deep breath during the focus point will also have a calming effect.

Good luck, keep reading on this subject, and you’ll be able to help grow mental giants that will dominate this lesser taught part of the game.

By: Nate Barnett

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Nate Barnett is owner of Your Sport Guru, a sports information website designed to improve your sport. 

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Baseball Pitching Mechanics and Shoulder Position

Pitching Mechanics – Using An Elastic Chord To Fine Tune Your Mechanics?

My favorite topic to discuss as it relates to Baseball is Pitching Mechanics. But I want to write about pitching mechanics as they relate to elastic chord pitching workouts. If you aren’t involved in a pitching workout routine that involves using elastic chords to strengthen the tendons and ligaments that support your surrounding muscles, I would highly recommend it. However, were you aware that an elastic chord can help you with your pitching mechanics?

Here is the exercise that I would recommend you try if you want to see if your pitching mechanics are up to par. Attach an elastic band (surgical tubing) to a fence (or anything stationary) shoulder height. Stretch the band far enough to feel resistance. You’ll want to hold the band away from you (toward second base if you were on the mound) as you would with your fastball pitching grip. Once you do this you can try any mechanical maneuver (the correct way or the wrong way) from the stretch position to see if you need a mechanical tune-up. The key to doing these drills is to "feel" the difference in power as you pull the chord the right way and "feel" the difference when you don’t.

To prove this drills effectiveness, you need to understand some basic mechanical flaws so you can try it yourself. One of the most common mistakes a pitcher will make is opening up too soon. They will open up their shoulder and hips prematurely before foot strike. To "feel" that this isn’t mechanically correct, purposely open your hips and shoulders before foot strike and pull the elastic chord forward. What do you "feel"? Do you feel less power?

Another common mechanical flaw is to lift your pivot foot up too soon before release of the baseball. To prove for yourself that this will decrease your pitching velocity, try it with the elastic band. Once you lift your pivot foot too soon (before release) the stretched elastic band will start pulling you back. You know you have lost power; you also know you shouldn’t do it. If you keep your foot planted on the ground until release you clearly have control.

You can try these drills to test your strength throughout your entire delivery. If something doesn’t feel right (pressure in your arm; less power) when you pull the elastic band forward, then you know it’s time to tweak your pitching mechanics. If your serious about improving your overall pitching performance, I would recommend you get some pitching instruction from a certified coach in your area.

By: Dan Gazaway

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