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
http://www.bioforcebaseball.com

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
www.bioforcebaseball.com. To contact Bill, you can email him at support@bioforcebaseball.com.

How To Teach Pitching Velocity to a 9 Year Old

Many parents don’t know how to teach pitching velocity to young Little League pitchers…even 9 year old pitchers. Most have been led to believe that beginner pitchers must first do pitching drills.

Increasing Pitching Velocity

Increasing pitching velocity is actually very simple. If you’re interested in increasing pitching velocity you must start with 2 things body balancing and better nutrition.

Ways to improve baseball pitching velocity

Pitching velocity is very important in baseball. Apart from baseball pitchers, even position players should have the ability to throw the ball faster. There are two ways of increasing baseball pitching velocity:

Technorati Tags: ,

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

Article Directory: http://www.articledashboard.com

Baseball Pitching Mechanics

You use your entire body in order to throw a pitch, and if you learn pitching mechanics about the way the body operates you can use that to your benefit in order to throw the ball harder without actually using more arm strength. 

Pitching Mechanics

If you want to throw harder and get more hitters out your are going to need solid pitching mechanics. Good pitching mechanics need to be supported by strength. Very simply – strength supports pitching mechanics.

Little League Pitching Mechanics

How can parents of Little League pitchers best insure that their sons have a successful and fun season this year. I have a few suggestions. Keep pitching mechanics simple, practice often and use a video camera to improve their play.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Different Baseball Grips for Pitching

Pitching Grips For Youth Baseball

Children under the age of 14 or 15 should never under any circumstances throw any type of breaking ball.  The reason for this is that children have not finished growing and the arm growth plates are not secure.  Throwing breaking balls only puts undue pressure upon the elbow which will result in unnecessary arm injury. 

With this in mind, youth baseball pitchers should throw only three types of pitches – the two-seam faseball, the for-seam fastaball, and a change up.  This is really all that is needed anyway to pitch effectively to younger aged children.  The key is for younger pitchers to work on basic fundamental pitching mechanics and  to be able to throw strikes when the game is on the line.

A Four Seam Fastball

This pitch is the basic straight fastball.  To grip the four seam fastball, hold the baseball so that your fingers go across the seasm of the baseball. Place your index and middle fingertips directly on the  seam of the baseball.  The "horseshoe seam" should face into your ring finger of your throwing hand. Its caledl the horseshoe seam simply because the seam itself looks like the shape of a horseshoe.

Next, place your thumb directly beneath the baseball, resting on the smooth leather. Ideally, you should rest your thumb in the center of the horseshoe seam on the bottom part of the baseball.  However, as can be seen in the picture, hands of younger players are generally not large enough to fit directly under the center of the ball.

different baseball grips for pitching

Grip the baseball in your fingertips (if possible but for younger children their hands are not big enough yet).  There should be some space between the ball and your palm,  The idea is to hold the baseball softly so that the ball can leave your hand quicker and with more velocity. 

how to start pitching baseball tips

The Two Seam Grip

A two seam fastball is gripped slightly tighter and closer in the throwing-hand than the four-seam fastball. This pitch generally is thought of as a "movement pitch".

To grip a two seam fastball, turn the ball so that the seam is going the same direction as your fingers. Place your index and middle fingers directly on top of the narrow seams of the baseball. 

pitching mechanics pictures

Now place your thumb directly on the bottom side of the baseball and on the smooth leather in between the narrow seams. The two seam grip alot firmer than the four seam grip.  The idea here is that the firmer grip causes friction which then causes the baseball to change direction when the pitch is thrown.  

baseball pitching instructions

The Change Up 

For youth baseball players, a three finrger change up works the best as their hands are not big enough to throw a circle change. This is a great off-speed pitch for youngsters and those players with small hands.

Grip the baseball by centering your ring, middle, and index fingers on top of the baseball . Your thumb and pinky finger should be placed on the smooth leather directly underneath the baseball.  The middle finger in this case does not grip the ball.

baseball pitching techniques

Now hold the baseball deep in your palm to maxmimize the friction and to keep the pitch from spinning much when thrown.  Tthrow the ball just like you would throw a fastball – same mechanics, same arm speed and everything else.  The ball will come out of your hand alot slower than the fastball but will look to the batter just like a fastball so he will swing out in front of the pitch.

different baseball pitching grips

The Circle Change

To throw a circle changeup make a circle or an "OK" gesture with your throwing hand using your thumb and index fingers. You then center the baseball between your three other fingers. Throw the ball just like the other pitches with the same mechanics and arm speed. 

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Baseball Pitching Practice

If you want to be a great pitcher it is important to set and focus on goals that you expect to achieve.  By doing this you will focus your attention on certain aspects of your pitching that need improvement.  The idea is to break down your pitches and work on each one and each aspect of the pitch so that you velocity and control can improve.

Baseball Pitching – Smart Pitchers Set Goals

You may have read my previous article, "Reaching a Higher Level of Success." If so, you saw that pitching tip #2 was setting goals. Many athletes don’t know how to set and achieve goals. The following are a few simple steps to ensure your goals are met. Remember, no professional athlete gets where they are without having both a clearly defined goal, and a clear plan of action to accomplish it.

Setting goals should be a big part of every pitcher’s priorities. Without goals, you lack focus and direction. As a result, you can sometimes forget what you want to achieve or lose sight of the big picture of what your objectives are. Before you set a goal, you have to understand what it is you want. You must then ask yourself the right questions to reach them. The answers to those questions will help you reach your goals.

new york long island baseball pitching instruction

Question #1: What am I attempting to achieve?

Sounds simple right? When answering these questions, write them down on paper. It is important to have clearly defined goals. Don’t be vague in describing what your focus is, be clear and specific.

Example:

Let’s say your goal is to be able to throw an effective curveball by September of this year. Did you notice the time frame? Setting a realistic time frame to accomplish the goal sets some standards for you. Now that you have identified a specific goal and time frame, ask additional questions so you can take action steps to achieve it.

Question #2: What am I going to do on a daily basis to ensure I achieve this goal?

Do I need personal instruction so I’m throwing the pitch correctly? What pitchers can I study who throw that pitch effectively? What information can I gather, or what resources do I have, that will give me accurate information about the curveball? Are there pitching-specific exercises or pitching drills I can work on to develop proper control of the curveball? If so, what are they?

Now it’s time to take action on your goal! Set a schedule for yourself, ensuring that if you follow your pattern for success, there should be no reason why you won’t achieve the goal by the date you’ve set.

By: Dan Gazaway

Article Directory: http://www.articledashboard.com

Dan Gazaway is the owner of The Pitching Academy. His focus is helping students understand Pitching Mechanics,

Goals

What baseball pitching goals would you write in the blank space? Take some time to think about it: What would you like to accomplish on the pitcher’s mound this year? Did you come up with a set of goals?

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Baseball Pitching

Different Types Of Pitches In Baseball

Pitches are divided into three as fastballs, breaking balls and changeups. Fastballs can be thrown very fast. It is the most common pitch and can be thrown around 90 miles per hour. Fastballs are thrown at speeds of 95-104 mph and upto 107.9 mph. fastballs are divided into various types like four seam fastball, two seam fastball, cutter, forkball, and splitter. In four seam fastball grip the ball with your index and middle finger together across the horseshoe seam with your fingers spread apart slightly. Make sure your finger tips are a little bit over the laces. It is normally the fastest pitch a player has and can get as high as 100&#43mph. This fastball doesn’t have much movement, as pitchers just try and throw it past you. Two-seam fastball is also known as sinker.

Two-seam fastball has more downward movement during pitch. Cutter is a blend of slider and fastball. A forkball has a forward spin. The difference between splitter and forkball is that the splitter has a sudden drop to it and the forkball has more of a gradual drop. A pitcher who uses primarily breaking ball pitches is often referred to as a junkballer. A breaking ball is more difficult than a fastball for a catcher to receive as they sometimes hit the ground before making it to the plate. Breaking balls are divided into three as curveball, slider and screwball. In curveball a pitcher puts top spin on a pitch in order for the ball to break or curve. A slider has more speed than a curveball, but less speed than a fastball. The screwball breaks in the opposite direction.

Changeups are divided into palm ball, circle change, super changeup. Practice the palm ball by using tighter and looser grips until you find how you can throw the pitch more effectively. In baseball, circle change up is a pitch thrown with a grip that includes circle information, hence the name. The super changeup is simply a changeup that has a larger speed deferential between it and the fastball. Other types of pitches include knuckleball, Eephus Pitch, spitball and gyro ball. The knuckleball is thrown to have as little spin on the ball as possible. The Eephus pitch is a pitch that is thrown in a high arch. A spitball is a pitch that will have spit or some other kind of liquid on it. A Gyro ball is a pitch that will have a bullet like spin.

By: Sabbik

Article Directory: http://www.articledashboard.com

Technorati Tags: , ,