Baseball Pitching Mechanics To Improve Pitching Performance
Over the years the most asked questions presented to me is “How do I develop more speed? How do I throw harder? How can I increase velocity? Through experience, research and study, I have found a multitude of concepts and techniques presented to increase throwing speed. Most of all professionals agree that the two main ingredients of speed development are mechanics (the basic and fundamental movement in a sequential pattern) and strength development.
In mechanics, there are various movement aspects that have to be explained. The first is arm path or the path the arm takes when it separates from the glove. This includes arm action, or the speed in which the arm is moving through its path, and arm extension which is how long the arm reaches and extends out in front of the body at release and beyond. Pitchers that have full extension of the hand and the arm will increase speed naturally.
The next factor in mechanics is the trunk or torso rotation. Through torso rotation, there is a transfer of energy to power then speed. The torso has approximately 55 to 60 percent of all the energy needed to throw with speed; therefore it is essential to rotate the torso in order to transfer this energy needed in the arm and hand to develop speed.
To achieve full extension, I am constantly teaching pitchers to have a complete stride length; to move their head out in front of their stride foot, reach out in front of home plate after release and finally, bend at the waist.
The second main ingredient to improving speed is strength development. Overall muscle strength is vital in speed development. The muscles of the legs, torso, chest, back, and arms must be strong and flexible to ensure proper movement. When developing strength in the body for increasing speed, it is imperative that with speed or acceleration there must be shock absorption or deceleration. Most pitchers train their muscles for acceleration and forget that the majority of injuries in the deceleration phase.
One way to develop speed that incorporates both mechanics and strength is by long toss throwing. Long toss will help develop proper throwing mechanics by increasing throwing distances through progressing the number of throws.
It also develops endurance for the muscles of the arm. Structured long toss programs are extremely important in improving throwing speed. There are many different programs, so be careful in choosing the proper program, depending on your level of play.
Remember, speed in pitching is the ability of the pitcher to change the reaction time of the hitter, so learn to maximize your fastball and continue working on your mechanics and strength development.
Remember, have fun and enjoy this great game!
Bobby Woods has a long time passion for sports in general and for baseball coaching more specifically.
His goal is to spread the word about effective non-fluff baseball pitching techniquesfor both more experienced and young baseball players, to help them perform better during the game. Discover more about baseball pitching mechanicson bobbywoodsbaseball.com