Mark, What age are you referrring to? Please read the Post “Lateral Movement To Home.” Everything starts in the beginning with the first movement. Too many kids are thinking too much because they are getting too much information from their instructor. Thinking slows down the mechanism. If you know where you want them to end up – the finish position – and know how to start, the rest pretty much takes care of itself. Does it take effort to throw faster? You bet. And that is what pitchers should be practicing. Also remember that not all kids are created equal or mature at the same rate. Be careful of the comparison trap. I can never remember thinking – “Ryan is just not throwing hard enough” even when he couldn’t in Little League or his first year of high school.
My son is 14 and will be competing for a spot on the high school team next spring. His velocity right now is average. Unfortunately, I don’t feel this will be enough to make the team at this time. Hopefully he can make some gains this off season. His current stats in Babe Ruth are excellant, 3.9 era with 45 strike outs in 31 innings pitched, but this isn’t high school yet. His command has been excellant all season. [QUOTE]I can never remember thinking – “Ryan is just not throwing hard enough” even when he couldn’t in Little League or his first year of high school.[/QUOTE] Unfortunately, that’s all they want now days. That question is always in the back of my mind, especailly when I see the compitition for the spots on the roster. Thanks Mark
As stated in a previous post; [QUOTE]Implication. To improve pitching speed it is necessary to train for speed first. This is best done by consistently trying to move and exceed previous maximum velocity.. [/QUOTE] Is there a simple high level explanation for how this is done? Is the speed gained in your rotation just from timing? I realize to throw with more velocity, we need to rotate faster as the arm is just along for the ride. I guess I’m having a problem trying to teach this. Is it just as simple as conciously just trying to rotate faster and with practice you do? What bothers me is you see kids with really crummy mechanics and no training throwing with much greater velocity than a kid who has been working on it for years. How can you train the body to speed up? Mark
Mark, There is something you must understand about sports. Some kids have more innate ability and some mature later than others. There is nothing you or any parent can do about that. At the youth levels size does matter initially. Remember what force on the ball is: acceleration times mass. That means a bigger kid moving at the same speed as a smaller kid will throw harder. My son Ryan at 14 was a skinny kid in his last year of Babe Ruth – 5’8″ 130 lbs he was the third pitcher on our team. We had an excellent team who ended up winning the Babe Ruth World Series. The two studs were 15 years old and both were 6 ft about 180 lbs. They both threw 80-81 mph. Guess who pitched just about every game? They did until the #1 ran out of gas in the second inning of that final game against MA. The coaches had no option but to put in Ryan and he pitched well enough without throwing any curveballs by the way – to win. Ryan made the high school freshman team and threw about 70 mph. But he knew how to pitch and had good command. He matured a lot later than the others. The other two boys never broke 85 mph, one ended up with shoulder surgery and the other never really did well as a varsity pitcher. By the way it was Ryan’s freshman year of high school – 1992 that Ginny first started doing the explosive training with Ryan and his teammates. That type of conditioning is what teaches the body how to be explosive when you are doing box jumps or explosive medicine ball. Some kids just do not understand what being explosive requires. And that’s one of the biggest benefits of our complete conditioning program. If you watch Ryan in those DVD’s you will see what it means to be explosive. I also worked with one of Ryan teammates – a RH who threw 78-80 mph as a junior. We fixed some mechanical problems and in just a three week period he was throwing 86 mph and by the start of his senior year he was throwing 88 mph. He never got to 90 mph but got a nice scholarship to ASU. Your worry about this may be totally unfounded and hopefully you will not transfer this worry to your boy. What good is worry anyway? All you can do is continue to work at it. There honestly is no magic. Does he appear to be slow? Is he a slow runner? How big is he compared to other kids? Will he mature much later? Did you? I did? How are his mechanics? How are his mechanics? Does he load his weight over his back leg, does he get off his back leg without his back leg collapsing? Does he have a long stride? Does he look explosive? Or does he appear too slow because he is focused on having perfect mechanics? Does he try to throw at maximum effort at the end of each practice bullpen. What is he doing as a weekly routine this summer and what is going to do for a conditioning routine this off-season? Trust – remain calm – don’t panic. All you can do is all you can do. And whatever you do remain positive.
Thanks Dick, your encouragement is appreciated. He’s average in size and maturity for his age (14) . The kids throwing harder than him when I think about are just bigger. Hopefully we’ll catch up by next spring. His mechanics are good, but ther is always room for improvement of course. Off season we use your conditioning course. We’ll keep plugging away. Mark
Does anyone have some good exercises to increase speed or quickness?
For what purpose?
Just speed in general. Make a player better fielder or base steeler. That kinda of speed or quickness
You can work with a speed ladder or some cones working on your improving your footwork. We use this in conjunction with plyometrics to improve quickness.
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