faster Pitching Articles
Here are some pitching articles on this important pitching velocity topic. This topic is currently open for discussion. You can either comment on the articles below or start a thread in the pitching forums.
by Brent Pourciau · June 18, 2009
Matsuo T, Escamilla RF, Fleisig GS, Barrentine SW, Andrews JF. Comparison of kinematic and temporal parameters between different pitch velocity groups. Journal of Applied Biomechanics 17(1): 1-13, 2001.
Stodden, DF, Fleisig, GS, McLean, SP, Andrews, JR. Relationship of Biomechanical Factors to Basebal Pitching Velocity: Within Pitcher Variation. Journal of Applied Biomechanics 21(1): 44-56, 2005 Read more
by Brent Pourciau · March 8, 2009
I get this question a lot, “the windup vs the stretch, what is better?” The problem is the windup is almost sacred to the game of baseball but it really has no purpose besides a kind of confidence builder on the mental state of the pitcher. The windup represents the old style of pitching from back in the day when the pitchers would use the windup to get their arms moving faster like in the video clip here of Dizzy Dean. Now that we have learned that doing this is destructive to pitching velocity, the windup has become just an extra step to throwing in the stretch. Read more
by Brent Pourciau · February 12, 2009
The biggest problem I find in young pitchers is that they have poor separation in their hips to shoulders. There are many articles on this site covering the pitching component “Separation.” It is so important because having separation from your back hip to back shoulder before the shoulders rotate to the plate, is critical for velocity and the health of your arm. What “Separation” does is it builds core torque. It puts more torque in the big muscle groups of the core, instead of mainly in the small muscle groups of the shoulder. Read more
by Brent Pourciau · February 10, 2009
Above average coordination is a sign of fast twitch muscle strength. Fast twitch motor neurons recruit more muscle fibers. This means more control of the body and also more explosive power. The biggest problem for a pitching coach, when working with a pitcher who does not have good hip rotation or who does not load and build a full body stride, is that this is the result of poor core and leg strength and no mechanical drill will fix this problem.
Drills only help pitchers who are having a hard time changing flawed muscle memory. It doesn’t help pitchers who have good muscle memory but poor muscle strength. This is why we have weight rooms. This is why any coach who tells you that weight lifting will NOT help you as a pitcher is clueless and is wasting your time and maybe even your money. A good strength and conditioning program that incorporates Olympic lifts, plyometric training and an intense speed training program is essential to developing good pitching mechanics. Good athletes make good pitchers. Read more
by Brent Pourciau · February 1, 2009
Using steroids and growth hormone (GH) injections to increase your levels of testosterone and GH has more bad side effects than positive returns. This is why I speak against these illegal drugs. Through proper strength and conditioning, an athlete can naturally stimulate their bodies testosterone and GH levels. The reason for athletes increasing these levels is to grow bigger, stronger, faster, which means your body is healing faster than it is breaking down. This is very beneficial for pitchers because quicker recovery between appearances will result in more velocity, better consistency and less chance of injury. This is why the Michell Report was full of professional pitchers using these illegal substances. These pro pitchers were looking for the hormonal edge but going at it in the wrong direction. Thank you to the strength and conditioning world, we have now learned that the hormonal edge can be obtained naturally, through a proper strength and conditioning program. Read more
by Brent Pourciau · January 28, 2009
Professional Baseball is full of genetic freaks. Long and slender pitchers who throw mid to upper 90′s like A.J. Burnett and Aroldis Chapman. At this moment, Major League scouts are combing the earth looking for these rare specimens. This is why it is so exciting when someone like Tim Lincecum at 5’9 170 pounds, throwing 95 mph, comes along and blows everyone’s mind. Yes, Tim is a new kind of freak but what he proves is that throwing hard can also be a little mans game. Tim is evidence that the strength and conditioning world is not just hype. It is real and it is the fountain of success for any athlete. It teaches why someone like Tim Lincecum throws as hard as someone the total opposite in size, like A.J. Burnett or Aroldis Chapman. Why doesn’t Major League Baseball teach little guys to throw as hard as big guys? Because they do not have too. Major League Baseball is like a spoiled child. It gets everything it wants. Therefore, they have no need to make what they already have. Read more
by Brent Pourciau · January 18, 2009
Ultimately, your pitching Coach is your boss. If you piss him off, there is a good chance you may be out of a job. The problem is if he is a BAD pitching coach, he could jeopardize your career. It has happened many times before. The key is to keep the Coach happy, while you find the best support you can, to help influence your career.
What makes a BAD pitching Coach?
Someone who has no experience in playing the position at the top levels of the game, or someone who has no certified education of how to coach the position. Read more
by Brent Pourciau · January 8, 2009
If your Coach or Trainer has you running for longer than five minutes at a SLOW pace then you are training to be just that, SLOW! Muscles have a mixture of two basic types of fibers, fast twitch and slow twitch. Fast-twitch fibers are capable of developing greater forces and contracting faster and have greater anaerobic capacity. Anaerobic means exercise without the use of oxygen as an energy source; short bursts of vigorous exercise. Sprinting is an anaerobic exercise. In contrast, slow-twitch fibers develop force slowly, can maintain contractions longer and have higher aerobic capacity. Aerobic means exercise in which energy needed is supplied by oxygen inspired and is required for sustained periods of vigorous exercise with a continually high pulse rate. Long distance running is an aerobic exercise. Read more
by Brent Pourciau · December 24, 2008
Pitchers and all athletes who reach the high school, college or pro levels are always looking for an edge. The athletic supplement market has exploded in the past decade to fill this need. If it isn’t steroids then athletes are looking for the next best thing. I will say it here again, steroids are not the edge you want. It takes you out of your game because you do not own it. What I mean is, however you perform when you are on a steroid or illegal drug, you will only be able to be that person when you are using the drug. This is what causes abuse and serious long term problems. Read more
by Brent Pourciau · December 10, 2008
I have heard many players and coaches say that working out will not increase pitching velocity. I have even heard them say that it will hurt the pitcher. I understand that this is many parents, coaches and players concerns because it seems to be conventional wisdom that working out is bad but I will be the first to tell you that if you just do your research, you will learn otherwise. It will also prove to you that those who are spreading these rumors about working out and pitching, have not done their research.
When someone tells me that working out is bad for pitching, I then ask them then why was about 70% of Major League Ball Players on Steroids or Human Growth Hormone during the Steroid Era? It isn’t because they just wanted to look good on TV. I then ask them then why was the majority of the position players listed on the Michell Report pitchers? I always get a few stutters, followed by total silence. Read more
by Brent Pourciau · December 3, 2008
Having your Pitching video analyzed by someone who understands Physics Driven Velocity Mechanics is critical in moving up levels of the game. The effectiveness of this process is the visual aspect. We are mainly visual learners. We can watch someone perform an action and then almost repeat it perfectly. This proves that we learn information so much faster visually. In any baseball career time is of the essence. All of us retired ball players, wish we knew what we learned many years after the end of our careers, when we were actually playing the game. This is because it took longer to learn this stuff than the window of opportunity we where given. Read more
by Brent Pourciau · November 26, 2008
It is almost December, so this is your last chance for athletic improvement before the season begins. For all those college pitchers and ball players getting ready for the 2009 season, don’t be that guy who walks into spring with the Thanksgiving, Christmas belly. I am not saying, “Do not eat this holiday” but I am saying, “Do not sit on your butt!” You may think Coaches have their lineup and starters set pre-season but the truth of the matter is, this can change if someone drags their out of shape butt into spring training.
by Brent Pourciau · November 10, 2008
by Chad Englehart
Many athletes today have the desire to reach a higher level of athletics. Whether it is an athlete going from Jr. High to High School, or an athlete making the transition from high school to college athletics and the big one college to professional athletics. All throughout America, young athletes have dreams to make it to the top of their sport; many try only a few succeed.
To make it to the professional level it takes all the intangibles of practice, hard work, heart, desire, skill, strength, speed, etc; but, one of the most important traits is a simple word and it is genetics. Some athletes can top out their genetic potential only running a 4.97second 40 yard dash or topping out their fast ball at 78mph and that is ok, but ask yourself as a parent or an ex athlete, did I max out my potential? When did I start really training and being educated by my coach on how to and why? Did my coach teach me the right way to train and perform the different tasks, drills, or tests? Read more
by Brent Pourciau · September 5, 2008
Most old school Coaches would talk about the importance of the “Balance Position” and how it leads to a smooth, controlled, accurate delivery. New school thought would say that this may produce an accurate pitcher but it will destroy velocity in return. New school thought would then talk about how balance is effective only if established within the movement of the pitcher. This is what I call, “Pitching and the Point of Balance.” Read more
by Brent Pourciau · August 24, 2008
by Chad Englehart
Specificity of Training principle is one of the most utilized training principles used by exercise professionals today. (Kramer et al., 2002) discussed the principle of training specificity and explained that the training responses elicited by a given exercise mode are directly related to the physiological elements involved with coping with the specific exercise stress. What this means is that if an athlete wants to perform better at a particular event or skill they must train specifically for that particular skill. For example, if an athlete wants to become stronger one must lift heavy weights and if an athlete wants to jump higher one must jump. As a strength and conditioning Read more
by Brent Pourciau · August 24, 2008
by Chad Englehart
Implied in any linear speed discussion with a Strength and Conditioning Specialist, is the concept of resisted speed training strategies. Some professionals consider resisted speed training as the most efficient sprint training technique on the planet, while other consider it not as effective because of a biomechanical stand point. Different resisted speed strategies include, towing, uphill sprints, sand sprints, and weighted sprints. Tahachnik (1992) explained that towing of weighted devices such as sleds and tires is the most common method of providing towing resistance for the enhancement of sprint performance, although the use of parachutes has also Read more
As a strength and conditioning professional one of the most prevalent questions we are asked is “Can I get my 40 yard faster and how fast can I be? This question is easy to answer, for starters everyone can get faster because speed can be taught and how fast can an athlete become really depends on their genetic makeup. According to Brent McFarlane (1987) sprinting speed can be learnt through motor educability, he goes on to explain that the skills and techniques of sprinting must be rehearsed and perfected at slow speeds and then transferred to sprints at maximal velocity. Most of us know the definition of Read more