Pitching Velocity Specificity is based on two variables; pitching mechanics and physical fitness. The baseball world has a decent understanding of how important sound pitching mechanics are in producing an above-average pitcher but they have very little understanding of how effective physical fitness is in producing an above-average pitcher.
This has a lot to do with the trickle-down theory. Most baseball gets their education from Major League Baseball. The problem with the MLB is that they are made up of an elite group of athletes. Therefore the league does not have to spend a lot of time on the physical development of their players because everyone they acquire is already developed. This is why they draft athletes over baseball players. If you want proof just look at the 2000 MLB draft when the Colorado Rookies Drafted Michael Vick in the 30th round. The last time Michael Vick played baseball was in the 8th grade. They drafted him because he is one of the best athletes in the world. The MLB would rather draft athletes than just baseball players because they know it is easier to turn an athlete into a baseball player than a baseball player into an athlete. This is why the MLB has very little knowledge and experience in physical fitness and development. So why do all the levels under the MLB look to them for guidance in physical fitness and development? Good question!
This is why sites like TopVelocity.net are popular because elite leagues like the MLB are not providing adequate information in the physical fitness and development of baseball players. This is also why their understanding of good pitching mechanics does not translate well to a physically underdeveloped young pitcher.
Pitching Velocity Specificity Studies
If you search velocity specificity on Google, you will discover a list of case studies on the topic. The reason for the studies is because of the demand for legal performance enhancement in sports. In the baseball world, we are very aware of this demand for performance enhancement because illegal performance-enhancing drugs have plagued the game for decades. These studies all look to the strength and conditioning world for this enhancement mainly because it is legal and it is effective. Strength and conditioning were first developed to rehabilitate the athlete from injury but what we discovered was that it not only rehabilitated the athlete, but if continued, it would enhance performance. This is why today almost every top-level college baseball team has some type of fitness expert on staff.
These velocity specificity studies have discovered, which is described in detail in the 5th study from the references below, that there is a lot of opposing theory around the most effective strategy to train velocity but all of the evidence does point to resistance training or weight training as the primary factor. Studies, where a weight training group was compared to a non-weight training group, proved that the weight training group always increased velocity. You will also find another 3-4 studies on this website with the same results. More important than the fact that resistance training or weight training is so effective in increasing velocity, is that in all cases where velocity was enhanced, the intent to move quickly was the consistent factor. It was more important than the load used during the training. The catch was heavy loads produced a higher intent to move quickly but if you lightened the load and could keep the same intent, velocity still increased. This means if you are training with 70% of your one rep max then you must move explosive enough to where your intent to move makes up for the other 30% of your max effort. This is extremely important to understand because you may not want to go really heavy with weights, so you must make up for this loss with your intent. This means you better train explosively if you are not training heavily which is not always easy to do.
As for velocity specificity when it comes to pitching mechanics it is most effective to develop motor coordination through the entire kinetic chain as opposed to only training a few muscle groups like the throwing arm. This is where using weighted balls to train the shoulder is not as effective as using a weight training program to train the entire body and a throwing program to develop the motor coordination to use this total body power to increase the velocity of the ball.
- Velocity specificity of resistance training
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- Coordination, the determinant of velocity specificity?
- Velocity Specificity of Resistance Training: Actual Movement Velocity Versus Intention to Move Explosively