Have you experienced a pitching velocity drop in-season and are in need of these 10 tips to maintaining pitching velocity in-season? You are not the only one! I am sure you are saying to yourself that this is the worst time for this to happen but it has happened and you need help, FAST!
It is that time of year again when I am getting tons of emails of pitchers who have worked so hard to add 5-10 mph during the off-season with the 3X Pitching Velocity Program but only a few months into the season they start to see those gains disappear. The quickest solution to this major problem is the 3X In-Season Program but for those who do not have it or who have not been through the 3X Pitching Velocity Program, which is a requirement, then here are 10 key tips to help you maintain or just get back your high pitching velocity while in-season.
Before we dive into these 10 career saving tips to maintaining or recovering pitching velocity in-season let's go over some of the signs that a big loss in pitching velocity may just be around the corner. One big sign usually is weight loss. If you have been experiencing a quick drop in pounds over just a few weeks then this could lead to a pitching velocity drop. If you are also experiencing high amounts of inflammation in your arm or you are icing more than usual this could be a sign of a potential pitching velocity drop. Another sign could be the old "Dead Arm" factor. This usually means the pitcher doesn't feel that pop on the ball anymore. No matter how hard the pitcher tries to throw he feels like he is throwing batting practice. The final sign which usually comes to late is when the pitcher notices the hitters are picking up his ball really well and he isn't fooling anyone.
Whatever it is that is notifying you of the pitching velocity drop, it is time to identify the issue and make a big adjustment to get back on track, especially if this is occurring mid season. Pitching velocity should be improving mid season not decreasing. Here are those 10 tips to maintaining pitching velocity in-season.
10 Critical In-Season Pitching Velocity Tips
- Heavy Leg Days the Day After Pitching - You just pitched around 5-7 innings. Your body has burned all of its energy enduring the tens of hundreds of pitches you just made that game. It has also fried all of its motor units along with its muscles tissue. Your system is inflamed, hungry and fatigued. Yes, you need some nutrients like water, protein and carbs immediately after your game but you also need some serious hormonal support. The best way to boost this hormonal support is sleep. Get good sleep especially the night after your performance. Also the following day needs to be a high intensity leg day. This means low reps of around 3-5 at an intensity of 75% of your one rep max on squats. Other leg exercises are front squats, clean pulls, deadlifts or power cleans.Studies show that Olympic lifters who have been training for more than 2 years have an increases in serum testosterone post-workout. This means it is important that pitchers do this kind of training during the off-season as well as in-season. It is also important that the pitcher has been doing this kind of training for at least 2 years as stated in the study. Here is the study called, Acute hormonal responses in elite junior weightlifters by Kraemer WJ, Fry AC, Warren BJ, Stone MH, Fleck SJ, Kearney JT, Conroy BP, Maresh CM, Weseman CA, Triplett NT, et al. It was performed at the Center for Sports Medicine, Pennsylvania State University, University Park. Here are the results from the study:
Twenty-eight junior elite male Olympic-style weightlifters (17.3 +/- 1.4 yrs) volunteered for the study......
The exercise protocol elicited significant (p less than or equal to 0.05) increases in each of the hormones and whole blood lactate compared to pre-exercise measures. While not being significantly older, subsequent analysis revealed that subjects with greater than 2 years training experience exhibited significant exercise-induced increases in serum testosterone from pre-exercise to 5 min post-exercise (16.2 +/- 6.2 to 21.4 +/- 7.9 nmol.l-1), while those with less than or equal to 2 years training showed no significant serum testosterone differences. None of the other hormones or whole blood lactate appear to be influenced by training experience.
- Strength Shoe Plyometrics - Following your post game routine adding in some plyometrics with strength shoes will help rebuild the explosive power in the legs. More specifically add in lateral jumps which has been linked to pitching velocity increases. Here is an article called, Study Proves Lateral Jumps Increase Pitching Velocity to learn more. The strength shoes just add more of a load to the calf muscle which studies have shown is the most active muscle when building the power in the stride. You can learn more about this study here called, Lower extremity muscle activation during baseball pitching. Here is a link to the source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20300031
- PAP Training - Activating all of your motor units before you pitch is a great way to turn up the volume. This pre-game workout has been proven to enhance explosive power during performance and anyone who has been on this site has learned of the link between power and pitching velocity. To learn more about this pre-game technique checkout the article called, Post-Activation Potentiation: A Pitching Velocity Phenomenon.
- Study 3X Pitching Mechanics - The depths of the 3X Pitching Mechanics and its links to pitching velocity has filled volumes. Never stop studying this system and analyzing your mechanics with your own video analysis. All pitching velocity drops will be obvious in video analysis using the 3X Pitching Mechanics as a reference. Once you or a 3X Coach has identified the problem, then the next step is using the 3X drills, lifts and exercises to fix it.
- 3X Velocity System - This system is in the 3X Pitching Velocity Program and focuses mainly on triple extension, hip to shoulder separation and trunk rotation. This is where most of the pitching velocity problems live. Continuously performing these drills on a regular basis will prevent bad habits from forming.
- 3X Velocity System Level 3 - This system which will be available in the Level 3 version of the 3X Pitching Velocity Program focuses mainly on the lift, load and drive movements which helps the pitcher master high velocity pitching. These components also have a dramatic effect on pitching velocity. If you have not learned of any of these 3X Pitching Mechanics mentioned in 5 and 6 sign up for the FREE video series on 30 days to 5 mph at the top right corner of this page.
- Sled Drills - The perfect drill for showing the pitcher where his issues are within his first phase of the pitching delivery. The 3X Pitching Mechanics define the first phase as the Stride Phase which is where the pitcher generates the majority of his pitching velocity. This drill will not only help the pitcher identify the problem but will help the pitcher fix it as well. This drill is taught in the 3X Pitching Velocity Program level 1 and more thoroughly in the level 3 program.
- Shuffle Throws - Many pitchers slow down their strides when moving into the season. This happens usually after the pitcher has some control issues. Either the coach slows the pitchers stride down or the pitcher does it himself. Either way the pitcher gains better control but losses pitching velocity in return. The best way to get back to that more explosive stride is with Shuffle Throws. This is when the pitcher shuffles his feet in an explosive manner before moving into the stride phase. These drills are listed in the 3X Pitching Velocity Program. They are listed using a med ball or baseball.
- Play Quarterback - Sometimes a pitcher just needs a new mentality. He is becoming SOFT as all the TVP's (Top Velocity Prodigies) would say. Playing quarterback with a football and a receiver for 30 minutes a few days a week will help put the athlete back into the pitchers game. Remember you can't be a power pitcher if you are not a power athlete. Losing the athlete on the mound always causes a pitching velocity drop.
- Listen to Aggressive Music - Music is also a great way to pump up the volume and put the beast back into the pitcher. Listen to some pump up music before the game and don't let that beast go to sleep before the game begins!
BONUS TIP: Break Up with Your Girlfriend!
I am not trying to sound like a prick here but this is a last resort. This is why I labeled it as a bonus tip. Yes, we all know that women make us soft. The point is if you really love her and she loves you, then even if you break it off for the season love should bring you back together, right? The big picture here is if you want to be good at something you need to devote all of your time and energy to it and if you are doing this with baseball, then how can you do this with a girlfriend? Also when guys are not in relationships and are trying to impress girls they always play better but this is obviously up to you.
If you do go through with this please DO NOT tell your girlfriend I told you to do this because I don't want to have hundreds of girls posting nasty comments on this page here or sending me crazy emails. It is just a suggestion that I actually may regret posting here!!!
In-Season Pitching Velocity Analysis
If you are really anxious to solve your pitching velocity issues in-season and you need help, then please setup a 3X Video Analysis ASAP. I will put together a video of all your mechanical issues to help you make adjustments. If you want a live session with me, one on one, to go over your mechanical issues with you and then I give you some key tips to remedy them quickly, then I highly recommend you schedule a 3X Live Video Analysis with me ASAP. Here is more information on the 3X Video Analysis.
3X Pitching Podcast Episode 9
The ninth episode of the 3X Pitching Podcast covers this article. Check it out!
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