In this article, we will be discussing the arm action of a high velocity pitcher. This information is based on research and analysis of various studies and videos of pitchers in action. It is important to understand the role of the entire kinetic chain in the pitching process, but for the purpose of this article, we will focus specifically on arm action.
One aspect of the arm action of a high velocity pitcher that is often questioned is the handbrake or the point at which the hands separate from the ball. According to the research and analysis discussed in this article, it appears that the handbrake tends to occur when the lifted leg begins its downward movement toward the mound. It is important to note that there is no research that specifically states that the handbrake should occur at this point, but rather it is a common trend observed through analysis.
Keeping the Arm in a Flexed Position
Once the handbrake has occurred, it is important for the throwing arm to remain in a flexed position. This allows for the elbow to drive the wrist, and ultimately the shoulder to drive the elbow, in the throwing motion. Leading with the shoulder and elbow while the arm is flexed helps to generate maximum velocity and power in the pitch.
The Glove Side Arm
In addition to the throwing arm, the glove side arm also plays a role in the arm action of a high velocity pitcher. It is important for the glove side arm to remain relaxed and not interfere with the throwing arm's motion. The glove side arm should also stay close to the upper body and not extend too far away from it. To achieve the optimal pitching mechanics, do not over become overly aggressive with your glove side. Otherwise you will become too rotational, causing you to fly open early. Killing your pitching velocity in the process.
When to Cock the Arm
Pitchers have a relatively long duration during the delivery to get their arm into the cocked position. The arm of the high velocity pitcher does not have to be in the fully cocked position until just at front foot strike. Delaying the cocking action of the arm could potentially lead to an increase in velocity, because often times when players cock the arm early, they become too rotational. Cutting off all the power developed from the leg drive, increasing the stress placed on the arm and negatively affecting the players maximum pitching velocity.
Timing and Synchronization
Timing and synchronization between the lower body and the arm action are crucial for a high velocity pitcher. The movements of the lower body should be coordinated with the movements of the arm in order to create a smooth and efficient delivery. This can help to maximize velocity and power in the pitch.
Practice and Repetition
As with any skill, practice and repetition are key to mastering the arm action of a high velocity pitcher. It is important to work on and refine these techniques through drills and repetition in order to consistently execute a strong and efficient arm action. Over the years I have written several articles discussing how to develop the optimal pitching mechanics. Just last week, I released another article discussing this same topic entitled "The Steps to Developing Proper Pitching Mechanics," so if you are interested in learning more about the developmental process of creating optimal pitching mechanics click the link above.
The arm action of a high velocity pitcher is a complex and important aspect of the pitching process. By understanding the role of the handbrake, maintaining a flexed arm position, as well as paying attention to the glove side arm, timing, and synchronization, and practicing and repeating these techniques, pitchers can work to optimize their arm action and increase their velocity. It is important to continue learning and refining these techniques through research, analysis, and practice. Those who utilize the 3X Pitching Velocity Program have tremendous success in perfecting their arm pattern mechanics, thanks to numerous med ball and other drills that train this critical movement pattern. Become a master of your pitching mechanics and get started training in the 3X Velocity Pitching Program to become the next 90+mph testimonial.