Running Throws Do Not Correlate to the Pitching Mound

running-throws-do-not-transfer-pitching-moundHow many Perfect Game profiles do we have to see with a 5-10mph difference from the outfield to the mound before pitchers realize running throws do not correlate to the mound?

Pitchers stop wasting your time training with running throws. So, you can throw a 3oz baseball 90mph out of a dead sprint. Wow, should I be impressed? If that impresses you then how about this? I can throw a golf ball 147mph from a moving car. I mean honestly, when does this insanity stop? Running throws are fun and a confidence builder but not a drill that is going to transfer mechanics to the pitching mound.

I am tired of watching these pitching instructors post video online, titled 75-99mph in 2 months, of their guys recording velo with a 3oz baseballs and a full running start. Sense when did pitching become cricket bowling? It makes me wonder if these guys have ever pitched on a mound. Pitching on the mound is nothing like a running throw. I get the use of running throws to give the pitcher the feeling of accelerated momentum but it must be converted to the mound and building momentum from a run as opposed to a single leg drive is literally night and day.

In this article, I will continue to show you how ridiculous this practice of running throws to developing the high velocity pitcher is and I will also give you more hard facts that running throws do not correlate to ball speed on the pitching mound. Finally, I will give you the mechanics behind these two totally different type of throws and the science that proves their differences.

Perfect Proof Running Throws Do Not Correlate to the Mound

This is perfect proof that just because you throw 90mph with a running throw doesn’t mean you can throw 90 on the mound. For example, in one of the Perfect Game player profiles below the baseball player is 90mph in the outfield but only 82mph on the mound. If I put together a compilation of guys that have trained through the 3X Pitching Velocity Program who can top out at 82mph on the mound the video would be hours long.

This is only a sample of throwing velocities from the Outfield over 90mph who are also pitchers from the year 2013.

Another interesting perspective of how energy is transferred through the body differently between running to static movements is with high jumpers and standing vertical jumps. This excerpt is from the book called, The Sports Gene. It is a great book and is a recommended read.

In 2005, a year after he won the Olympic title, Holm earned a qualification of the perfect human projectile: he cleared 7’10.5″, equaling the record for the highest high-jump differential between the bar and the jumper’s own height……

Without a running start, Holm’s standing vertical jump hovered around twenty-eight inches, which is perfectly pedestrian for an athlete. But his blazing fast approach allowed him to slam down on his Achilles tendon, which would then act like a rebounding spring to propel him over the bar. When scientists examined Holm, they determined that his left Achilles tendon had hardened so much from his workout regimen that a force of 1.8 tons was needed to stretch it a single centimeter, about four times the stiffness of an average man’s Achilles, making it an unusually powerful launching mechanism (1).

28 inches is just over 2 feet. This is the Olympic high jumper Holm’s standing vertical jump height. He can jump over twice that high when he takes a running start when you calculate the jump based on his center of gravity which is at the height of the bar? The answer is the power of his achilles tendon to act as a launching pad. In a standing position he can not put the same force on his achilles. This is the same principles for running throws to static mound throws. If you can not generate the same force through your ankle in a static mound throw as in a running throw then you will potentially throw harder in a running through. This also means the mechanics between these two throws and even jumps is very different.

The Science Behind the Difference Between Running Throws and Mound Throws

The key mechanical difference between the running throws and the static mound throws is how the drive leg fires. In static mound pitching the predominate muscle activity is the calf muscle generating the momentum and leg power. In the position player running throw the predominate muscle activity of the drive leg is in the glute activity. The study believes the reason the glute activity is so much higher in the running throw than the static mound throw is because the glute in the running throw is stabilizing the hips due to the short stride and in the mound throw the more linear force vector of the front leg from the long stride is stabilizing the hips. This is important because a more stabile hip at front foot strike supports a more stable trunk and shoulder which will allow the body to multiply forces to the ball.

To learn more about these mechanical differences between position player throws and pitching throws read my article called, The Difference in Throwing Mechanics of Pitchers to Position Players. It also references all of the case studies.

3X Pitching and the Running Throws

3X Pitching never uses a running throw as a training tool for pitching mechanics or pitching velocity. We will radar pitchers in step throws for a confidence builder but the goal is increasing pitching velocity on a mound PEROID. In my experience most pitchers who spend too much time in a running throw does not understand how to accelerate momentum in a static throw. They want to be full throttle right out of the leg lift and a high velocity pitcher goes full throttle not until just before front foot strike. This is why we do not use running throws in the 3X Pitching Velocity Program. Instead we use drills that train a more explosive leg drive to generate elite leg power. To learn more about the 3X Pitching Velocity Program sign up for the FREE 3 Part Series on 30 Days to 5mph.

Reference:

  1. Epstein, David (2013-08-01). The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance (p. 27). Penguin Group US. Kindle Edition.
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