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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Pitching Mechanics and Velocity

Pitching Mechanics and Velocity

By Nate Barnett

Can proper pitching mechanics help increase velocity? Absolutely!

First of all, mechanics are important for your overall health as a pitcher. There is no doubt that pitchers who have the best mechanics throw harder and last longer each outing; it also makes sense that their careers are typically longer than those pitchers who have poor mechanics. Why? They understand that energy has to be transferred correctly toward home plate. If not, they are more prone to arm injuries.

But, how do pitching mechanics effect velocity?

When a pitcher is mechanically efficient, he will throw with his entire body, from feet to fingertips, every part of their body functions properly as it moves in the right direction; toward home plate. Pitchers with mediocre pitching mechanics suffer the consequences of mediocre velocity because they rely too much on arm strength for speed. You may have heard that a pitcher get his power from his legs. Wrong! That is only a small piece of this mechanical puzzle we will talk about on this site.

Here are a couple things you can do to increase your velocity using proper pitching mechanics!

Lengthen your stride: How long should your stride be? As long as you can make it while maintaining proper balance toward home plate. Pitchers should strive to stride at least as long as they are tall; 100% of their height. The reasoning behind this is to take time and generate momentum to foot strike. The shorter your stride, the less momentum you have and that means it directly effects how hard you are going to throw.

Explode to Foot Strike: In order to throw faster you need to get to foot strike faster. Of course, you need to do this strategically with proper pitching mechanics; maintaining your balance. So many pitchers not only have a short stride, but they mosey on down the mound. Pick up the pace! You've got to speed up that weight transfer, while maintaining proper form and balance.

Nate Barnett is co-owner of The Pitching Academy.

After finishing a professional career in the Seattle Mariners Organization, Nate pursued his coaching and motivational training career. You can find The Pitching Academy's videos, blog, and more articles on pitching mechanics when you visit the website.

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Hello Baseball Friend,
I welcome any comments or suggestions. If you have a question or a topic that you would like to read about, please leave a comment and I will try to address that topic as soon as I can. Good luck in the coming season!
Have a great day, Nick