Prior to the start of the off-season we always assess every pitcher’s mechanics and pitching velocity. We feel that this can give the athlete a good idea of the progress that was made during the off-season. In regards to velocity, many often see the same velocity at the end of the program as in the beginning, causing slight looks of panic among the mortals.
No worries, as this is a normal progression into the pre-season. So much so that I’ve decided to write a quick blog on 5 reasons why the “gun doesn’t stun” in February and pitching velocity gains have shown up yet.
1. External Rotation Increases as Regular Throwing Begins
The more we throw, the more of a stretch we get into the lay back position. This enables us to produce more “gas” in the delivery. As the spring gets rolling with tryouts and more regular daily throwing our ER increases. It’s as simple as that.
2. Warmer Weather
Around late April/early May the rise in temperature combined with in-season training (click here) allows the muscles to relax and increase our range of motion, not only helping the arm to move quicker but decelerate more effectively as well.
3. Adrenaline Rush of Live Batters
Nothing compares to throwing to a live human being in a real game situation. The art of competition at its finest!!
4. Off-Season Adjustments to Pitching Mechanics
Adjustments in mechanics that we put into effect during the off-season begin to take hold mentally as well as physically once motor patterns are repeated frequently enough.
5. Off-season Strength Gains Get Applied
Seeing our weight go up on the bar as our muscle mass increases is great while in the gym but watching our pitching velocity go up and batters sit down is even better. This happens once strength gains are transferred into baseball specific movements.
Based on our experience in previous seasons, players can expect jumps in pitching velocity anywhere from early April to mid-May depending on these 5 factors. Also just as important, don’t forget that keeping yourself finely tuned by continuing to train during the season will help keep you strong and reduce the risk of injury.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to increase velocity during the next off-season, here are 10 suggestions you may want to consider for the weight room.
See ya’ in the gym…
By Nunzio Signore (BA, CSCS, CPT, NASM, FMS)
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