Many coaches believe that throwing strikes is more important than increasing velocity and that the two can’t be trained at the same time. I disagree. I believe that training both are equally important and can be trained at the same time. Sometimes it comes down to increasing the efficiency of an athlete’s throwing motion, so that their body works more in sync.
When you talk about a powerful and consistent throw, you have to start with setting up a strong and direct driveline to the plate. In other words, a stable stride pattern is one of the most important pieces of the puzzle. Without it, there is potential for a tremendous amount of leakage. A great stride can help improve many of the issues we may see later in the delivery, enabling us to create a higher level throw with a higher velocity ceiling. Some of these issues are:
Landing Open/Closed – Landing “in the lane” as I call it, helps set up the rest of the delivery by stabilizing the trunk efficiently and allowing us to center our rotation, giving us a more stable platform and optimal trunk position to throw from. This leads to less erratic and inconsistent throwing positions.
Extension at Release – By achieving good extension in the back leg combined with a strong stable front leg, we are more able to support the upper body further out over the front side at ball release, resulting in a greater “perceived velocity”.
Better Deceleration Pattern – When the body stops rotating, the arm keeps going. A strong stable front leg will allow for continued rotation of the trunk around the front hip giving the body more time to decelerate, avoiding a slam or bang to the posterior shoulder.
Stay tuned for Part 2 where we’ll look at some more before and afters, as well as show you some of the things you can do in the weight room to help.
See ya’ in the gym…
By Nunzio Signore (BA, CSCS, CPT, NASM, FMS)