When I meet parents and ask how their son (pitcher) is doing, their typical response is, “Great, he it 88 on the radar gun yesterday. My initial response is, “Can I see the radar gun?” Followed by, 1.”How is his fastball command,” and 2. ’Does your son throw a change up?” They most often respond with a confused look.
In a world where glitz and sizzle sell, the message to youth pitchers is that it’s all about velocity. Velocity dictates the scorecard, not the ability to master the most important tenets of pitching: Command, Movement and Change of Speed.
While Velocity may be appealing and what the market sells today, the ability to master the latter three tenets of pitching will in the long run separate you from the pack. Patience is a virtue, so trust the Process. As you develop physically so will your velocity, as long as you have established a solid foundation. I recognize “being patient” is not readily embraced in today’s culture, however Velocity should be and will be the product of a fundamentally sound learning and developmental Process.
Mastering the correct foundational technique/movement, will allow you to maximize your efforts and goals and importantly reduce the risk of injury.
When youth, high school and college pitchers, struggle with command, movement, change of speeds and velocity more often than not it is the result of utilizing a flawed throwing motion. Most commonly their motions result in:
- Poor use of the lower half resulting in little or no lower body energy.
- Poor timing
- Poor arm path increases the stress on the arm and increases the risk of arm injury
- “The body is not allowing the arm to do what the arm needs to do.”
Instead of focusing on the radar gun, I recommend implementing the following steps to utilize as part of your Developmental Process.
- Develop a fluid athletic throwing motion
- For young pitchers the focus is throwing strikes.
- Develop fastball command
- As you develop, expand your command from middle to in/out, high/low
- Develop change up command: both 2-0 and 1-2 counts
- Develop 2 seem fastball command: away/in for both RH/LH
- Develop curve ball command: 2-0 and 1-2 counts
- As you develop your pitching “Tool Box” you will expand your ability to Think the Game
Strength and Conditioning
- Develop fundamental strength to support an Athletic Throwing motion. Lower body focus to support the maximum use of the lower body throughout the motion.
- Remember you are a pitcher, not a football lineman or Olympic weightlifter
- Focus on Balance, Speed and Agility to allow you to stay athletic throughout the throwing motion
The Athletic Pitcher: Improving Arm Health, Improving Performance
“A Complete Guide to Pitching, all for the cost of a half hour pitching lesson.”
For more information and to view the benefits of developing an Athletic Throwing motion visit athleticpitcherseries.com