The ‘UGLY’ TRUTH About Velocity for Pitchers

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We have to be honest with ourselves. Velocity.
You either Have it in you or you Don’t…
There are a lot of products and services available nowadays that can teach you how to throw harder.  What they are doing is getting the most out of your ability.  
That comes through proper mechanics, functional strength training, nutrition and so on.   And its great!  The results are showing throughout the game, from High School all the way to the Show!


truth about velocity

The Truth About Velocity 
Several Things to Keep in Mind

If you are a 17 year old high school pitcher in these programs, of course your velocity will go up.  As you are reading this article right now, your body is maturing, and you are learning how to use it more.   Its also a natural progression.  You are finding muscles that you never knew you had before.  If you are a more matured pitcher (Age 20-22) who throws 84-85, you are not going to roll out of bed one day and be pumping 97.  It doesn’t work that way!

Where you have to be honest with yourself is:

 -Can you PITCH at higher velocities?
 -Can you consistently command your fastball at your peak velocity?  

A lot of Major Leaguer pitchers, more so starters, will admit that they can touch 98-100.  However, they know that they can’t pitch at 98-100.  They know they are most effective at 92-94.  It’s still bringing it, YES! They rely more on location, movement, and change of speeds at the more comfortable velocity.

This is why you have to be honest with yourself.  Can you sustain repeating your delivery at a max effort, or will your body break down?  Pitching is not just a one shot, Do or Die deal.  You owe it to your career, your coaches, and your teammates to think in terms of a SEASON.

…Let’s not forget about the Tommy John epidemic.

Also, are you able to locate your secondary pitches?  Can you change speeds to be effective?  


The Truth About Velocity
What Compliments Velocity?

If you can’t do either if the 2 that I just mentioned, velocity serves little purpose.  
In the world of college showcases nowadays, where the radar gun is king, as young pitchers are airing it all out in front of coaches, in December, of all times, looking for a scholarship.  So if you have to dig deep inside you to make 15 pitches in an out of body way, to push up the velo that does not exist for you and impress a coach from the Miami’s and LSU’s of the world, how long do you plan to be able to keep that up?

Plus, it doesnt take a genius of a coach to know when a pitcher is over throwing.  That is rather obvious.

This Brings Me to My Next Point…

When I pitched in the Independent leagues, so many teams were obsessed with getting flame throwers.  That’s who was mainly signed at the tryout camps.  The best hard throwers at this talent level and age group are in affiliated ball with MLB organizations.  Many of the hard throwers signed in the beginning of the Indy ball seasons were released within the first half of the season because they couldnt get any one out or didn’t find the strike zone much.  Some were even released in the first week of the season.  Walk rates were astronomical.

The managers were fed up with it.  And can you blame them?  You can’t win ball games when you are giving out free passes.

So then the Indy ball teams came a calling for pitchers who could throw strikes and get hitters out.  They even admitted they were willing to settle for 85-88 as long as it was a strike thrower.  This was to get a job in Professional Baseball!

The Truth About Velocity
What You Need to Acknowledge

Velocity can take you to tremendous heights as a pitcher and seperate you from the competition.  There is no denying that.  Just remember, You either have it in you or you Don’t.  It is important to know your value as a pitcher.  If you have velocity, go right at hitters with it.  Air it out! Show it off!  Have fun doing it!  If you lack velocity, you will still be an effective pitcher and get alot of great hitters out with command, movement and change of speeds.  Many pitchers in Cooperstown made a career out of pitching this way.  They knew their value and perfected their craft around the tools with which they were working.  

Keep Dominating!!!

Truth About Velocity

About the Author

Brad Kirsch Slider DominationBrad Kirsch is the Owner/Creator of Slider Domination. He is a former professional pitcher who blogs about all things Pitching. Brad has also authored the AudioBook, 7 Reasons Why YOU Should Throw a Slider. If you haven’t done so already, you can Download the AudioBook Here



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