Okay, so let’s pick up where we left off…

Step TWO in my no-nonsense, step-by-step guide to building your personal “velocity program.”

So in Step ONE, we addressed the importance of getting those baseline readings… Tough to get where you wanna go if you don’t know where you’re starting from.

What’s that, you missed that post? Read it here: Step One for Building Your Velocity Program: Get A Baseline

As you know from that first post, this 5-Part series is an audio-post series where you’ll actually hear me walking you through this process, step by step, the same way I would if you were one of pitchers here in CT, or one of my remote coaching clients.

[h2]Step TWO: Drill Work, Dry Work and Having a Goal[/h2]

Okay, so let’s assume you’ve completed step one. You’ve done your motion analysis. You’ve gotten that initial radar reading…

The next step, once you’ve identified the key areas that need to be addressed in terms of mechanics, is setting up a plan… What will you do to actually develop more powerful movements in your pitching delivery? Now that starts with understanding how big league pitchers move because there’s not just this one set of big league pitching mechanics. It’s something I’ve said many times before:

[h5]There’s no one set of “perfect pitching mechanics”[/h5]

But if you look at all hard throwing big league pitchers, there are certain things they all do within their pitching deliveries, and those are the things that you want to borrow and bring into your own delivery if you’re a young pitcher. If you’re aspiring to get to that level… If you want to maximize velocity in your delivery.

high-velocity-pitching-mechanics

It’s recognizing, “What key areas is he missing? What are some ways that he can work on developing those movements in his delivery?” Now I’ve got a system of drills I like to use based on what that pitcher needs to work on…

  • Whether it’s to get his lower half into his delivery
  • Whether he needs to learn how to engage his back leg more
  • Whether he needs to work on better early weight shift in his delivery to get his body moving down the mound more powerfully
  • He might not be firming up as well as he could with his front leg in his finish
  • Maybe he’s getting sloppy in his finish and leaking out power or his flying open with his glove side

Alright, so all those things are important in understanding what are the key things he can work on to maximize power, and then giving him some specific drills to work on getting the feel for those movements and essentially blending that in with his full pitching delivery so it starts to become natural… And that really happens through time and repetition.

Time… and repetition. And dogged determination. There’s no substitute for it.

Okay, so that’s the next step – Once that pitcher knows what to work on and has a plan:

“Here are the drills to work on these things and here’s what you want to focus on in your delivery…”

At that point, you want to break it down:

“You’ve got to do X-amount of reps on daily basis of your delivery.”

Dry runs getting comfortable with these movements, getting in front of a mirror and working on it… Just working on the motion every single day for that first week or two.

mirror-work2

So that’s a question I get asked… How often do I need to work on my motion?

Well, at this stage… the only honest answer I can give is “every day.”

That’s probably the biggest key at this stage, that consistency. Because think about it – that pitcher has to replace a lot of old muscle memory, old motor programming, old ways of moving. And reprogramming those movements and that happens through repetition…

[h4]Key Ingredients: FOCUS, AWARENESS and a sense of URGENCY[/h4]

And it’s not just mindless repetition, but repetition with FOCUS… with concentration… with a sense of urgency… That really is key, that sense of urgency in your mind… that this is something that’s really important to you.

Alright, so having that goal is key.

And that’s something I should have mentioned, too… probably the FIRST thing I would say is once you know that baseline, set your goal…

“Alright. I throw 75 miles per hour right now…”

My goal then might be:

“Within a month, or within a month and a half, or two months, I want to get up to 80 MPH.”

Well, put that down on paper.

Have that goal concrete in your mind.

Have that crystallized vision of that goal, of that radar gun reading 80 MPH – BOOM! – in your mind with a particular date and understand WHY that’s important to you.

Is it to be you know to get on the radar of college coach?

Is it to take your game to another level?

Is it because it’s going to be a stepping stone, that I know from there once I get to 80 MPH I’m going to be able to get to 85 and keep that momentum going and then reach a dream of pitching in college or the pros or whatever it might be so that is a very critical step.

Write it down. Make a very concrete reminder… This is WHAT I want to do and this is WHY I want to do it.

[h4]And Finally, a Bonus Goal-Setting Trick[/h4]

Here’s a cool little tool for making that goal concrete (this is a great habit to get into, and it goes way beyond any “velocity” goal). There’s an online tool you can use called IFTTT (if this, then that), and you can use this to actually send yourself a text message every day direct to your phone, reminding of your goal, and more importantly, your WHY for achieving it (this is an excerpt from a video I shared with one of my remote coaching clients last summer).

Okay, that’s all for this installment… Stay tuned for the next step in this 5-Part audio series…

“The Missing Link…”

As the year draws to a close, it’s always a good time to reflect, assess, and set some meaningful goals. And I’ve written before about the importance of setting goals, being self-motivated and dreaming big. And dreams and goals are important, no doubt about it. But here’s the thing:

[h3]Goals without Action are meaningless…[/h3]  
See, once you have those goals, then it’s about having a plan and taking the necessary action to make those goals and dreams a reality.

[circle_list] [list_item]Maybe your goal is to gain velocity this off-season. How do you plan on doing that?[/list_item] [list_item]Maybe you want to develop a more dynamic, consistent pitching delivery…[/list_item] [list_item]Maybe your goal is to get bigger and stronger…[/list_item] [list_item]Maybe you want to improve your fastball command…
[/list_item] [list_item]Gain a better feel for your off-speed pitches…[/list_item] [list_item]Or maybe it’s adding a new pitch to your arsenal (and getting that pitch game-ready by next season).[/list_item] [/circle_list] [h4]In some ways these things are all linked[/h4]  
A powerful, well-synchronized pitching delivery is a great start for maximizing velocity. But once you have that foundation, getting stronger and more explosive will help you put more force into the ground (and throw harder). A well constructed strength program will also address mobility issues, helping you move better, again improving consistency and velocity.

[h4]But in other ways your training needs to be specific[/h4]  
Just developing “good mechanics” doesn’t guarantee you’ll throw harder. Your training should be tailored to meet the desired end result. If velocity is the goal, you need to work towards that specific goal.

Follow a consistent throwing program. Set benchmarks. Track your progress.

If you want to improve your fastball command, again mechanics play a role, but there’s no substitute for time spent throwing to a target. And it’s not just “throwing strikes.” Work on throwing to a location. Break the strike zone up into quadrants. Spread it out and work on hitting spots off the plate. Up and down, in and out. If you get good at hitting targets outside the zone, you’ll improve your feel and your ability to hit your spots in the zone.

[h5]And let’s say you want to add a new pitch by next season.[/h5]

Curveball-Video-Training
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Of course learning HOW to throw the pitch is important. But do you have an actual plan for developing it? Or are you just winging it…

For example, one of my high school pitchers is working on adding a good curveball by the spring season (he’s already got a good fastball/changeup combo). And a good curveball is a nasty pitch, but it can also be one of the toughest pitches to master. It takes time, patience and a solid plan of attack.

So he’s using this time of year to work on getting the feel for the pitch while keeping his throwing very light. He’s doing a lot of drill work and getting used to throwing with the right hand and wrist position so he’s getting the right spin on the ball. Then with that feel locked in, he’ll be able to hit the ground running in January and February as he starts gearing up for the season.

And it’s a process, but that good curveball is starting to take shape, and I have no doubt he’ll have that nasty hammer in his toolbox for attacking hitters next season. And a lot of what he learns in this process are things he’ll be able to use later for working on developing any pitch.

[h4]Dream big. Set goals. Take action.[/h4] [hr] PS – if you’re interested in the exact process you can use for developing a nasty Curveball, stay tuned… I’ve got something special coming soon that you won’t want to miss.

In the meantime, click here to get your free Training Videos: CurveballMastery.com/video-series