So this is something I see a lot…

Pitchers and coaches using perfectly good drills… but performing them in a way that only further ingrains bad habits. Making the pitcher stiff, overly linear, and robbing him of rotational power.

See, that drive to the plate – that powerful move down the mound – is important… But it’s all for naught if you don’t convert that to rotational power at foot plant. It’s why you see the game’s best, the elite of the elite, doing one thing exceptionally well.
[h5]Getting Over and Around Their Front Leg/Hip[/h5] Pitching-Mechanics-Hips

Because after all… Pitchers are ROTATIONAL Athletes…

Just ask Jake Arietta…

Arrieta HomeRUn
(Estimated roughly 442 ft. MOON-shot…)

arrieta front view
Above gif courtesy of Rob Friedman (aka @PitchingNinja)

He’s got a great DropBox library of pitching mechanics clips – well worth checking out.

Anyway, I could go on… but instead I thought I’d share a video. This one comes straight from the BetterPitching Academy video lessons vault (it’s the paid members-only pitching site where I share what’s working right now with my pitchers). In it you’ll see exactly how I modify two very popular pitching drills to ensure a pitcher maximizes momentum and rotational power.

Yep, I’m giving you a complete sneak peak… because good drills done bad are ruining way too many young pitchers out there… But I won’t be keeping this video up forever.

So do me a favor:

  • Click Play…
  • Check it out… And if you like it…
  • Hit one of those buttons below to share it with other pitchers/parents/coaches who could benefit.

Front-Hip-Video

This video is no longer available – to learn more visit BetterPitchingAcademy.com

[h3]Limited Time BetterPitching Academy Discount[/h3]

Finally, I’ve got a special thank you for being part of the BetterPitching community…

For the next 5 days you can become a BetterPitching Academy member for 70% OFF.

Just use promo code BPA-HIPS at checkout. There’s over 3.5 hours of cutting edge (but practical) pitching information waiting inside. Click below to learn more.

Discount/Promo Has Expired

BPA-header

Until next time…

Committed to Your Pitching Success,

Phil

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…”

I get asked this question a lot. Looking through my email inbox, seems everyone (pitchers, parents, coaches) wants to know the secrets to increasing velocity.

“How do I help my pitcher, my son (whatever the case might be) throw harder so he can compete against tougher competition.

And as I was about to set on putting together a new in-depth blog post on the subject, a thought came to me.

What if, instead of the typical email or blog post, I did something different?

What if I just took out my phone, pressed “record” and just started talking…

What if I walked you through the process of creating your own velocity program, step by step, the same way I would if you were right here with me?

Sound good? Great. Then you’ll love this

But FIRST – important note. I do NOT endorse “velocity programs” for young pitchers. 

This isn’t for pitchers 10, 11, 12 years old… Kids should develop a sound foundation, learn to love the game, develop as athletes, and be allowed to grow into their own velocity potential (learning the basics in the 5 Power Moves is a good place to start, incidentally).

That said, if a pitcher wants to play and compete at the next level, there’s no denying this fact… Velocity matters. And the vast majority of amateur pitchers are leaving MPHs in the tank.

So let’s get right to it. Take a listen:

Okay, the question is, “How do I get a young pitcher to increase velocity – how do I help him increase his velocity? He can already throw strikes pretty well but he doesn’t throw particularly hard, and I feel like if I could just get him to throw harder and help him throw with more velocity, he’d be a whole lot more effective because he can already do that other part of it.”

It’s a very good question, and a very difficult question to answer because, without actually seeing that pitcher, it’s tough to pinpoint it to one particular thing… Because yes, mechanics are definitely a big part of maximizing velocity… but while mechanics are important it’s tough to say what does THIS individual pitcher need to work on without actually seeing him pitch.

[h4]STEP ONE: Get a Baseline (Take Video and Get a Radar Reading)[/h4]

Let’s say a pitcher is working with me who really wants to get from 73 MPH to 80+ MPH. So we sit down and talk it over

“Okay, now let’s set a plan to help you increase velocity by 5, 10, 12 miles an hour,”

Whatever it might be. The first thing I would always start off with is getting that initial video analysis. Doing a full breakdown of his mechanics. Being able to SEE it on video is key because you can really slow it down and see what’s going on in his motion.

Motion-Analysis-Setup

[h5]From there you can ASSESS…[/h5]

What does he most need to work on right now. Because most pitchers, especially most young pitchers, are leaking power somewhere in their pitching delivery. You can usually get 3 to 5 miles an hour with one or two adjustments in their pitching motion but to make a blanket statement like, “Well, he needs to get his legs into his delivery more,” you’d have to look at that pitcher and see what is he doing right now. Then we can set a plan and say, “Okay, based on how you’re currently moving, here’s some things you can do right now… You’re losing some power here. Here are some key areas that we could focus on.”

Together with that video analysis, another thing that’ll be important if the goal is to increase velocity is to get that baseline velocity reading…

(The Pocket Radar is a great option if you’re looking for a highly accurate radar gun that won’t set you back $1,000).

80-Knocking-on-the-door

Where is he at now in terms of his velocity? Get that on record. Get a radar reading of his current velocity so you know what his current velocity is, his current max velocity. So you can say,

“Okay, right now he’s throwing 79 MPH. The goal is to get to 85.”

Now he knows what he’s starting at and he knows what he can shoot for.

Then when looking at the video you can say,

“Okay, clearly he’s not getting his body into it as well as he could so getting to that 85 mile an hour mark is very realistic,” or

“Right now his mechanics look great, he’s just throwing 75 so maybe there’s some other part of it that is leading to it.”

Maybe it’s a strength issue, maybe it’s a power and mobility issue, maybe he needs to get more explosive as an athlete, maybe he’s just undersized and needs to add some mass and add some weight to get more momentum and power moving down the mound…

All these things come into play, but the first step is always getting that baseline. Doing that motion analysis to look at his delivery, look at his mechanics essentially and see where there might be some energy leaks, some power leaks. Then getting that radar reading so you know where he’s currently at.

 

Stay Tuned for STEP 2 in this 5 Part “build your own velocity program” series… where you’ll learn two ways to gain velocity before you ever set foot on the mound.

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