The most common phrase I hear from players and parents is, “I want more velocity.” Who doesn't it? If it was easy to throw 90mph+, then everyone would pitch. There are a few ways to help increase velocity on the mound, but you also have to be realistic. It’s not realistic to go from 80mph to 90mph in 6 months. However, it is realistic to gain a few miles per hour within that time frame. It really depends on the athlete and the instruction that’s being received. Remember, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to make yourself physically stronger.
Here are some things that should be done every week to help increase your velocity:
Core work/Strength Program – 3-4 times per week. Some people think of just doing a lot of sit-ups because they think of “abs” when they hear “core work.” The truth is the core is basically from below your chest to mid-thigh. Your stomach, obliques, back, hips, glutes, etc. These are all areas that need to be strengthened in order to allow your body to throw harder. The problem is most people neglect their entire core which is wrong. Training the body to become stronger is as important as perfecting mechanics and taking care of the arm.
Band work – Arm bands are very important and should be done daily. Bands help strengthen the tiny muscles in the arm and help getting the arm warm. It’s important to have a good band routine and making sure you’re doing it the right way.
Instruction – If able, it’s important to work with a pitching instructor. In today’s baseball climate, most people receive some type of instruction. Now not everyone throws the same way and certain things work for one versus the other. This is why you want to get yourself in front of someone who has pitching experience at a higher level. Learning how to use the lower half and getting the body to work together in order to help generate some velocity is very important.
Long toss – Should be done 2-3 times per week. The key here is to create arm strength and stamina. You want to challenge yourself to see how far you can throw the ball and transfer that to the mound.
Velocity programs – There are a few programs out there that help the athlete understand how to generate velocity. I think every little bit helps, and you can always take away at least one useful tip from any program you go to.
Remember, gaining velocity will take years to attain. As with most things in life, there is no “quick fix” and dedication is required. I can guarantee that if you do the things listed above consistently for one year, you will see an increase in your velocity. But remember, it will not be one month or two months. Do not get discouraged if you work hard for three months, and don’t see the results you want. That means you have to keep grinding away. If you put the work and the time in, you will achieve results.