Using correct pitching mechanics is vital to your long-term pitching success. Although many pitchers throw differently, a few mechanical principals remain the same with most Major League pitchers; especially starting pitchers. Here are a few pitching tips that will help you increase velocity as well as improve your accuracy if implemented correctly:
- Maintain Your Balance: After you establish correct balance and posture from the stretch or windup, you want to ensure that all of your energy is going in the right direction; that is toward home plate. Keep your balanced posture all the way to foot strike without pulling your lead elbow. This ensures more momentum (less movement away from the direction of the throw) and accuracy.
- Lead With Your Hips: Explode to foot strike leading with your hips. When you lift your leg, make sure your hips lead the way instead of your front shoulder. Leading with your hips helps create more momentum which leads to more velocity.
- Long Stride: Take a good stride. Try to stride as far as possible in a controlled manner; without jumping. Pitchers should aim to stride up to 100% of their height. This, of course, depends on their strength and flexibility. You want to make sure you can rotate your hips aggressively after foot strike; proper hip rotation will add MPH. If your stride is too long, you won’t be able to rotate properly. Just make sure you don’t cheat yourself with a short stride. Continue to work on your flexibility, core strength exercises, elastic band work, light dumbbell work etc. to keep up with the demands pitching requires. Remember, you are only as strong as your weakest link.
- Keep Your Head Centered: When you explode to foot strike, make sure that your head remains over your center of gravity which is your belly button. Often times when pitchers try to create a lot of momentum they lean forward or too far back losing their balance. Without balance you lack control and could place undue stress on your throwing arm.
Good Luck and Play Ball!