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View Full Version : Pitching Advice: Anybody here with pitching experience?


Gregory Pratt
08-12-2006, 12:28 AM
If anybody here at WSI has experience pitching, please step up. I'm an aspiring pitcher, going into my Senior Year of HS, and I hope to pitch in College.

My pluses? I can throw a very sharp breaking curveball (I learned it from watching Barry Zito's grip and watching Zito pitch).
I can change speeds very well, and throw good changeups.
I can keep my pitches down.

Negatives?
A lack of velocity on my fastball. I need some extra zip.
I don't have consistent mechanics or follow through.
Additionally, I have an overall weak arm, but I think that's due to a lack of muscle in my upper body.

About my velocity/throwing: I should start weightlifting, right? If so, what kind of regimen d'you recommend? I've got an overall weak upper body, nad a strong lower one. I intend to reinforce my legs and waist, but I need to strengthen my upper body because, as it stands, I might have ten, fifteen pounds of muscles up there, while I may have thirty to forty in my lower body.

I'm about five feet seven, 145 pounds.

And no, about velocity, don't recommend steroids! ;)

Advice given to me here I'd appreciate very much.
If anyone would care to take it further and meet with me at a park, I'd be okay with that, too, in principle, but all I ask is for some advice about the issues I've raised, and other advice, too.

SoxWillWin
08-12-2006, 01:46 AM
If anybody here at WSI has experience pitching, please step up. I'm an aspiring pitcher, going into my Senior Year of HS, and I hope to pitch in College.

My pluses? I can throw a very sharp breaking curveball (I learned it from watching Barry Zito's grip and watching Zito pitch).
I can change speeds very well, and throw good changeups.
I can keep my pitches down.

Negatives?
A lack of velocity on my fastball. I need some extra zip.
I don't have consistent mechanics or follow through.
Additionally, I have an overall weak arm, but I think that's due to a lack of muscle in my upper body.

About my velocity/throwing: I should start weightlifting, right? If so, what kind of regimen d'you recommend? I've got an overall weak upper body, nad a strong lower one. I intend to reinforce my legs and waist, but I need to strengthen my upper body because, as it stands, I might have ten, fifteen pounds of muscles up there, while I may have thirty to forty in my lower body.

I'm about five feet seven, 145 pounds.

And no, about velocity, don't recommend steroids! ;)

Advice given to me here I'd appreciate very much.
If anyone would care to take it further and meet with me at a park, I'd be okay with that, too, in principle, but all I ask is for some advice about the issues I've raised, and other advice, too.

it's hard to give advice without actually seeing your delivery, but don't go all muscle crazy. Technique and timing go a long way to increasing your velocity.

Your whole body generates the velocity, and where does it start....well what moves first. Your legs. You have to get good drive away from the rubber, thats where it starts. Also try to gain weight (the LEGAL WAY). The more mass you have behind the ball helps velocity.

Gregory Pratt
08-12-2006, 07:29 AM
it's hard to give advice without actually seeing your delivery, but don't go all muscle crazy. Technique and timing go a long way to increasing your velocity.

Your whole body generates the velocity, and where does it start....well what moves first. Your legs. You have to get good drive away from the rubber, thats where it starts. Also try to gain weight (the LEGAL WAY). The more mass you have behind the ball helps velocity.

Of course. I'd never do it illegally.

SoxWillWin
08-12-2006, 07:34 AM
Of course. I'd never do it illegally.

I wasn't implying that you would. it's just kind of a legal disclaimer....:D:

Vernam
08-12-2006, 08:02 AM
Play lots of long-toss catch to build your arm strength. Warm up by throwing from about 20 yards, then move back 10 yards at a time as your arm gets loose, until you're making what would be a fairly long throw from the outfield to home. Don't overdo it in any session -- better to do this frequently (a few times per day) than to make 50 throws from long distance all at once.

Coaches today at every level look for big bodies to pitch, so you may have that to overcome if you don't grow much more. But don't let it discourage you. Keep finding opportunities to pitch, no matter what league or pickup game. Control is what it's all about -- again, at every level. If you can make the ball go where you want and have two or three reliable pitches that vary in speed, you can get guys out.

Good luck!

Vernam

BigPapaPump
08-12-2006, 08:18 AM
Don't you have a coach or instructor to help you?

Ol' No. 2
08-12-2006, 09:15 AM
Pitching is not about velocity, it's about deception. There are plenty of major league pitchers who could barely break a pane of glass. Also, your body is nowhere near mature. You typically gain a fair amount of muscle mass between the ages of 18-22. Get with a good trainer who knows what he's doing. I've heard very good things about the staff at the Bull-Sox Academy in Lisle.

maurice
08-14-2006, 02:35 PM
I have an overall weak arm, but I think that's due to a lack of muscle in my upper body.

That's not likely to be the main reason. Excercises that simply add upper-body muscle are not going to increase your velocity. A more comprehensive strength-training program and better mechanics could help, but you'll need coaches.

Keep in mind that there is a limit to how many MPH you'll be able to add. You're not going to weight-lift your way to an additional 30 MPH. Most huge body builders can't throw any harder than you can.

CHIsoxNation
08-14-2006, 02:37 PM
Long Toss!

JohnTucker0814
08-14-2006, 02:55 PM
Muscle is not the answer! How many pitchers do you see that are as strong as hitters in their upper body. You should tone your upper body and keep your range of motion very FLEXIBLE.

You said that your mechanics are not right. That is the first thing I'd work on before I even think about throwing harder. If your not consistently throwing from the same arm angle, etc You probably won't succeed in college.

Work on flexibility with your upper body and play a lot of long toss. Do not lob the ball like a flyball to get the ball 50 yds. You need to play long toss and throw on a somewhat direct line. If the ball bounces 10 times to get there, so be it. Continue to do that and you will eventually be able to throw 50 yds on a line.

This is something that unfortunately you should have been doing since you were like 10 yrs old with the long toss.

Good luck, make sure to try every option for college... Div III does not give scholarships so look at NAIA schools.

Domeshot17
08-14-2006, 03:06 PM
Take this for what its worth, I was a pitcher in college for a few years, only 5'9, only threw 82, but had a coupe of no no's under my belt.

Few tips for you

(1) IF YOU ARE GOING TO LIFT, you want your muscle to LONG and not BIG. I recommend talking to your high school football coach, even if you dont play. They have work outs for Quartbacks, thats what I did, long muscles will add some velo, bulky ones may slow it down.

(2) as stated, LONG TOSS LONG TOSS LONG TOSS. IT will add velo and arm strength

(3) The biggest thing young pitchers forget, WORK OUT YOUR LEGS HARD. You look at the hardest throwers in baseball (kyle farnsworth great example) Legs are like TREE TRUNKS. You drive off your legs to throw, and leg strength can add velo fast. Work on your leg press, try to get it into the 400-500 range or more. MOVE INTO IT FLUIDLY THO, the last thing you want to do is try too much weight, and tear a muscle.

(4) If you want to play in college, email the coaches ( you can get the info off the college website). Unless you have to for grades, I dont recommend going the JUCO route, I have friends who did it to go D1 instead of D2, 4 years later Im graduating and their are looking for any school to play at, with hardly any college credits. If you have to go d2 or d3, do it, its baseball, d3 kids get drafted every year, and youll have fun. NAIA is GOOD TOO, D3 talk with coaches early, because they cant give scholarships, but you will find you might end up with ALOT of grant money

(5) Focus more on location then velocity. Keep changing speeds. Every good game I remember throwing, My changeup was working my fastball was locating and my curve was biting. I used to play this game, get a friend to catch you, preferably another pitcher. One of you crouches like a C and sets a target. You throw until you make his glove move, then he throws, the person who hit the most targets wins, the loser runs a mile, does 30 push ups, whatever.

(6) Run Run Run Run Run. If you throw say 75, but you have the endurance to throw 75 in the later innings, you are fine. If you throw 83, no endurance, and by inning 4 or 5 your throwing 68-70 and exhausted, its not good. Running Builds endurance and LEG STRENGTH

Fungo
08-14-2006, 03:24 PM
Long Toss!...and then, more Long toss. Best way to build up arm strength. Also, throw a lighter ball, like a tennis ball, but don't go overboard and overthrow. Throwing a lighter ball will add to arm speed and a good strength training program (throwing a weighted ball, rotator cuff exercises, long toss, etc.) will add to strength. I know it seem like a good idea to throw a weighted ball to increase velocity, but it is as useless for increasing speed as swinging a weighted bat. Swinging a wiffle ball bat will inprove bat speed, much like thowing a tennis ball. The fact is that you can't get faster by doing something slower.

Britt Burns
08-14-2006, 03:28 PM
In addition to all the great comments about improving your strength and velocity, I would stress one thing: Location, location, location. If you can paint the black on the high school level, or work up and in and then low and away in the same sequence-and more importantly, do it again consistently-you will be ahead of 95% of the hitters you will face. And not just your fastball, but any other pitches you throw.

good luck!

daveeym
08-14-2006, 03:42 PM
If anybody here at WSI has experience pitching, please step up. I'm an aspiring pitcher, going into my Senior Year of HS, and I hope to pitch in College.

My pluses? I can throw a very sharp breaking curveball (I learned it from watching Barry Zito's grip and watching Zito pitch).
I can change speeds very well, and throw good changeups.
I can keep my pitches down.

Negatives?
A lack of velocity on my fastball. I need some extra zip.
I don't have consistent mechanics or follow through.
Additionally, I have an overall weak arm, but I think that's due to a lack of muscle in my upper body.

About my velocity/throwing: I should start weightlifting, right? If so, what kind of regimen d'you recommend? I've got an overall weak upper body, nad a strong lower one. I intend to reinforce my legs and waist, but I need to strengthen my upper body because, as it stands, I might have ten, fifteen pounds of muscles up there, while I may have thirty to forty in my lower body.

I'm about five feet seven, 145 pounds.

And no, about velocity, don't recommend steroids! ;)

Advice given to me here I'd appreciate very much.
If anyone would care to take it further and meet with me at a park, I'd be okay with that, too, in principle, but all I ask is for some advice about the issues I've raised, and other advice, too. I hate to do this but since your going to be a senior in high school I think you can handle it and this is probably what you can expect from any college coaches you may potentially contact.

I'm an aspiring pitcher, going into my Senior Year of HS, and I hope to pitch in College. This does not bode well without further information. Are you playing any competitive ball at all? Did you play for your high school team last year? Because right now it doesn't sound like it. So what have you been doing the last 3-5 years baseball wise? You're aspiring a bit late aren't you?


My pluses? I can throw a very sharp breaking curveball (I learned it from watching Barry Zito's grip and watching Zito pitch).
I can change speeds very well, and throw good changeups.
I can keep my pitches down.

Assuming you haven't been playing ball, learning a curveball from watching Barry Zito means your curve probably sucks. Changing speeds does not just entail a change in the radar gun alone but a change in the speed without changing your motion, mechanics, timing, etc. Also bouncing the ball in doesn't count as keeping your pitches down.

About my velocity/throwing: I should start weightlifting, right? If so, what kind of regimen d'you recommend? I've got an overall weak upper body, nad a strong lower one. I intend to reinforce my legs and waist, but I need to strengthen my upper body because, as it stands, I might have ten, fifteen pounds of muscles up there, while I may have thirty to forty in my lower body. This also indicates that you haven't played any competitive ball recently since it's all backwards except for the legs.

The advice previously given above by others is all sound advice but it all honesty you don't have the time to make any significant improvements to make your high school team next year.

Long toss is the most important of all the suggestions as it would help both your arm strength and bring together your motion/form naturally. If you expect to have any chance of playing next year you'd probably need to throw long toss 5 days a week and build up to at least 30 minutes of long toss a day before you should even consider working on your pitching.

This raises the next question of where are you going to throw over the winter? And who's going to throw with you? Since I'm assuming you're not already on your high school team and haven't played competive ball, I'm guessing you don't have anywhere to do this or anyone to do it with either?

I'm about five feet seven, 145 pounds. That's probably the least of your worries.

If you can give us a bit more info about what you've been doing both baseball and athletically wise the last 2-3 years we could probably help you out a lot better.

If my understanding of your situation is correct, I wouldn't get my hopes up if I were you. And If I'm correct, don't be that kid that tries out and thinks the coach hates him or is screwing him because, "Dude my friends say I have a wicked curveball like Zito," or "he's favoring all the guys already on the team." That then goes out and throws a fit on the field, gets into an argument with a coach at a tryout or becomes a pest. Because quite honestly I've seen that scenario happen 95% of the time with a "pitchers" background like yours.

Now if you realize it's a long shot and want to take a stab at trying out with your Zito curve by all means do it. But have fun, don't pout, and don't go about saying you're getting hosed. You'll have fun at the tryout, will know you at least tried and if by some chance this Zito curve is as good as you think it is, a good attitude with a lot of hustle during a tryout will give you a better chance at making the team than the curve alone. Then you'll have a coach that can really help you out with your pitching.

Now if you've actually been playing letting us know how often you throw, how you throw (long toss, bullpens), and how fast you estimate your throwing is we could give you some better suggestions.

koz
08-14-2006, 03:51 PM
Develop a game plan to attack the hitters. Really start paying attention to White Sox pitchers how they pitch during the game. Strike one is of the utmost importance and learn to set up hitters with any offspeed pitches. Think Maddux or I guess Freddy Garcia now. If you do not have pure talent the only way College coaches will notice you will be by your attitude, stats and baseball I.Q. Good Luck

Domeshot17
08-14-2006, 03:59 PM
the biggest thing ontop of everything we all have mentioned is work your tail off. I had a guy on my college team, he came to school to play golf, golf program got cut and he walked onto the baseball team. He wasnt that good at first, only played 2 years of highschool and town league. But he worked and worked and worked, his senior year, he was a captain, hit over 400, just a true story of how hard work can pay off.

Daver
08-14-2006, 04:15 PM
Throw everyday, on flat ground.

No wind up, just throw, start at twenty feet and throw twenty five from that distance, and increase it ten feet every twenty five throws until you throw twenty five from about 70 feet. After a year of this, there will be a noticable difference in both armstrength and stamina, and will help tone your elbow and shoulder muscles for pitching, which is a motion the human body was not designed for.

Now you are ready to find a pitching instructor that can teach you mechanics.

FedEx227
08-14-2006, 10:08 PM
Assuming you haven't been playing ball, learning a curveball from watching Barry Zito means your curve probably sucks.

Um... Barry Zito has an amazing curveball, not sure if you've ever watched him pitch. It's not change of speeds but the absolute insane drop he puts on it because he throws it from such a high angle.

What I would recommend (I'm not a pitcher but my friend is) as other people said: long toss all the time, throw as much as you can without over-doing it, while on your knees do some throwing as well helps build up arms.

If you're going to weight-lift take it pretty easy on actually building muscle, and work more on toning your arms and reducing your body fat, etc. As for the legs, the more muscle the better in that category. Calf raises, leg curls, squats, lunges are all great options there.

daveeym
08-15-2006, 10:45 AM
Um... Barry Zito has an amazing curveball, not sure if you've ever watched him pitch. It's not change of speeds but the absolute insane drop he puts on it because he throws it from such a high angle.

What I would recommend (I'm not a pitcher but my friend is) as other people said: long toss all the time, throw as much as you can without over-doing it, while on your knees do some throwing as well helps build up arms.

If you're going to weight-lift take it pretty easy on actually building muscle, and work more on toning your arms and reducing your body fat, etc. As for the legs, the more muscle the better in that category. Calf raises, leg curls, squats, lunges are all great options there. I highly doubt his curveball he learned from watching Zito is as good as Zito's.:rolleyes:

For the original poster now: since you said you're all over the place one of your major problems is your balance. Practice working on your balance by going through your windup and stopping when your front leg is raised to its high point. Hold that position for 3-5 seconds and repeat. If you can't do this it means your balance is way off and you're rushing through your motion which is going to effect your accuracy. When you feel comfortable doing this move on to doing this on a 2x4 laid on the ground.