Throwing hard is a very important skill for pitchers at all levels of baseball and softball. While you can still get outs without much velocity, it is a lot easier to get away with mistake pitches when you are throwing hard. The batter simply has less time to recognize the pitch and react when it gets to the plate in a hurry. Luckily, it is fairly easy to train yourself to throw harder. These are the three best ways to increase pitching velocity.
Take Time Off
The body is not built to withstand the violent motion of throwing a baseball at high speeds on the top of a mound. Every pitch puts pressure on the arm, shoulder, elbow, and hips. If these body parts are overused, then they will gradually weaken over time. This will cause you to see a severe drop in your velocity. The only way to increase your throwing speed is by keeping your body healthy. An easy way to do this is by avoiding the pitching mound for several weeks every offseason. It is still important to keep the arm loose during the offseason, so lightly toss a ball on the flat ground every few days.
Gain Muscle and Strengthen Body
There is a direct correlation between body mass and pitching velocity. The body is just naturally going to be able to throw a ball harder when you have more muscle. Since most of your velocity is derived from the legs, it is important to work on creating a stronger lower half of the body. You want this to be lean muscle mass to stay athletic and prevent unwanted injuries. It is also important to gradually gain this muscle over a long period of time. Quickly gaining mass will completely throw off your pitching motion.
Develop Better Mechanics
Throwing a ball requires a lot of body movements. Streamlining and perfecting these movements will lead to increased pitching velocity. It is even more important to work on pitching mechanics for softball pitchers” because it is harder for them to gain velocity through strength training. Focus on increasing the power derived from your push off the mound. You will also want to make sure your landing leg is touching down in the same spot on every pitch.