To pitch consistently, one requires the correct fundamentals. But most importantly, each throw needs to have a lot of heat. It must zip across home plate fast enough to freeze your opponent and disorient them – just enough to mistime their swing.
In today’s article, we’ll be discussing some ways how you can add more power when flinging baseballs. So whether you’re a beginner or seasoned professional, these tips should help add more effectivity when stepping up to the mound.
Tip 1 – Practice the Proper Technique
The first thing you need to learn is how to grip a baseball correctly.
Hold it with two fingers at the top, ideally with your middle and pointer, while your thumb supports the bottom. Use the seams as a guide. Get comfortable because your hand will be in this position a lot.
After you’ve mastered that, it’s now time to work on your body’s posture. Begin by making sure your spine and back as straight as possible. Wear a brace or compression shirt if needed.
Bend your knees ever so slightly, too, and keep your hands close to the chest. This should focus your center of gravity, helping you deliver more power and accuracy with every throw.
Then, as you are preparing to throw, take a powerful step forward by planting your non-dominant foot firmly on the ground. Push back using your other leg, square your arm in a 90-degree angle, and just let it rip.
Of course, don’t forget to follow through. It not only completes the motion but also keeps you balanced and helps guide the direction of the ball.
Continue this method, making sure to add more power with each rep. As time passes, you’ll begin realizing that your pitch is gaining strength – and gaining more consistency – by the day.
Tip 2 – Doing the Right Drills
Aside from practicing the proper technique, certain drills can also help you throw harder. Here are a few examples of them.
- Playing Catch – What may seem like your average pastime is a great way to build arm strength and develop the proper fundamentals.Begin by asking a friend, teammate, or coach to be your partner. You’ll need two able-bodied people to make this drill work. Then, make sure there’s ample distance between you both. Four meters should be a good start, but feel free to change things up, depending on your comfort level.Then, simply toss the ball to your partner and back for several reps at a time. Focus on getting the basic technique mastered, which includes everything we discussed in the previous section. Gradually add power, too, and move further from your partner as possible.
- Sit Drives – Very similar to playing catch, a sit drive is a variation where the pitcher starts in a sitting position. Use a stool, a wooden stump, or overturn a large bucket, and place it on the pitching mound. Afterward, take a seat on it.This drill will require you to move from that to standing position in one swoop. Kick off with your legs, push back, and fling the ball as hard as you can. Make sure to draw power from your lower limbs, gradually moving it up until it reaches the arms.Throwing a baseball should be like this, anyway. But this drill will help strengthen your legs and make the transfer of energy so much more efficient.
- The Reverse Throw – Tossing harder isn’t just about the forward swing, but the backward motion and follow-through as well. Our next drill will surely help you improve this aspect further.Use a weighted ball and get down on one knee. However, instead of flinging the ball to the front, lunge forward and sling it rearwards. You should feel a slight burning sensation in your shoulder area, which is good. This means your deceleration muscles there are slowly getting stronger.
Tip 3 – Do These Gym Exercises
As a supplement to making your body feel right, try out these five simple exercises. Not only will they make it stronger, but also more capable of handling rigors on a baseball field. It lessens the risk of you getting injured, too.
- Bicep Curls – More muscular biceps have a direct impact on one’s ability to throw harder. And this first exercise will ensure that.Curls are perhaps the most iconic and widely used activity on our list. It requires you to hold to a pair of dumbells with your forearms facing out. Then, slowly move them closer to your body. Repeat this ten times in sets of three, every other day for a month.Over time, this exercise will help increase your arm strength, which comes in handy when pitching or throwing. Needless to say, you have to make this a priority.
- Block Deadlifts – Another part of the body that requires proper conditioning is your core. It plays an essential role when transferring power from the legs to the arms. A firm torso likewise helps keep your spine aligned and free from any potentially devastating injuries.Block deadlifts are a variation where the barbell is resting on either a wooden plank or rubber mat. Grab it with your forearms facing inward and simply lift the weights until it reaches your hips.Make sure your knees are bending as little as possible, too. This is a good sign that you’re doing it correctly.
Repeat this exercise once or twice every week for optimum results. In time, you’ll notice how your arms, legs, wrists, and abs are all more capable of throwing the ball further and with less effort.
- Medicine Ball Throw – If you can hurl around a 13-inch ball that’s 10-lbs heavy, then pitching a baseball will be close to effortless.Grab a medicine ball and simply bounce it across a wall by your side. Of course, with every catch, be sure to catch it with open arms. This way, you’re not just getting better built, but sharpening your hand-eye coordination as well.As you do this exercise, exert more and more power with each throw or move further away from the structure. You can buy a heftier medicine ball, too, for an even harsher workout.
- Gravity Box Jumps – Our next exercise is incredibly simple and can be done anywhere. All you need is a box or bucket that’s sturdy enough to sit on. Place it on the ground with the flat side facing up.Gravity box jumps are pretty straightforward. Begin in a seated position before bringing your arms back and exploding off the ground on one foot. Kick the other leg up, too, to complete the motion.Execute ten to twelve reps each set, alternating between your right and left foot. This is designed to enhance the power in your lower body while building solid muscles down there also.
- Broad and Lateral Jumps – Like what we’ve mentioned several times earlier, the power of each pitch must come from the legs. And our next exercise can certainly heighten that.Broad jumps – whether forward, backward, or side to side – are intended to strengthen your legs, knees, and feet. Just be sure you lunge as far as possible while remembering to land lightly and in an athletic position.Mix things up by doing broad and lateral jumps in varying directions.
Ultimately, one’s ability to throw a baseball harder relies on two things: building your muscles in key areas of the body and developing the proper technique. A mastery of both will surely lead to positive results. So just follow the drills, exercises, and form we discussed, and you should be striking out your opponents in no time.
My name is David Farnum and I’ve been a Little League Coach in my community for the past 7 years. With 2 boys playing baseball and 1 girl playing softball, most weekends I can be found near a baseball diamond.