Written on May 11, 2012 at 9:33 am, by Eric Cressey
Everyone wants to improve pitching velocity, but unfortunately, the answer to the question of "how" is different for everyone. To that end, I pulled together a quick list of 101 strategies you can use to improve pitching velocity. They aren't the same for everyone, but chances are that at least a few of these will help you. I'd encourage you to print this off and highlight the areas in which you think you can improve.
1. Optimize mechanics (this could be 100 more ways in itself; I will leave it alone for now).
2. Gain weight (if skinny).
3. Lose weight (if fat).
4. Get taller (shorter throwers can’t create as much separation, and are further away from homeplate)
5. Get shorter (taller throwers have more energy leaks).
38. Change footwear (guys usually throw harder in cleats).
39. Throw less.
40. Throw more.
41. Pitch less.
42. Pitch more.
43. Politely ask your mom to stop yelling, “Super job, kiddo!” after every pitch you throw.
44. Do strength exercises outside the sagittal plane.
45. Take all the money you were going to blow on fall/winter showcases and instead devote it to books, DVDs, training, food, and charitable donations. If there is anything left over, blow it on lottery tickets and sketchy real estate ventures, both of which have a higher return-on-investment than showcases in the fall and winter.
46. Switch from a turf mound indoors to a dirt/clay mound outdoors.
51. Improve glute activation so that you can fully extend your hip in your delivery.
52. Stop thinking that the exact workout a big league pitcher uses is exactly what you need to do.
53. Subcategory of #52: Remove the phrase "But Tim Lincecum does it" from your vocabulary. You aren't Tim Lincecum, and you probably never will be. Heck, Tim Lincecum isn't Tim Lincecum anymore, either. You can learn from his delivery, but 99.9999% of people who try to copy his delivery fail miserably.
54. Read more. This applies to personal development in a general sense, and baseball is certainly no exception. The guys who have the longest, most successful careers are usually the ones who dedicate themselves to learning about their craft.
55. Stay away from alcohol. It kills tissue quality, negatively affects protein synthesis, messes with sleep quality, and screws with hormonal status.
56. Incorporate more single-leg landings with your plyos; you land on one leg when you throw, don't you?
57. Be a good teammate. If you aren't a tool, they'll be more likely to help you when you get into a funk with your mechanics or need someone to light a fire under your butt.
58. Respect the game. Pitchers who don't respect the game invariably end up getting plunked the first time they wind up going up to bat. Getting hit by a lot of pitches isn't going to help your velocity.
59. Train the glutes in all three planes (read more HERE).
60. Remember your roots and always be loyal. You never know when you'll need to go back to ask your little league, middle school, high school, or AAU coach for advice to help you right the ship.
61. Get focal manual therapy like Active Release.
62. Get diffuse manual therapy like instrument-assisted modalities or general massage.
63. Make sweet love to a foam roller.
64. Throw a jacket on between innings to keep your body temperature up.
65. Pitch from the wind-up.
66. Drink magical velocity-increasing snake oil (just making sure you were still reading and paying attention).
67. Pick a better walkout song.
68. Get on a steeper mound (expect this to also increase arm stress).
69. Train hip mobility and core stability simultaneously.
70. Get around successful people in the pitching world and learn from them. Find a way to chat with someone who has accomplished something you want to accomplish. If you hang around schleps who complain about their genes and have never thrown above 75mph, though, expect to be a schlep who throws 75mph, too.
71. Pick the right parents (sorry, genes do play a role).