I’ve said it before and I will say it again, BEWARE of weighted baseball programs and velocity programs!
I learned this a long time ago.
Trust me when I say that I’ve tried just about anything imaginable to get an edge.
One of the first few questions I set out to answer were these…
- What’s the difference between arm strength and arm speed?
- How can some guys throw the ball 350 ft but never pass 85 MPH?
- Does velocity training and weighted baseball programs actually transfer to the mound?
My curiosity peaked 7 years ago when this happened…
While I was at Lipscomb University, we trained with weighted baseballs religiously to increase velocity. In fact, I was guilty of using the one-size fits all velocity programs! At that point in my career, I was all about weighted baseballs and would have argued with you until I was blue in my face, if you disagreed.
One of the big arms on my staff was Rex Brothers. Rex was a guy who ended up getting drafted in the supplemental 1st round and was a 94-97 guy off the mound.
But you know what?
He wasn’t the hardest thrower on the staff when it came to velocity training. In fact, he was third at 97-98. We had another guy on the staff that could throw a 5 oz baseball 100-101 mph!!!
That’s right, he threw it 100-101 MPH in a step-behind and crow hop inside our velocity training! I was pumped! I was ecstatic!
I was pissed off, confused and frustrated!
Huh? Yeah, that’s right.
That 101 MPH fastball suddenly disappeared when he stepped on the mound!
In fact, he went from having the highest velocity on a staff of 15 to the 5th highest velocity! (His velo dropped off that much and he never once did the hook’em drill!)
Question: Why did this happen? Was he focusing on a longer stride when I wasn’t looking?
Maybe you can solve the riddle for me. Have you ever coached or played with the OF that has a freaking hose from the OF but once you put him on the mound, the arm strength suddenly disappears?
Hint: Did he possess the #1 flaw I see with most pitchers lower bodies or were other variables also included?
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I’ve found that a safe estimate between velocity differentials from a crow hop versus the mound should be around 2.2-3 MPH.
If the differential is more than that, you’ve got a few questions to answer & it’s time to re-evaluate your program and focus!!!
What would you do?
Clue: When you see this occur, the last thing this pitcher should be focusing on is velocity training! In fact, it could set him back even further. Trust me, I learned this the hard way!
10 very important lessons I learned:
- Because you increase your arm strength doesn’t mean your pitching velocity will increase. Just ask the OF and football quarterback.
- Because you increase your arm speed doesn’t mean your pitching velocity will increase.
- If you’ve never participated in a velocity program before, you WILL see immediate results. (Do you know why?)
- Velocity jumps in weighted baseball programs do not always equate to velocity jumps on the mound.
- If your max throw from the mound is not 2-3 MPH less than your max crow hop, its time to re-evaluate your program and training focus.
- Its impossible to replicate a weighted baseball program during the season, if you don’t use it, you will lose it!
- If you can’t transfer your results to the mound, you didn’t increase your velocity.
- Because it says, “weighted baseballs” does not make it a velocity program.
- There are no professional velocity leagues!
- Your velocity program is measured by your ability to transfer the results to the mound.
Luckily for me, I’ve experienced both sides. I’ve had the luxury of 2 hour training sessions inside an academy and also been under the “20 minute” time constraints of the NCAA and I really don’t know how to say it any differently….
It’s NOT THE SAME!
You have to understand that training in an academy setting (controlled environment) does not replicate real world game training conditions. I don’t care how hard you try or what you do, it’s just not going to happen.
Velocity Riddle #1: Which pitcher actually benefited from the weighted ball training program? The pitcher that maxed out at 101 MPH but dropped 7 MPH from the mound, or the pitcher that gained 1 MPH in the velocity setting and stayed in a similar range on the mound?
Velocity Riddle #2: Why was one guy able to replicate similar velocity on the mound but the other guy couldn’t? Was the transfer from the velo program to the mound because of the weighted baseball training or was it a combination of other factors?
What were the other factors?
5 Red Flags With Velocity Programs You Must Identify:
- Is the program pre-determined, a rigid structure laid out, weeks in advance for you to follow?
- Is the program the same as the guys beside you?
- Do you have a formula to follow to identify what you need to change or adjust or does someone else do that for you?
- Does the velocity program contain a pre-determined amount of throws with each weighted baseball?
- You see an increase in velocity in your controlled environment but are unable to duplicate the results from the mound.
In the end, if you are blowing it up from a crow-hop but unable to replicate similar results (2-3 MPH less) on the mound, you wasted your time!
Final note: Whenever you can combine the secret ingredient with an increase in arm strength and speed, you’ve got a velocity program that could impact your career!
In the end:
Hint: Sometimes less is more!
- Weighted baseballs have a place but just not by themselves!
- There’s a difference between throwing velocity and pitching velocity! A BIG DIFFERENCE!
Once I found the answer to this, my entire training program changed!
Would you like to know the secret to why some guys see great results and others don’t?
I can tell you what it’s not:
To find out, all you have to do is click the video-courses tab and click the Core Velocity video course, that’s it!
Inside you’ll find the answers to the questions you’ve been searching for! While you’re here, join us over at google + and jump in the discussion!