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Throwing fast and hard is expected the higher your child reaches; however, it can be achievable with proper preparation and dedication. In addition, being able to understand what it takes and where your child currently is will allow you to know where to head next and set goals. We hope this blog gives better insight and understanding of where your child is and where they need to be and what it will take for them to be a fast pitcher.

Although velocity as a pitcher is not what determines a player's ability to be a great pitcher, it does allow a player to be able to be competitive, because velocity provides opportunity and other attributes of being a great pitcher can be learned quickly while velocity takes time. So as we provide you with where your child is placed please do not weigh too heavily on where they are and focus on where they can go. Anything can happen in a year and H.A.W.K. Baseball is proud to have had 23 players this year increase their velocity by 8-14mph and another 11 players increase their speed by 15mph or more.

Low: Represents players that are below average in velocity. Again this does not determine a player's ability to pitch great. This could be from lack of playing, size, and/or warmup routine.

Average: This is on track and okay; however, the separation will be made by the execution of pitches and/or having secondary pitches.

Great: Coaches will take notice and will give opportunities to these players as they throw hard for their age group; however, will be quickly looked over when a player can not execute their pitches.

Goal: This is the speed a player wants to achieve to be two age groups ahead in average resulting in being an advanced pitcher for velocity which then allows this player to pitch comfortably by taking off some speed and executing more but still being a top velo for their age group and pitch for a long time since they are not using the full capacity every pitch.

5 Key components to a player pitching development and what they need to do in order to be a top tear pitcher:

1) Throw consistently 5 times a week throwing between 30-60 throws each and on 2-3 of those throwing sessions throw an additional 15-20 long toss throws at a distance that challenges a player's ability to make it to their partner. 2-3 of those throwing sessions need to be a bullpen session focusing on either specific pitches, sequences, command, and/or live-to-pitch. Lastly, one session needs to be a light and fun throwing day just to have fun and stay fresh with no more than 30 throws.

2) Warm-up and cool-down routine is necessary for a player's ability to be prepared for their workouts/game/practice and to recover from doing their training. This will affect how a player feels and their body's ability to perform. A good warm-up can produce an additional 3-5mph to a player's ability to throw and can do the opposite effect when warming up improperly. Cooling down will affect the player's ability to continue to do their training and prevents injuries.

3) Recovery is a huge component of a player's ability to perform and there are three things required to properly recover which are rest, nutrition, and active recovery.

  1. Rest is required and the easiest thing to control. While sleeping our body is repairing from the wear and tear we put our body through.

  2. While you are asleep your body is going to be repairing itself but will need the nutrition to be able to do what it needs to do so keeping track of water intake, protein, fruits, veggies, and carbs being consumed is crucial. From 1950 - 1980 it was the players’ ability to understand the game and game IQ was the separating factor from other players. From 1980-2010 it was the players' physical size, speed, and quickness were the separator and now nutrition and the players' ability to eat right is the separator.

  3. Lastly, Active recovery exercise is doing specific exercises that will reverse, balance, and/or support body repairs. For example, as a pitcher, we pull down and push the ball or bat so a great recovery exercise would be to pull exercise. Pull-ups, chin-ups, push-ups, lat pulls, back pulls, and more. These exercise balance out the muscles and tissue to balance the body and promote muscle groups that are not the primary groups while playing a sport. In addition flexibility and stretching exercise.

4) Having command is required and crucial to a pitcher's success especially when facing the facts. The first pitch strike gives a pitcher a 70% increase in striking out the batter. Also, pitchers who are consistent in throwing strikes are proven to be given more pitching opportunities by 82%. Lastly, pitchers who consistently throw strikes and have command pitch 2-3 more innings per game than other pitchers and have low pitch count resulting to them not putting as much stress on their bodies.

5) Having a mixer of pitches to change direction and speed is required and necessary to be an effective pitcher. The goal would be to have a pitch that horizontally runs away from the batter, run into the batter, drops down vertically, and has the pitches be slower than the fastball. This will allow pitchers to keep the batters on their toes, guessing, and chasing pitches.

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