When pitchers talk about improving the strength of their arms the only reason they want to do this is so that they can throw the ball faster. This is quite a common question that people ask coaches. The answer really is quite simple though. You basically have to throw the ball correctly and throw it often. There’s no other road to success.
Developing solid throwing mechanics at an early age can help. Practice is very important as well. Some may say that arm speed will depend on genetics but this is not 100% correct. A player will still need to give it everything they have in order to throw the ball as fast as they can. Improving arm strength and throwing speed is possible for every single pitcher. The weaker armed pitchers will obviously need practice more than the strong-armed pitchers. But practice is equally important for both.
Now, here are a few tips which are sure to help players improve their arm strength:
- This is something that the parents are going to have to do more than the pitcher himself. If they want their child to become a pitcher, they should get his throwing mechanics examined early on by a throwing coach. Any deficiencies that are pointed out should be addressed and the correct fundamentals of throwing need to be learned. Without learning the fundamentals of the game, players will never be able to achieve their potential and will eventually fall prey to arm or shoulder injuries at some point in their career.
- Throwing regularly is another important aspect here. There are no holidays. They need to practice throughout the year. It doesn’t matter if they are throwing for half an hour or for a few hours at a time. Even on Christmas, they may need to practice for a few hours. The only exception to this rule is on game days during the season.
- The speed and the distance of throws should be increased gradually to attain the maximum line drive. Players need to keep throwing this distance as much as they can until their arm tires out and the throws can no longer make the distance.
- The only time players can rest is the day immediately after a game. This is because they would have thrown quite a bit during the game and need to rest their arm after. And on the days they do practice, never practice more than you would need to throw in a single game. Why take such an unnecessary risk?
These tips may not result in any immediate improvements in arm strength but that doesn’t mean players should give up. In the long run, they will certainly lead to stronger arms. The best improvements are seen in players over long term throwing programs. The importance of strength and training exercises shouldn’t be overlooked here either. They may not improve pitching directly, but they can certainly help increase strength and speed. It will help improve recovery times as well.
A few other things which you should keep in mind while working on your pitching:
- Never forget to take a break from pitching after a maximum effort throwing day. This is essential so that your arm gets sufficient time to recover. The day immediately after a game day needs to be a rest day. Also, any practice days where you put in maximum effort need to be succeeded by a rest day.
- If your arm is feeling sore or tired for any reason, stop throwing and rest it immediately. There is no point in overdoing It may not make sense but sufficient rest is essential when working on improving arm strength and throwing speed.
- When practicing, there is no harm in using a lighter weight baseball for some part of the training. In fact, this may benefit the pitcher in the long run too.
- Pitchers in leagues that don’t have fixed inning guidelines need to be very careful that they don’t overuse their throwing arm. This is something that their coach will need to take care of by ensuring there are sufficient pitchers on the team. There’s no point in risking injury now is there?