Pitching Tips From Justin Verlander
July 12, 2011
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Perhaps the most popular subject we talk about is how to throw faster. Regardless of how fast you throw already, it would be great to add a couple miles an hour to your fastball wouldn’t it? Let’s make sure you are doing a few things that will help you do just that.

There are many things that will help you throw faster. Today I just want to talk about one of them; “proper weight transfer.” This happens from the balanced posture to foot strike. Basically from the leg lift to when your landing leg hits the ground. A lot happens during this phase but let me break it down for you so it makes sense.

Head over Belly button: The term “weight transfer” simply means that you are literally transferring your weight from leg lift to foot strike. During this process you need to ensure that you move your entire body to foot strike, gaining as much momentum as possible toward home plate. To do this, make sure you head stays over your belly button all the way to foot strike. Many pitchers think they gain energy by “rocking back”, but in all reality they lose some.

Stride length: There is much to say about stride length as it relates to weight transfer. How long should your stride be? How fast should you get there? How do you get to foot strike to ensure optimal velocity? and the list goes on and on…..First and foremost your stride should be as far as possible ensuring proper hip rotation following foot strike. Stride length is different for everyone depending on flexibility, core strength and genetics but I like to have my athletes work up to 100% of their height if possible. That way they have good momentum to home plate; with that momentum they will throw faster.

Foot placement: Should I point my toe to the catcher when I pitch? Nate and I get this question asked on a daily basis. It is a legitimate question and important to know the answer to this one. You can point your toe toward home plate if that feels comfortable to you and you understand how to do it using proper mechanics. Here’s what I mean. You have to ensure you have a stride to foot strike, don’t step to foot strike. Taking a step to foot strike, just to make sure you point your toe to home plate; will slow you down. What I like to teach my students to do is ensure they stride and a split second before their foot hits the ground “foot strike” they rotate it. This helps them stride instead of step and leads to an early hip rotation.

I know there is a lot to throwing a baseball and it can seem a bit overwhelming to learn. Mechanics don’t have to be difficult to understand. That’s why we break down every part of the pitching motion for you in our new pitching mechanics DVD. We show you how to throw faster with more accuracy and how to keep your arm healthy using proper throwing mechanics. Oh ya! Did I mention we make it easy to understand and put to practice?

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