The BioForce Baseball Blog     
That Sinking Feeling and Velocity for A Pitcher


I’ve talked a lot about moving fastballs, breaking pitches, change-ups, velocity, and control.

Today, I would like to answer a couple of questions from a BioForce Faithful, Tom S. and share a great story about his son. I hope he doesn’t mind I share this touching email I received a couple of days ago

“Bill I appreciate the newsletter and the simple manner in which you approach the info.

What gives the ball sink? What makes it late movement? I think the late movement is velocity related but I would love to understand the power sinker.

One other note. I was reading your thoughts on velocity this morning about how it gives you more chances. I wanted to relay a story.

I have a 16 U son that is a great kid. He has been sick for most of the last 8 months and really hasn’t pitched any since April. He is feeling better recently and wanted to get out and do some baseball stuff before the cold weather. An old coach of his was going to a local college to have a showcase style event for his players. He was short guys and wanted my son to come out. Although my son was not much in playing shape he went. He had played some catch and in the past we had done a lot of work on velocity both from a conditioning standpoint and an understanding of how to get it. My 16 U son could probably tell more to coaches about velocity than they would ever know. AS the showcase began, I watched just happy to see him on a field again. I could tell he was worn out but he showed pretty well.

I was shocked when I heard the coach tell him that the next inning on the mound was his. I didn’t know how good of an idea it was but I also knew my son knew what he was doing and after all he had been through he probably just wanted to compete. I watched. He did not have much command but the ball exploded out of his hand. All the college guys took notice. He was smooth, explosive and confident. They couldn’t hit him when he did throw a strike. He started to work out the kinks of his location issues just about the time his inning was over. I notice the coach being called over to talk to the college guys. When the hitting half of the inning came and went I heard the coach say for my son to go back out there. The college guys wanted to see more. One more inning of the same..not much command and a explosive fastball. Didn’t matter…they really liked him.

At the end of the day, the coaches talked to 2 seniors and one junior which was my son. They wanted to know who he was and where he came from. Other parents there were not happy. Afterall, their son had thrown strikes by God!! This kid was wild..even dangerous!! They didn’t get it at all. It was the pop they wanted to see.

One other thing. IN my baseball life I have run in to many great people.

The game seems to take care of those that love it. My son has really struggled. He has been sick and lost one of his best friends to a suicide in July. His grades have suffered and he has been hard to deal with. His dream of playing college baseball seem to be fading. Having 2 college coaches talk to him and compliment him was a wonderful thing. All he wanted to do on the 90 minute ride home was talk about throwing 85 as a junior and 90 as a senior. Completely different kid than had got in the car just 4 hours before.

This game does take away a lot at times, but in my book it gives back to those that really are willing to give it the commitment it needs to be good.

Have a great day.”

Tom S.

Tom,

You’ve made my day a lot brighter. Thank you.

First, I’ll talk briefly about the movement of the fastball. It’s physics really. When you release the fastball further out front of your body, the later the movement will be on any pitch. Period. If you change your posture and release the ball early, then the break will be earlier simply put.

Your level of fitness, your mechanics, and your body make-up will contribute to movement as well.

Probably the biggest factor in making the fastball sink is the angle of your arm. If you are a side arm pitcher, the spin of the ball will make the ball move. Pitchers that are completely over the top throwers have a more difficult time making their fastball move late.

The grip has a little to do with movement as well. The four-seam grip has a tendency to be a little straighter, probably because the friction with the air is more uniform on the four-seam. The two-seam moves a bit more. The sides of the ball are smooth and tend to create less drag.

A two-seam with some scuffs on the sides can be an interesting pitch. Especially for those who throw a little harder.

Hope that gives you a little better insight Tom.

Your son’s story is a great one. I wish him well in his future endeavors. His story will show what persistence can do. It also shows what the scouts are looking for…athleticism Throw harder, run faster, jump higher. In your son’s case, sounds like the rest did him well as he matured a bit. He’ll need to work on getting his endurance back, that’s for sure.

What puzzles my mind are the coaches and scouts that tell me pitching velocity doesn’t matter, that’s not what get’s kids out. Movement and location do. And I would agree. But the next time you see these guys out at the field what do they do? They bring out the radar gun. I know, I know….they need to justify their jobs to someone.

Moral of this story? Work on all aspects of your game. Gotta work on velocity. Gotta work on control. Everything.

Until next time…

Train Like a Champion Today!

Bill Mooney

P.S. Check out our Velocity DVD, and the Pure Power Training DVD’s on the website. www.bioforcebaseball.com

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