Throwing Velocity Development Program
Throwing velocity is a critical skill for the success of a baseball or softball athlete (no matter what position you play), therefore it is vital for each player to develop their arm to it’s maximum potential so you are packing one of the most important tools in your sport. EM’s Velocity Development Training Program is proven to increase throwing velocity and arm health in baseball and softball athletes.
First and foremost, we get your throwing mechanics as clean as possible with a goal to get your throwing motion from any position ‘easy’, clean, efficient and as ‘whippy’ as possible. This helps keep you healthy and gives us a solid base of sound mechanics to build on.
The first principal guiding baseball and softball training is the understanding that softball is a ballistic sport. Throwing involves rapid, explosive movements. The specific ability to produce these explosive movements is greatly influenced by the percentage of type IIB (fast-twitch) muscle fibers contained within an athlete’s muscle cells. In order to produce more rapid and forceful contractions of these fast twitch muscle fibers, training must be done at 100% intensity (game speed).
Traditional weight training with machines or free weights while performing nonspecific slow movements will not increase the throwing velocity of athletes who already possess a baseline level of strength. In fact, some research has shown that prolonged heavy, nonspecific weight training may actually reduce movement speeds.
• Training with underweight and overweight implements has its roots in the speed strength specificity training programs of track and field athletes in the former Soviet bloc countries. The results from research conducted with these athletes indicated:
A) employing variable weighted training in implements enhances power development;
B) variations of weight training implements should range between 5% and 20% of ”Normal” (Competition) weight; and
C) a 2:1 frequency ratio of throwing (2 weighted; 1 normal) maximizes power output
By throwing under weighted softballs, body segments will move at higher-speeds, with less muscle force. When throwing overweight softballs, body segments travel at slower speeds, but with greater force.Thus, underweight training can be referred to as speed training, and overweight training strength training. Power is defined as work divided by time (P=W/t). Because of the ballistic nature of throwing, safely training the body to develop the greatest amount of power in the least amount of time during the sport specific movement is critical for the development of increased throwing velocity.
RESEARCH In April 2000, a team of researchers from the Michael W. Krzyzewski human performance laboratory, Duke University and the American Sports Medicine Institute, Birmingham, AL reviewed all of the existing research concerning the effects of throwing underweight overweight softballs (ESCAMILLA, ET AL., SPORTS MED 2000 Apr; 29 (4): 259-272). Escamilla et al, reviewed 11 overweight and underweight studies (6 to 12 weeks in duration), conducted during the off-season. Data from these studies, “Strongly support the practice of training with overweight and underweight softballs to increase throwing velocity of regulation softballs”. All but one of the studies reported significant increases in throwing velocity by the underweight and/or overweight experimental groups. Six of the studies reviewed contain control groups who threw only regulation softballs during the experiment. None of the control groups experienced significant increases in throwing velocity. Based on this data Escamilla et al. concluded: “From most of the research now available on weighted implement throwing, it appears that the ideal weight of overweight and underweight softballs is within