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4 Phrases to Pitch By
January 4, 2010

(Click Here for a 3-page .pdf of this newsletter)

Phrase #1: "The Quicker You Go, the Harder You Throw"

I wrote a newsletter on 10 ways to increase velocity based on this 2008 study:

Werner 20Study 20Title

The #1 factor affecting velocity was body mass:

Body 20Mass

REMEMBER: Momentum = Mass x Velocity.

As your momentum increases, so will your velocity.


Rivera 20Lead 20with 20read 20End 1Hershiser 20Lift 20and 20Thrust

Phrase #2: "Keep Your Head Straight to Get Closer to The Plate."

The National Pitching Association states that every inch your head drops during the pitch costs you 2 inches of release point.

Why? When your head drops, you decrease your momentum and shorten your stride.

According to this 2004 study:

Balance 20title

Head drop ALSO decreases both accuracy and velocity and this was seen most in pitchers with balance points, causing the researchers to conclude:

Balance 20Point

Phrase #3: "Don't Tilt and Bend. Rotate and Extend."

Many coaches still use the following phrases

"Follow through" / "Finish your pitch" / "Grab some dirt"
"Throw over the top" / "Get on top of the ball"

But this leads many kids to pitch like this:

OverTheTop1Follow 20Through

These terms cause the back to bend too early and the shoulders to tilt and increase elbow strain.

The 2008 study also found quicker shoulder turn to increased velocity ("increased upper trunk rotation velocity"):

Shoulder 20turn

Turn the shoulders (DO NOT tilt them) and extend the back helps maximize velocity:

Clemens 20big 20chestBig 20Chest 203

Phrase #4: "'Hit the Wall' to have control of the ball. "

Just as hitters have a strong front leg when hitting:


Pitchers MUST have a strong front leg when they pitch. This 2012 study:

Ground 20Reaction 20Forces 20title

Showed that pitchers put TWICE their body weight on their front leg:

Front 20leg 201

and pitchers with stronger front legs had higher velocities:

Front 20leg 202

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Dr. Arnold!