How can you fix your pitching motion to throw harder?

Freddy Avis of Menlo (Palo Alto, Calif.) delivers for the Athletics at the 2011 Area Code Baseball Games presented by New Balance. Scott Kurtz/ESPNHS

This week we pick a question from the ESPN High School Dugout Talk Form. The forum is a place to ask questions and have other ESPNHS members answer them as a baseball community. We thought it we would answer some of the questions we saw in the forums on the baseball blog.

Building strength is an obvious place to start and we’ll start there. You need to make sure you have strong legs and a strong core. You should talk to a personal trainer to help with exercises to build strength in these areas.

Then you have to work on your arm strength and there are a couple of ways you can achieve this. First, you should play long catch and work your way (don’t start at) to about 200-250 feet. Watch MLB pitchers as they get loose, they are playing long toss. Another method for building arm strength is using a thera-band. The resistance the band provides will build strength in the smaller muscles of the shoulder. Finally, you need to work on your conditioning and you can do this by running: sprints, poles or distance.

As far as mechanics go you pitch with your legs. You need to have a good tuck and drive hard to the plate. That’s where the power is going to come from. Also, you need to keep your elbow above your shoulder to help avoid injury. You can shadow pitch in front of a mirror to see if you are doing this correctly.

The best pitchers have repeatable mechanics. Conditioning is important because when pitchers tire out, the mechanics will be the first to go. When that happens you are putting yourself in jeopardy of getting hurt.

While everyone wants to throw hard and add velocity to their pitches, the key to pitching is changing speeds and eye level.

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