A few months ago, I began a training program that I have avoided for the last 10 years as a pitching coach...weighted baseballs. I avoided it because I was always afraid that if I trained pitchers with weighted baseballs, it would put them at a greater risk for injury, and that alone was not worth it. This year, I revisited the concept and my opinion changed after doing a lot of research and after seeing the results of the training.
I read several studies that incorporated weighted baseballs into a training program for pitchers. Every study had the same conclusion: Weighted baseballs increased velocity vs. a control group. The amount of velocity was different for each pitcher. Lower velocity pitchers stand to gain more than a pitcher who is already approaching 90 mph. In one study, the average gain over a period of 12 weeks was 4.1mph. That is a significant improvement in a short time
The most surprising part of doing research on the subject is the suggestion that weighted baseballs may actually reduce pitching injuries. More research must be done to study this, however.
The results from the pitchers that participated in the velocity training class last winter were impressive to say the least. Each pitcher gained at least 3 mph from beginning to end. Some improved velocities by 6 mph! Needless to say, the results exceeded our expectations and we are looking forward to offering a new and improved version of this program next fall. We are most proud of the fact that all pitchers who participated currently have healthy arms.
Finally, training pitchers to improve velocity involves much more than just weighted baseballs. Our program trains pitchers to improve lower half and core strength and flexibility as a part of the velocity training process.
Do you have experience with using weighted baseballs? If so, we would love to learn more about your experience.
Coach Mike Grady
Coach Grady has 10 years experience working with pitchers of all ages through private and group instruction, including 6 years experience as a college pitching coach. This blog is dedicating to helping pitchers of all ages improve their game.
7530 Tim Ave NW Unit A
North Canton, OH 44720
What others have to say:
"The velocity program not only helped increase my velocity, but it also helped me develop good throwing habits through proper arm care and recovery. I gained a ton of knowledge from this program, and it made me a better pitcher." Ty Drabick, RHP, Kent State University
"Four of our pitchers trained with Grady's Pitching School in the Velocity Development Program in 2016. By the conclusion of the 2017 spring season, we saw an improvement in numbers across the board, increased velocity, improved arm health, and an overall improvement in confidence on the mound from our guys. The Velocity Development Program exceeded all expectations with the individualized attention that was provided, competitive work environment, professionalism, and knowledge of the staff. Coach Grady and his staff will continue to play a vital role in the overall development of our baseball program." Shane Byler, Head Baseball Coach, Lake Center Christian.