Deceleration is the most overlooked part of developing top level velocity. I have pitchers who will work out their legs, core and upper body but completely ignore what I consider to be the most important part of reaching your true max velocity. My theory for most pitchers completely ignoring deceleration is that most simply do not know about how important it is. Let's break down what deceleration is and why it is so important.
The saying one of my college coaches used to tell me often is that most pitchers have "great engines paired with bad brakes". What this means is that most pitchers have strong legs, core and upper-body but ignore the muscles that are responsible for slowing their arm down after the baseball is out of their hand. Do you think your body will allow itself to accelerate faster than your deceleration muscles can slow it down? The answer is no. Your body will only travel as fast as it can slow itself down without injury. If you want to develop elite velocity, deceleration is by far the most important part. I have developed several drills to help pitchers improve their brakes (deceleration muscles).
Pronation is the naturally occurring movement that happens after you release the baseball. Pronation is the turning inward of the wrist and forearm after the baseball is out of your hand. The faster and more explosively we pronate, the faster our arm will be able to accelerate. Pronation will protect your elbow and shoulder from injury.
In football, deceleration and pronation are taught at the youth levels. Take a look at the picture of Drew Brees to the left. Quarterbacks are the most dynamic throwers on the planet. If they do not pronate after they release a much heavier football, their shoulders would break down. Baseball has overlooked the most important part in developing maximum velocity.
If you want to reach your true potential as a pitcher and join the 90+ mph club, you have to commit to deceleration and pronation on a daily basis.
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