baseball pitcher with knee up using pitching velocity to strike out hitters
You can use pitching velocity strategically to throw more strikes.

Improving pitching velocity is important, but equally important is using that velocity to your advantage. After all, a pitcher’s job is to get hitters out. Therefore, it’s important to learn and use strategies that can help increase the number of strikes you throw. Understanding effective velocity may help with this. In this article, we’ll go over what effective velocity is, why it’s important, and how to use it to help throw off hitters. 

What is Effective Pitching Velocity?

When you think of velocity, you probably think of radar guns. The reading on the radar gun is the actual velocity, in miles per hour, at which the ball travels. Many scouts, both at the college and professional level, use actual velocity to help evaluate a pitcher.

However, it’s also important to consider other factors of velocity. For instance, perceived velocity is how fast the hitter thinks the ball is coming towards them. You could throw a 90 mile per hour fastball, but the hitter might perceive it as faster or slower. We’ve mentioned this in other articles, but one way to help increase perceived velocity is to use a longer stride. This helps shorten the distance the ball must travel from release point to the plate and may also make your pitch look faster. 

Another type of pitching velocity is effective velocity. This is basically how fast your pitch seems to be in relation to the last one. For example, if you throw a pretty slow off-speed pitch and follow it up with a fastball, that fastball may look really fast to the hitter because of the last pitch.

Also, another element of effective velocity is the location of the pitch. In most cases, inside pitches look faster and also make the hitter move their bat farther just to make contact with the ball. Pitches thrown on the outside of the plate may look slower and the hitter doesn’t have to move the bat as far. 

This information, paired with our science-backed training programs, our pitching instruction can help you learn how to improve your game. Pitchers can actually use effective velocity in their favor to help confuse hitters and make them strike out. 

Using Effective Velocity to Strike Out Hitters

So, how do you use your new knowledge about effective velocity to help improve your game? You’ll need to personalize it to your style, but we do have some basic tips to help. The first is to get strategic about how you pitch and your pitching sequence. 

If you’re too predictable, many hitters will be able to figure out your timing and get contact with the ball easier. So, many pitchers aim to do everything possible to be unpredictable. The goal is to make it harder for hitters to figure out your next move. Throwing a variety of different pitches can help. Try to develop a strategy for pitch sequence that keeps hitters guessing.

You can also use effective velocity to help with this as well. Knowing how the hitter may perceive the velocity of each pitch may help increase your chances of throwing strikes. Think about how effective velocity can affect the hitter’s decisions. Make them uncertain just how fast they need to swing to hit the ball. 

Our coaches are here to help you get better, which means not only providing pitching velocity training, but also instruction on how to be more effective at getting hitters out. We provide personalized pitching instruction and training throughout the U.S. to help players of all ages actualize their potential. 

Personalized Pitching Instruction from National Pitching

Whether you’re a high school pitching player looking to find an edge for college scouts, a parent of a young player looking to help them improve their mechanics, or a pro in need of pitcher-specific training, we have solutions for you. At National Pitching, we provide a comprehensive program to help pitchers at all skill levels improve. We have trained over 1,000 MLB players and are here to provide rotational athletes with innovative training protocols. Get started today by finding a certified pitching coach near you or joining our online membership with exclusive access to our library of learning materials.