A pitcher’s velocity has become one of the most popular metrics by which they are judged. It is unclear if throwing on flat ground vs. mound has an affect on average and maximum velocity.
Compare change in maximum and average fastball velocity over the course of a pitching mechanics and velocity training program between flat ground and mound pitching.
Players will see a more significant increase in maximum and average velocity when pitching from the mound compared to flat ground
All baseball pitchers ages 10-17 who participated in and completed a 15-week pitching mechanics and velocity-training program were included. The training program was composed of a combination of lighter balls (4oz and 3oz) and the standard baseball (5oz). Players pitch velocity was tested at four time points during training (session 3 and 10: flat ground; session 17 an 25: mound) Average and maximum velocity of pitches from flat ground were compared to mound, and change in velocity between testing sessions was compare. Average and maximum velocity of throws from the mound and flat ground was also compared by pitcher age.
36 male pitchers aged 10-17 (average age: 14.4 +/- 1.61) years were included. Fastball velocity increased by an average of 5.2mph (95% confidence intervals 2.0 – 8.8mph) at the end of the training program. Velocity steadily increased steadily over the course program, with increases seen at each testing session. Increase in maximum and average velocity between sessions was no different when pitchers switched from flat ground to mound compared to when they did not change (flat ground to flat ground, mound to mound)
A 15-week baseball pitcher-training program utilizing lighter baseballs significantly improved pitching velocity. There was no more significant increase in fastball velocity when progressing from flat ground to mound compared to remaining on flat ground or a mound. From a velocity training perspective, throwing from a flat ground and mound appear to be beneficial.