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Learn how to pitch smarter, throw harder, and reach the next level faster. Former pro pitcher Steven Ellis shares his favorite baseball pitching secrets to maximize performance by leveraging the latest sports science research.

How to train in the off-season

When the baseball season comes to an end, most pitchers put everything away until 2-3 weeks before Spring practice. But for pitchers who really want to throw harder, develop better control and get stronger, an off-season program is a must—and that's why experienced pitching coaches all say, Pitchers are made during the off-season.

There are 3 things pitchers can do during the off-season to help them throw harder with better control by next Spring:

  1. Work on improving your mechanics
  2. Throw regularly to maintain arm strength
  3. Get on a pitching-specific strength and conditioning program
Clayton Kershaw pitching mechanics
Adam Davis/Icon Sportswire

How to build an explosive delivery

Developing quality mechanics should be a part of every pitcher's plan from one season to the next.

Jake Arrieta pitching mechanics
Warren Wimmer/Icon Sportswire

How to strengthen the core

Many of the problems that youth and high school pitchers have are related to lack of core strength and flexibility. The core is the center of all movement. And when a pitcher throws, the first thing that gets activated is his core. If this area is weak, then forces are not efficiently transferred from the legs, to the hips to the trunk and finally the shoulder, the elbow and eventually to the ball.

Remember, the body works as a kinetic chain. Forces and energy begin as the pitcher strides out and are then transferred back up the chain when he lands. If his balance is poor or if he lands off-center or doesn't set up a strong base upon landing, then this will effect his velocity, his control and will add stress to his arm.

David Price pitching mechanics
Dan Hamilton/Icon Sportswire

How to create a plan

Having a plan is what separates serious high school pitchers from those who are looking for an easier way. There are only so many spots on a high school team for pitchers. And there are fewer college scholarships. Those who prepare and put in the time are the ones who get rewarded. And when you are prepared, success is more easily achieved.

A plan can also work for Little League players who have the desire on their own to spend even a one-half hour, 3 times a week getting stronger while working on their throwing mechanics.

Here's the deal: If you don’t have a plan you are like a ship without a rudder. And that's not a recipe for success in the game of baseball, or in the game of life.

Chris Sale pitching mechanics
Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire

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