Son recently went to the Terrapin Winter Baseball Camp in Maryland. Must say it was a very well run camp. Was told by coach working with sons group that when throwing from flat ground in gym and in tennis shoes with no rubber that fast ball velocity is usually about three miles per hour slower then off of a mound in cleats. Was wondering if this was correct. Thanks for any input.
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We were taught that flat ground is for practice, not throwing full speed. We were taught, 60% of the distance at 60% of speed.

But, The advantage of the mound is that you are throwing down hill. I woul dexpect it to be faster. Also a pitcher who works down in the strike zone tends to get higher speeds on the gun.
Flat ground work is part of developing good arm strenth. We have always thrown full out on flat ground.
That is not to confuse flat ground warm up before a bull pen or warming up before pitching in a game.
Yes your throw will be a few MPH slower.
Last edited by BobbleheadDoll
Thaks for the replies. The reason I asked was when the players were gunned for velocity they were throwing from a flat gym surface.
Banditsbb,

Must be the wind and the gravity created from the 10" above the ground.

I must ask, what frickin Terp genius said:
"when throwing from flat ground in gym and in tennis shoes with no rubber that fast ball velocity is usually about three miles per hour slower then off of a mound in cleats."

cheers
Bear
Bear, while I agree with you that intuitevely it should make little difference, a pitcher is bound to gain some velocity when he is on the mound. Although probably more significant is the fact that, with cleats, a pitcher's planting foot does not slide like is does with sneakers which allows for the pitcher to focus his power more effeciently to the pitch. I'm also sure that having a downward motion must add some advantage, or else I would ask why is there a mound for pitchers in the first place?

That being said, I would say that the difference is negligable, and, while 3MPH is possible, so is .000000001MPH, and I by no means am qualified to say what that amount might be.
Last edited by Andrew
Having clocked guys on flat ground and then on the mound, there is a small difference in velocity. It is not just the fact that you are throwing down hill it is the fact that you can get more weight behind the pitch. There are a few guys I clocked who had little or no noticable difference.
I have also noticed that pitches thrown low in the zone do tend to get higher readings.
If your mechanics are good, you will see a jump in velocity off a mound. The first big reason is the leverage you can get by throwing on a downhill slant. The second is that the fall of the front side makes hip/trunk rotation easier.

One thing you can do on flat ground is work on the hip/trunk rotation habit, because it is harder to do on flat ground and thus, this drill helps build good habits.

But lots of folks do flat ground work because it is less stressful on the shoulder in particular. So it's a good way to work on certain aspects of your mechanics without being too taxing on your vulnerable areas.

Some guys can still bring it off flat surfaces, but they have to labor harder to get their MPH up. If you were to throw with the same level of effort in both settings, the difference in MPH would be noticeable. This may be why Bobblehead's always been told to take it easier on flat; if you start laboring to get your MPH back up, you are possibly being counterproductive or even risking injury.
quote:
This may be why Bobblehead's always been told to take it easier on flat

Someone said that but not me. We have been told to throw full out when ready.
I have been to MLB camps where they clocked pichers both on flat and the mound.
Bobblehead, I would be very curious, as a pitcher gets clocked on flat ground until the season, as to what your findings are for the difference between on flat ground and on a mound. I understand that it varies from pitcher to pitcher, but I would be interested in what your findings are.
I think it all hinges on whether a person is able to utilize the mound with it's elevation and downward slope.

That's why you see some people with 3 mph differences and others 0 mph.

If you have good momentum development/transfer, then odds are you will see an increase in mph.
quote:
I think it all hinges on whether a person is able to utilize the mound with it's elevation and downward slope.

That's why you see some people with 3 mph differences and others 0 mph.

If you have good momentum development/transfer, then odds are you will see an increase in mph.

While I agree that the ammount of difference most deffinately varies from person to person, I hardly doubt that any person can ever experience no difference. A pitcher is bound to throw harder off of a mound, even if the difference is minimal.
quote:
Originally posted by Andrew:
Bobblehead, I would be very curious, as a pitcher gets clocked on flat ground until the season, as to what your findings are for the difference between on flat ground and on a mound. I understand that it varies from pitcher to pitcher, but I would be interested in what your findings are.

I was curious about this post, asked son, he has NEVER been clocked on flat ground. He asked, why? What is the purpose?
Sorry, Bobblehead, I was referring to O'Brady's comment and got you two confused.
What about catchers, infielders and outfielders? Most never get to throw off the mound and they have some pretty good arms. Do they risk injury because they throw off flat ground? Maybe mounds were built only as a reference point for pitchers so they can find the correct distance to pitch from? Maybe it's a coaching aid. You have to admit It would sound kinda funny to hear a coach say --- "Johnny, I want you to take the flat ground in the opener Friday night". Personally I think it was built so the catcher could have a reference point on his throw downs to second base. Besides, what is three miles an hour when velocity means nothing? Pass the eggnog!
Fungo
Fungo,
I am thinking you hit the eggnog early.

And your points were some I made to son, catchers, infielders, outfielders have great arms, and throwing on flat ground doesn't hurt them.

So I did a little checking. Flat ground work should only be for conditioning for pitchers and it is ok for them to let full out if they feel comfortable with that, no harm done, no matter what distance they are throwing from. However, pitchers velocity only counts when throwing from the mound and what he is throwing (in other words how he utilizes that mound, his mechanics on the mound). No need to be concerned with what velo is anywhere else. Not my opinion but someone elses.
Last edited by TPM
quote:
So I did a little checking. Flat ground work should only be for conditioning for pitchers and it is ok for them to let full out if they feel comfortable with that, no harm done, no matter what distance they are throwing from. However, pitchers velocity only counts when throwing from the mound and what he is throwing (in other words how he utilizes that mound, his mechanics on the mound). No need to be concerned with what velo is anywhere else. Not my opinion but someone elses

TPM I have been to 2 MLB camps where the pitchers were clocked on flat ground before being clocked on the mound. Not sure why but these were veteran scouts. Possibly they were interested in how much difference the mound made.
FG is for conditioning and many pitchers loosen up in the bull pen by throwing a few in front of the mound and a few behind. Our pitchers always did some FG work to condition their arm.
quote:
Originally posted by BobbleheadDoll:
quote:
So I did a little checking. Flat ground work should only be for conditioning for pitchers and it is ok for them to let full out if they feel comfortable with that, no harm done, no matter what distance they are throwing from. However, pitchers velocity only counts when throwing from the mound and what he is throwing (in other words how he utilizes that mound, his mechanics on the mound). No need to be concerned with what velo is anywhere else. Not my opinion but someone elses

TPM I have been to 2 MLB camps where the pitchers were clocked on flat ground before being clocked on the mound. Not sure why but these were veteran scouts. Possibly they were interested in how much difference the mound made.
FG is for conditioning and many pitchers loosen up in the bull pen by throwing a few in front of the mound and a few behind. Our pitchers always did some FG work to condition their arm.

Because it was done at 2 MLB camps, does that mean it means something.
I just wanted to pass on a thought from a reliable source.
The discussion was regarding changes in velocity throwing from flat ground in gym with sneakers vs. throwing from mound. I can see where it might be slower, but my point and question asked is the change in velocity important and the answer was, the only velocity that matters is from the mound.

Were the pitchers gunned in the gym because they couldn't take the mound? If so, then the coaches, not knowing the player, and not being able to gun them from the mound, did so to get an idea of arm speed in general.
We are assuming that is why it was done.
Last edited by TPM
TPM I mentioned in both cases they were clocked on FG before being clocked from the mound. Both situations were outside and with atleast 2 mounds available.
I don't know why they clocked from FG I can only speculate.
I know one of my friends was 87mph on FG and 89 off the mound.
Experienced pitchers can throw about 2 mph faster from a good mound versus flat ground. Showcases I've been to have all used mounds for pitching speed measurement.

Lack of a mound is one of the many, many reasons people think those carnival radar guns read low. Even if they had mounds, few non-pitchers would be able to fully take advantage of a slope. Takes practice.

What sprinter wouldn't want to start his race from a 10" hill?
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quote:
Also a pitcher who works down in the strike zone tends to get higher speeds on the gun.

I've noticed that, too, I think. Maybe an extra mph. Would be interesting to test scientifically. One more reason to keep the ball low, especially when being scouted.
quote:
Originally posted by banditsbb:
when throwing from flat ground in gym and in tennis shoes with no rubber that fast ball velocity is usually about three miles per hour slower then off of a mound in cleats.

Me personally, it is probably closer to 8-mph slower.
I have a really hard time believing that itrogas44, but to be fair to you you might be writing sarcasticly. Sorry if I question what you write if you are indeed being sarcastic.
I wasn't being sarcastic at all.

I can guarantee you I throw 5-10 mph harder in a game, on a mound vs. throwing in a gym, playing catch on flat ground.

How is that hard to believe?

I don't play catch at much over 80-82 mph.

I've thrown for years against my barn, with a Stalker set up.
Last edited by itrogas44
itrogas44,

Having been throwing on my driveway into a net for as long as I can remember, and recently starting to gun myself a good amount of times that I do (albeit with a JUGS and not a Stalker), I highly doubt that there is that much difference. I throw lowish 80's (82-83) on the driveway, and I feel like were I a sophmore touching 90 or near it, I would know about it . I infact have been gunned off the mound in a game earlier this year (about end of march, dont rememer exact day) and it was only 2-3MPH higher at the most (85).

Just curious as to what leads you to believe in a 5-10MPH difference.
quote:
Originally posted by Andrew:
itrogas44,

Having been throwing on my driveway into a net for as long as I can remember, and recently starting to gun myself a good amount of times that I do (albeit with a JUGS and not a Stalker), I highly doubt that there is that much difference. I throw lowish 80's (82-83) on the driveway, and I feel like were I a sophmore touching 90 or near it, I would know about it . I infact have been gunned off the mound in a game earlier this year (about end of march, dont rememer exact day) and it was only 2-3MPH higher at the most (85).

Just curious as to what leads you to believe in a 5-10MPH difference.

Maybe my flat ground mechanics aren't very good.
or maybe my mound mechanics aren't very good. lol
TPM posted:
quote:
Originally posted by Andrew:
Bobblehead, I would be very curious, as a pitcher gets clocked on flat ground until the season, as to what your findings are for the difference between on flat ground and on a mound. I understand that it varies from pitcher to pitcher, but I would be interested in what your findings are.

I was curious about this post, asked son, he has NEVER been clocked on flat ground. He asked, why? What is the purpose?

Found this in the archives from 2007.

Long story short, son is doing year abroad in one of those "soccer countries."   Baseball facilities are nil, and he is relegated to throwing flat ground bullpens against fences.  I bought him a Pocket Radar and a tripod to take with.  He was curious about how his flat ground velo will translate to the mound.  Flat grounds are all he has to work with so that is why he has clocked himself off flat ground not mounds.  Not many mounds in Europe I guess?  I typed it in the search bar above and found this informative thread.

Now some 9 years later wondering if anyone else can add hardcore data to the thread.  My son would appreciate it.

Last edited by #1 Assistant Coach

Just wanted to give this a bump before I went to bed.

Any West Coasters out there with any thoughts?

We throw flat ground to work on mechanics, conditioning, and spots. Our younger kids will throw a 3-1-3 (3 fastball spots in a row, 1 change up spot, and 3 knuckle palm spots in a row) our older boys throw a 5-3-5 usually. We do gun guys off flat ground early on just to see where they are at, but we've never done it from flat ground and the mound in the same day. Typically our flat ground work is 3-4 mph slower than the mound.

I will say I believe throwing spots from flat ground is great for pitchers. We do it a lot since it is less stressful on the elbow. When you have 4-5 guys on a middle school team that can throw an 80mph inside fastball spot and can locate a knuckle palm away it makes it a lot easier to call pitches!

4-5 guys throwing 80mph? All on one middle school team? I know it happens (80mph and up), but I also know how rare it is with that age group.

I was generalizing a little but yes. We have 4 guys that cruise from 78 to 82. Very talented bunch. We went undefeated and just won the county middle school championship last night. Our number 2 guy pitched a complete game with 14 Ks, 1 walk and 1 hit. And the hit was a 2 strike blooper to RF we just missed. Fun group to coach for sure! We have 2 sophomores on our varsity cruising at 89 with good control and poise. When they are seniors these 8th graders will be sophomores. Good Lord willing we will have a good shot at making a run in the playoffs that year. We'll see I guess.

Congrats PW!

Thanks for your input.  Will pass along to son.

You maybe interested in the World of Japanese HS Baseball. Our Goodwill Series/Japan was played for 17 years and the experience was "outstanding".

1. All mounds pro or college or HS are relative flat.

2. The tournament in Koshien for have drawn 40,000 per game and 40 million on TV. When Davish

was pitching I interviewed the Japanese scouts and 2 American scouts.

Bob

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