While supervising a youth session of our Elite Baseball Training group, one of my clients asked me “What’s the best thing you can do for fastball velocity?”
I told him the same thing I tell everyone: Throw.
He said that he loved to throw long toss and felt that he got a lot out of our weighted baseball throwing program, and asked if he should pitch more. I replied: “Absolutely not,” and after thinking about it for a bit, I confidently told him: “That’s the absolute worst thing you can do for your fastball velocity.”
Pitching is the worst thing you can do if your goal is to increase your fastball velocity, especially if you are in the off-season. The minute you step on the mound, you start reverting back to primary programming and how you threw a baseball years ago, which undoes a ton of throwing-related mechanical work. You start thinking about concepts that have nothing to do with fastball velocity: Locating your pitches, working on a batter, getting good movement, etc.
There are no skills in the world that you get better at by not doing them, or doing them in an unproductive manner. Let me say this and make it very, very clear:
Pitching is the least productive way to throw a baseball!
If you want to develop arm speed-strength and get your fastball over 90 MPH, you need to cut out a lot of your pitching and save the training economy / arm stress for simply throwing-related work – long toss, weighted ball throwing, partial throwing drills, and so forth.
Stop pitching. Start throwing.