You can implement a lot of physical strategies for improving velocity but sometimes there are mental blocks, which prevent you from reaching your goals. The blocks aren’t always obvious but once you figure them out, you’ll progress more quickly.
A baseball player I recently worked with had a strong desire to increase his velocity but wasn’t able to lift it above 83 mph. After working with him, I discovered that his dad had played pro ball and never pitched faster than 84 mph. If my player, who I’ll refer to as John (not his real name), were to pitch faster than 84 mph, it would mean that he wasn’t being loyal to his dad.
Did John want to pitch faster than 84 mph or did he want to stay loyal to his dad? He wanted both of course. Once John was able to process his feelings of disloyalty towards his dad, his velocity increased to 91 mph.
I figured out that disloyalty was the issue when testing his muscle and asking him to think about increasing his velocity. Rather than talking about his frustrations, I used muscle testing to ask his body how he felt. Athletes are stronger than me. I’m female and it’s just a fact. But I’m not interested in someone’s physical strength when I’m communicating with the body. Instead, I’m looking for cues, which will indicate whether a player is ok or not ok with their performance. You can do this on your own too.
Stand in place, close your eyes, and imagine yourself pitching or throwing at the speed you want. Does your body sway forward or backward or does it stay in the same place? If you sway forwards or stay in the same place, you’re ok. If you sway backward, you’re not ok with what you see in your mind.
Want to get a really clear read with testing yourself? Take a pack of cigarettes and hold it up to your chest. Close your eyes and now see which way you sway.
Although you won’t find the emotion or reason for why you’re not ok with your velocity or whatever issue it is you’re testing, you will get an answer about whether you’re feeling good about the issue or not.
If you want to dig deeper and consider the mental blocks getting in your way of increasing your velocity, here are 3 tips.
- Ask yourself who would benefit if you pitched as fast as you wanted? Who would not benefit? Just as in John’s example, consider who might be upset if you were to do better than them. It may not be obvious so if this is a difficult exercise, start by listing the people in your life you have the most contact with and ask yourself these questions.
- What would increasing your velocity give you that you don’t have right now? Is it a feeling? What does it feel like? Is there anything else in your life that offers you the same feeling? When you ask yourself why this is important to you, you’ll understand the benefits of why you’re putting in the work and it will give you the incentive to keep pushing for what you want.
- Who are you comparing yourself to? You might not be comparing yourself to anyone, but take a minute and consider the possibility that you’re competing with someone else. Anytime you compare, you lessen your own value. Focus on your personal best.
The clearer you get on who benefits from increasing your velocity, the easier it will become to fulfill that goal.