Developing the COMPLETE Pitcher
When you're a pitcher standing on the bump, all of the attention is on you. You are the quarterback on the field; the ball is in YOUR hands more than any other player.
For some, this may be nerve wracking, or it may be what you live for.
Whether you throw strikes or not, whether you throw flames or not, you have to fully develop all the necessary areas of athleticism to become a better pitcher.
A pitcher must be able to develop their own routine, or preparation, that will give them the 100% confidence of performing at high levels on game day.
A pitcher must train a certain ways to become mobile, strong, powerful, and resilient.
Lastly, a pitcher must be able to create mental toughness and ingest the proper nutrition in order to perform at high levels.
Whether you're a young pitcher or an older pitcher, these principles must be applied across all ages.
Let's go over these systems one by one.
Whether you are preparing for a bullpen, a training session, or your start, it's important to get your body to perform at its highest level.
In our 60'6" Complete Pitcher Boot Camp, we teach our throwers multiple ways to prepare. First and foremost, we believe it's important to increase body temperature before anything else. This can be very basic, as long as we break a sweat and wake our body up. Here are some examples:
- Jumping Jacks
- Jump rope
- Form running
- Skipping variations
Once we get our basic warm up in, it's then time to move into a more specific movement preparation to meet the demands of the mound. These movements include, but are not limited to:
- Lunge variations (reverse lunge, forward lunge)
- IYTAW variations for the shoulder complex (either bodyweight or banded)
- Rotation variations (trunk rotations, angled rotations, side lunge variations)
- Core activation variations (deadbugs, plank variations)
The amount of time spent on each part of a warmup is completely individualized, and we preach this to our throwers as well. Some might take 20 minutes to get a solid foundation set for a warm up and prep, and others might take a little more or a little less.
Of course, this does not include mobility.
Pitching requires the body to be in multiple positions where it needs to be both mobile and stable. Over the course of a season, a thrower will lose mobility in their throwing shoulder and both hips.
Mobility is not to be confused with flexibility. Flexibility is defined as how much a tissue can be lengthened. Mobility, however, is the ability to control the flexibility of this tissue from end range to end range.
If your hips are excessively tight, you should include some mobility movements into your warmup before you throw. If you have a history of shoulder issues and can't get into good positions, include some extra mobility movements into your warm up.