I’ve worked with many pitchers over the years and it never seizes to amaze me how many pitchers “forget” to do their complete pitching workouts throughout the season. In the off season most pitchers are great at keeping up with their workout routines. However, during the season, some seam to put these important workouts on the back burner and end up paying for it in the long run. Pitchers who ignore these simple workouts often throw slower at the end of the season. Simply put, their arms are not conditioned to pitch; therefore their body cannot physically sustain the demands throwing requires.
I frequently ask each of my students a series of questions. Some of the questions have to do with mechanics, pitching drills, throwing regimens and so on. The answers to the first series of questions are mostly positive; yes coach I am doing my drills and working on my pitching mechanics everyday. Then I come to these questions… How about your core training, light dumbbell work and elastic band workouts? I would say only half of the pitchers continue to do them throughout the course of the season.
Why? I make sure the students understand the importance of these workouts. They know that throwing on a mound is a tearing down process on their arm and they need to “rebuild” the connective tissues so they can continue to throw hard and stay healthy. So why don’t they continue to do their workouts? Well there are a variety of reasons and I’m not convinced that a lack of motivation is one of them. For some it is simply a time management issue.
Are you a pitcher who struggles with this very thing? Most pitchers “intend” to do their workouts, but during this time of year its a bit challenging because there are so many practices and games. Many youth players play on several teams and when they are done running around the field all day the last thing they want to do is another workout.
My advice! Ask your coach permission to do your pitching specific workout routines sometime during practice. Or, you just need to hit the core right before practice (it only takes ten minutes) and do a quick 20 minute light dumbbell and elastic band workout right after practice. Whatever you do, don’t miss these workouts as they are critical for your arms health and longevity on the mound.
To ensure consistency, make sure you set a specific time each day to do them so you never forget. During the team practice is the best time to get them done. When you tell yourself you will do them later and put them off you will most likely not do them.