Bullpen sessions

my school doesnt have any kind of bullpen sessions or pitching practice besides bp so i do alot of throwing at home off a mound i built. i have no real routine to my throwing at home and i normally throw till im tired of throwing. should i have some kind of routine to this and should i have a set amount of pitches for everytime i throw?

You should definitely have some sort of a routine, but I’ll leave that to the more knowledgeable strength & conditioning guys on here to give you the details.

I don’t know about throwing, but for lifting, I always gain strength the best when I don’t completely exhaust my muscles to failure every workout, but have more frequent workouts where I progressively increase the intensity every workout.

I’m not sure if this theory directly applies to throwing, but it might.


Bullpen duty is just one phase of a routine that’s part of a planned cycle.

Usually, a pitcher’s nourishment is satisfied, then a reasonable period of digestion and relaxation, then a hour or so of conditioning the body to expect testing the results of deliberate and focused pitching for and with a purpose.

I use to mandate time on a circuit (machines), like tread work, cycle, mat work (calisthenics), shoulder/arm extensions, and a host of other routines … all backed up by regular hydration (water).

Then a short cool down period, along with referencing what exactly the upcoming bullpen duty is suppose to accomplish. Are we simply working out the general muscle groups? Are we readjusting ourselves after an extended period away from the mound - for whatever reason? Are we trying to gently test the waters after a spell of sever soreness or sprain? Are we following the advice of professional medical and physical specialist?

If we’re just taking the bullpen with no special objective other than reinforcing our skill level - then that’s exactly what we should be doing. We don’t want to let our mind wander, throw for the sake of throwing, nor do we want to rocket ourselves senseless see just how hard the ball can fly so many feet way.

Bullpen duty is just that - a duty. An assigned purpose by a coach or self directed. Basically, it’s an excellent opportunity to reinforce what works. Sound body language, pitch cycle after pitch cycle … over and over again. This repetitive body motion has not only physical benefits … but this kind of duty allows you to understand how the body moves, in cycles.

Consider this, each part of your body acts as a platform to stabilize and promote the next cycle of the body that sits on top of it and progressively receives the next “ok, it’s all yours.” Your feet for example are the platforms for the legs/knees, and they in turn are the platform for the hips/buttocks, and they in turn are the platform for the abdominal/obliques, and they in turn are the platforms for the sternum/shoulder group, and so on.

It will help you immensely to look at and think of each of these platforms building the foundation for what your trying to accomplish - a clean and easy delivery posture that will function inning after inning, without pain, without injury. You’ll also notice a control factor that should enhance your performances every time you do bullpen duty and likewise for your scheduled appearance during game day.

I use to have every pitcher “log in” during the scheduled or elected bullpen duty. There were stock things that I use to require (in writing), then there thoughts and observations I’d let the pitchers themselves jot down. The bottom line here was, … there’s a purpose for this … what was it for you … and what did you get out of it?

So, be your own coach. Test the waters on what your trying to learn and apply. Soon you’ll find that you’ll get into a routine of " practice - perfect - perform" … then you’ll repeat the process all over again.
This is what separates the men from the mice.

Coach B.

When I used to throw a bullpen session, either between starts or when warming up prior to a game, one thing I would always do was throw every one of my pitches (and I had quite an arsenal), to see how they were working. If I found that one of them wasn’t behaving itself—for example, my curve ball wasn’t doing what I wanted it to do—I would say “later for that”, stick it back on the shelf and go with the stuff I knew would work for me. As a result, I never ran into trouble during a game as a result of a misbehaving pitch.
You might want to do that and see what happens. And the next time you throw a bullpen session, check on that misbehaving pitch, tweak it a bit, and more often than not you’ll find that once again it’s working for you. 8)