Maximizing pitching cage time?

A lot of us live in places where it’s too cold or snowy to throw outside in the off-season, which means we tend to spend a lot of time indoors at batting cages, pitching tunnels, throwing in school gyms, in the basement, etc.

If this applies to you, what do you do and where do you train in the off-season?

What does a typical “throwing session” look like for you? What do you do in the cage?

Hi Steve—As you know, it gets very cold in the winter in New York City, even if it doesn’t snow. When I lived there I could always find some indoor venue where I wouldn’t freeze and where there was plenty of room so my catcher and I could mark off the proper distance and work out. Sometimes it would be just playing catch. Other times I would be working on something—a new pitch, perhaps refining something with my mechanics—or an existing pitch. Often I would have a friend stand in the batter’s box so I could work on my control; it always helped to have a strike zone I could zero in on.
And there were days—a lot of them—when the weather would get warm enough that we could go to an unused playing field and I would work off a mound. By “warm” I mean the period of the January thaw, when the temps would often reach the low 70s—in mid-January yet—and last for about three weeks! I used to look forward to this. Now here I am in west-central Florida where we freeze if the temp drops below 70!!!
In any event, I accomplished a lot during those winter months while waiting for our baseball season to resume. :slight_smile: 8)

A very good friend of mine had a neighbor that had a son with excellent potential. Everything that you could possibly ask for in a young pitcher - height, weight, good arm reach, good marks in school and on it goes. I had just started coaching and this seemed like a good opportunity to have a little fun, away from all the seriousness and pressure of the past season.

The youngster’s father was an executive with privileges at his company - so, arrangements were made to toss a few inside a long empty section in the warehouse, just outside his fathers office. We got there late in the evening when everyone had left and all was going great … right up until the youngster let one fly and bingo …the darn ball hit smack dead-on into the plastic holding box for the fire alarm!

So, practice inside all you want … just watch out for stuff.

Coach B.

Up here in Wyoming we just throw snowballs

My mom is a teacher at a middle school so they let me go in after they have basketball practices and throw or do medicine ball work outs. I can only throw about 100 in the gym but you don’t really need to much more than that. My mom also has a huge storage closet in here classroom so in the past we’ve stored a mound in there and just moved it into the gym when ever I wanted to pitch. I can remember one year when we set our batting cage up at the park in January and were hitting in below 0 weather. We would have snow blow all the snow out of the cage so we didn’t lose all or our balls and use those yellow dimple balls. People thought we were crazy. It kind of sucks but that’s just what you have to do up here.

^ Exactly what it’s like in Wyoming, I don’t know what it’s like up in Mountain View for ZW but in Evanston we have to wait for a time at the rec center when there are very few people there and throw on flat ground, it’s very tough, last year my friend and I used the city outdoor cage in February and did something similar to what ZW did, with wood bats, that’ll teach you to hit the sweet spot.

The local Rec Center does nothing for the baseball program here in Uinta County, Wyoming. It’s annoying they won’t even let us do soft toss in the place where the golfers get to hit balls into.

They wouldn’t let us throw in the school gym because not only did my throwing partner graduate last year but the janitors and basketball coach threw a fit about it last year.

So we just do our strength and conditioning stuff in the winter since we don’t get a lot of chances to work on specific baseball skills.