Pitching after a long layoff

hi everyone,

i used to pitch in HS, but afterwards never played competitively since life took over. anyway, i’ve practiced off and on over the years, but never totally re-committed to being a pitcher again until i decided to try again in the local adult men’s baseball league.

anyway, are there any suggestions or advice to picking up pitching again after such a long layoff? i’ve felt like my mechanics have changed quite a bit from HS days, going from low three-quarters to a (now more comfortable) sidearm (not underhand) delivery, resulting in less mph but more control and movement on the ball.

or are there anyone else with similar stories of starting pitching again after a long layoff, like “the rookie” with dennis quaid a few years back?

First of all, don’t worry about your speed. You’re throwing sidearm now, and I think you have found it to be more comfortable, easier on your arm and shoulder, so even if you have lost a little speed you have better control. So you’ve got a leg up.
After such a long layoff you should go back to the fundamentals, the basics of good mechanics, and work those up again. You also want to build up strength in your pitching arm, and with this in mind let me share with you something I used to do when I was a little snip—more than a mere drill, it was a terrific workout. What I did was get a catcher, and either he would mark off with chalk a pitching rubber and a home plate at the requisite 60’6" apart, or if we could get to an unused playing field I would take the mound and he would get back behind the plate. And we would play a little game we called “ball and strike”, the purpose of which is to sharpen up one’s control. This catcher would position his mitt in various places, high, low, inside, outside, every which way but standing on his head! :lol: My job was to get the ball smack-dab into the pocket of the mitt—and what a good, satisfying “thwack” it was when I accomplished this. We would go at it for an hour at a time, and I would do this with all my pitches, first taking a few minutes to loosen up by playing catch and then throwing in earnest. I was, by the way, a true sidearmer, and I used the crossfire extensively, and believe me, I can’t think of a better way to sharpen my control. Oh yes, from time to time I would get someone to stand in the batter’s box so I could practice zeroing on the strike zone (which, by the way, was much larger in my day that it is now).
And decide what your best pitch is, really work on it, and get a couple of others—including a good changeup—into your arsenal of pitches. And above all, have fun getting back into the game! :slight_smile: :baseballpitcher:

Thanks Zita Carno for the advice!

Problem is, here in China baseball’s still a growing and very small sport. Doesn’t stop me from trying, however!