Pre-game bullpen session

Hey, gang…

I could use some help, here. What is the best routine to use to get ready to pitch on gameday? I find that my son is throwing too much in the bullpen and doesn’t know how to get ready (throws too many pitches, not enough change-up, too many curves, etc.). Sometimes it looks like he’s throwing a whole game before the game.


Just copied and pasted this from my site:
Hope it helps!
Before you throw your first pitch in a game, your entire body should feel loose; not just your arm. You first throw with your legs and that energy transfers through each kinetic chain of your body until release of the baseball. Here is a short list of exercises you can do prior to loosening up your arm (throwing).

Lower Body warm-ups - Jog one lap, Form Running Forward and Backward, Karaoke’s right and left, Lunges Forward and Backward, Side lunges (left and right). Upper Body warm-ups- Shoulder Circles (Forward and Backward; thumbs up and down), Bent arm clap on back, Walking Toe Touches.

Now that you have your blood pumping it is time to stretch. Hamstrings, Quads, Hip Flexors, Calves, Arm Pulls and pushes, Elbow pulls and so on.

There are a variety of warm up exercises and stretches you can do before picking up the baseball and loosening up your arm. Those of course are just a few of them. The point is to warm up your entire body, not just your arm before you pitch.

When you start throwing on game day you should only throw about 30-45 warm up pitches, no more than that. Many pitchers tend to warm-up too much and when their arm is needed the most; during the game, they feel like they have already thrown 2 innings and don’t last as many innings as they could. Out of the 30-45 warm up pitches, only 10-15 should be thrown at high intensity; you never want to max out in the bullpen.

Thanks, Pitching Academy!!

I will discuss this with my son this morning. His first start (and the Team’s first game) is at 1 p.m. today. He’ll have a lot on his mind but I’ll try to get him to focus on getting ready to pitch. I’m hoping that by the second game or so he finds a pre-game ritual that works for him, which will help him to focus on other things.

Thanks, again.

Here’s what I used to do when warming up prior to starting a game:
After generally getting loosened up, I would go in the bullpen and begin with a few minutes of easy catch. Then I would throw all my pitches, both from full windup and the stretch, just to see how they were working, and if one pitch was misbehaving I would stick it back on the shelf for the duration. The whole thing took maybe twenty minutes. And then, when I went out to the mound, I took my customary eight warmup throws and got set to face the first batter of the game.
On the rare occasion when I would have to work with a substitute catcher, one who didn’t know my stuff, I would take him into the bullpen with me and warm up with him, so that he could get comfortable with my stuff—especially because, being a sidearmer, I used the crossfire extensively. In this way he could familiarize himself with my repertoire before the game, so there would be no unpleasant surprises. 8)

Thanks, Zita. No specific number of pitches? Did you play it more by feel or did you throw an exact number of bullpen pitches?

I did it pretty much by feel—after all, one of my primary objectives, besides getting loose, was to see just how my pitches were working, and that was why I preferred to have the person who was going to catch for me in the game catch for me during my bullpen warmup. That way, no surprises. I didn’t want to cross up the catcher. I threw just enough pitches to get warmed up, no more. Didn’t want to knock myself out! :slight_smile:

My pre-start routine goes as follows. About an hour to 50 minutes before first pitch i start stretching. run a few poles. Just anything to get the blood flowing. Then i work into my throwing progression where i stop at various points to make a good amount of throws. 90, 120 etc.

I come back in to 90 feet and throw long toss changeups.

Then at 45 feet i roll a couple curves and sliders.

With about 10-14 minutes until gametime i hop on the bump and start warming up.

I start by having the catch in front of the plate like 3 feet. This helps me target low in the zone.

Then he goes back behind the plate, and I go 3 fast in 3 fast out 3 change in 3 slider/curve out

then from the stretch repeat.

after that whatever needs to be worked on will be worked on.

game starts (when we are the home team) when i decide i want to step on the mound.

Hope that helps

Excellent. Thanks. My son has a tendency to get a bit excited / pumped and throw a complete game in the bullpen before he gets on the mound. He threw this Saturday in his JV’s opening day and focused on the bullpen session a bit more. I found that he had a lot more energy in on the hill.

The JV level should be the forerunner of things to come with the varsity experience. Coaches should be in close proximity to one another - up and down the competitive ladder, communications wise, so to transfer real talent to the varisity system. I use the word system, because that’s exactly what a JV club is for.

Hence, your son’s prelude to arriving at the park, never mind the pen, should include an itinerary of sleep, nutrition, check-in procedures - whether he’s on the school bus or some other method of arrival, then a physical “prep” and clearance by the pitching coach, or some other coach, that your son is physically ok, then an assigned catcher who is schooled in some sort of pen duty “feedback system”, that advises all the coaches just how well - or not, your son is doing for game time. All in all, what I just described should be a reflection of the varsity level experience - so, your son has been introduced to things that won’t come as a surpirse when he moves up.

By the way, this is not magic stuff requiring a Phd., no sir, it’s game simple game savvy that accompanies a coach from the interview process to the field.

Bullpen routines are not stand alone. There part of a systematic check list, occupying a line item with sub routines of “things to do”. And the most important part of that routine, is the feedback to the coaching staff of what your boy’s doing. If your son is not having a decent stint in the pen, then " throwing him to the wolves" is very non productive as well as unhealthy. That’s why rotation schedules are established for sloting in another pitcher if need be.

I understand that coaching is not very specific at some JV levels, and with resources being in a feast or famine cycle, all concerned try to do their best to provide a safe and enjoyable environment. I hope your boy has an enjoyable baseball experience.

Coach B.

i really like that idea undersized… im gonna give that a shot in the pen