Ready in Time

Hi, new to the forum, new to pitching. However, I am excited to learn. I have been playing ball regularly this summer but have not been lifting or conditioning otherwise.

I am in my senior year in college at a D-III school (Stockton College, NJ) and am thinking of going out for the team. The reason I really am considering it is because they only have one Lefty pitcher coming back this season. I know baseball mentally and have a decent build for pitching…6’ 3" 165lbs. Do you think I would even have a chance at that level of play? I know that right now I am not close to ready, but with 7 months to train is it worth a shot? I’m sure I can get my mental game ready, as well as conditioning by then…but is the actually pitching mechanics out of reach since I have basically no experience?

I can throw about 60 accurately now but have no idea how to throw faster. Any suggestions or bits of hope ?? I would really appreciate it. Thanks guys…go Yanks.

60 mph aint gonna cut it, even for a Div-3 school. That being said, I think you have a realistic shot at getting to the 75-80+ range in 7 months.

How long have you been playing baseball (little league, high school, summer leagues, etc)?
Have you talked to any of the coaches at your college to see if they have an offseason program?

You are going to need a ton of instruction. Find someone nearby (I think forum member Joe Janish lives in NJ, I have no idea if he is closeby) that is qualified to teach. Start working on that as soon as possible.

In terms of conditioning, where are you starting from? Do you have any experience with strength training? Since you are 6’3 165, I am assuming that you are a pretty lanky guy. You might want to try and add a few pounds to your frame, but it isnt necessary. More importantly, you need to train explosiveness- thats what you will be using as a pitcher.
If you are truly serious about becoming as good as possible as quickly as possible, I would point you to Mike Griffin. He has worked as a strength coach at college and pro levels, so he can help you more than I can. Hopefully he will be around to add his opinion.

Anyways, good luck.

I have some in-game experience but that was junior high… I was a track and XC runner in HS so as for in-game competetive pitching, nada.

My glove hand wrist (right wrist) was broken a couple years ago and some ligaments are in bad shape. Fielding is ok with it, but batting can be a problem lefty because of the way it rotates, are college pitchers expected to bat decent, or is it like the majors in that respect where they are an easy out ? (no DH right)?

ahhh… I know I can play but I dont know where to start.

So far I’ve just been doing basic push ups sit ups, preparing for true workouts in the gym, and throwing the ball everyday.

Aside from conditioning the muscles of your rotator cuff, you need to focus on the muscles of your core.

thanks for the help

ahhh… I know I can play but I dont know where to start.

So far I’ve just been doing basic push ups sit ups, preparing for true workouts in the gym, and throwing the ball everyday.[/quote]
Where to start…
Well, fall ball should be coming up pretty soon. See if there is a league in your area that is not too competitive. You want a team that will let you “learn on the job.” Other than pitching, you should learn to play first base and the outfield.
In the gym, focus on compound lifts (deads, squats, olympic style lifts). I really think that adding some muscle would benefit you on the mound and at other positions. Therefore you are going to need more than just core exercises (the core works pretty hard on those compounds though).

I still think the most important aspect of this will be a pitching coach. I dont care how strong you are, mechanics will decide if you make the team or not. Start looking around for instructors in your area. Make sure you find someone that is qualified and that you get along with. Let him know what your timeline is- 7 months.

Thanks Kc … Actually after researching just a few of the articles on here about mechanics (like rushing and hip rotation) I went out back and threw three pitches. 70, 74, 70 mph, nothing special but before that my top was 66 from a mound, with elbow soreness. I will definately look for a fall ball league now that you mentioned it and I just started back up in the gym today with some easy chest, tris, and abs.

My college’s coaches need some lefty’s. I talked to a kid on the team today and he said the only LHP was dropped b/c of grades. He may or may not come back.

Outfield was always my position whenever I did play on a team and first base would be good to learn for fielding grounders.

My chicken legs need work so I’ll get on them. What are the olympic style lifts that you mentioned?

Where do you play?

Olympic lifts would be the snatch and the clean and jerk. They train explosive power instead of linear power (like a bench press). In baseball, you want the explosive type of strength. Striding forward and rotating both involve that same speed strength and I think most here will agree that your rotation will add velocity most effectively.
When you start lifting, start slow. The way I was taught these lifts was be starting with an empty bar. Do as many sets like that as you need to fill comfortable. Once you start adding weight, you’ll be glad you have good form. Here is an article that should help you out:

And for your “chicken legs”… eat more and lift heavy. They’ll be gone soon enough.

I stopped playing competitively a couple years ago. Torn up knee cartilidge and no insurance to pay for surgery. I guess I could go get it fixed now, but I have moved on from my playing days. Now I coach for fun, and try to help out my younger brother when I can. I might play a little slow-pitch softball every now and then, but that’s it.

As far as your strength training is concerned, I probably would avoid the olympic lifts for now. One reason is that if you don’t know what you are doing then you are going to get hurt. If you have an expert that can help you then it might be ok. The other reason is that if you have a messed up wrist, racking your cleans is going to kill it. Also, those lifts take much longer to learn the form so you can start adding weight. You have a tight time frame. If you are wanting to pitch next spring, you better get on this in a hurry.

I won’t talk too much about the actual pitching work you need but as far as strength, I’d have you doing a very basic overall strength program. Exercises like squats, lunges, deadlifts, rows, pushups/bench, shoulder raises, and rotator cuff work. If you are used to doing a lot of long distance type of running, then you need to change your mindset about that also. You need to start sprinting. This will help you with some of the explosiveness that the olympic lifts provide.

Overall, I’d suggest you lift full-body 2x/week, sprint 3-4 days/week, and get as much pitching instruction as you can.