Rest? 2 questions

  1. I want to give my arm a 4-5 week rest period before the season starts, what would be the best time to do this? (Now to January, February-March, etc.) Season starts March 1

  2. What exactly is considered rest? No longtoss? No lifting? No arm workouts at all? Or just no bullpen sessions?

I made this post back in Aug 06,2009 and perhaps it addresses some of your questions.

Coach B

Posted: Aug 06, 2009 Post subject: Day’s Rest - what does it really mean?

Is there a chart, bar graph, table of contents, or similar reference that tells coaches and players how many days rest a pitcher needs before his/her next appearance? If only it were that easy.

Unfortunately, coaching athletes isn’t so cut and dry. But, let’s take this approach. Suppose I were coaching two runners - one sprinter and the other a marathon runner. I would coach each runner according to the skills specific to his event in addition to other particulars that would be homogenous to both. In addition, I would recognize the talent that each brought to the field, but under no circumstances would I expect the sprinter to hold his own during a 25 mile run, nor would I expect the marathon runner to hold his own in the 440. And if that wasn’t enough to consider, suppose I get a guy who waltzes onto the field and he specializes in the high hurtles.

The point to be made here is that each athlete has specific needs based on their speciality. Also worth considering is their output, consistently dependable and durable 100% of the time. Not 95%, not 80%, but 100%. That’s what coaches and players should plan on with their Day’s Rest itinerary.

For example, five pitchers each with their own pitch inventory, health tendencies, and attendance habits, require a Day’s Rest plan that fits each individual. Not a one size fits all. Our first two pitchers may be very strong fastball types with an expected life expectancy of about five innings - that is if their firing on all cylinders. But in order to achieve this expectation - four days of rest is the going norm for these two pitchers. And even that will come into question if sickness, depression an outside influences creeps into the picture. The remaining three are made up of two junk men and a wild card - rookie. The junk guys can cruse all day with dance, and the rookie can run with hot and cold spells. Again, even these guys will come into question given the same influences that affected our two other guys.

So it is with the pitchers under the tutelage of a pitching coach. Both coach and pitchers have a multitude of things in orbit that warrants close scrutiny. Some of these things are age, physical fitness, the true desire to be a pitcher, personal and social environmental influences, financial booster support, the coaching competency of those on staff, and the acceptance of prudent management over the win-at-all-cost mentality.

So what gives with the Day’s Rest? In the amateur game the youngster’s age, physical fitness, maturity and life style has a lot to do with assigning Day’s Rest. Fortunately, age is a common denominator for a lot of things in our sport. We classify players competitively by age and age groups, and that has a lot of merit. Physical fitness seems to fit a host of reasonable parameters with the age criteria and coaching decisions starting with age as an observation base is a good start.

Let’s get specific .I wouldn’t expect an eight year old to run a mile all out, then be ready then next day to give me the same performance time and distance wise. But, if I asked him to walk the mile, then the next day do the same, I’d be pretty sure of getting a constant time and distance wise that I could use to project if an event was held and my eight year old was entered in it. Both of my assumptions would be reasonable and fair to both parties - me as the coach and the eight year old as the athlete.
Now let’s go into the playing field. Based on observations and assumptions, each pitcher brings certain levels of tolerance and performance. Watched closely enough during the practice sessions and you’ll spot the ones who have endurance, stamina and consistency with their work. Keeping a diet and rack sheet can provide some very helpful insight in what a coach is dealing with also. A reasonable diet sheet for breakfast, rack in (time in bed PM) then rack out ( time out of bed AM) will support a healthy attention span in addition to a solid retention of what’s being coached. All in all, a reasonable set of “what am I working with here”is supplied to the coach as well as a “this is what’s supporting or affecting your work” for the pitcher.

There’s a sister discipline of study that coaches use in the upper levels - high end college and definitely in the pros - its called biorhythms. If you have the opportunity, call up a few web sites on the subject. This field of study is very dynamic and a real eye opener to what makes people tick. You and me both.

Coach B.

I’d say don’t throw or upper-body exercises for 3 weeks right now. Lower body workouts are fine and necessary. After all, it’s the legs that feed the wolf.

Wouldnt it be better to rest before the season so my arm is well rested for the start of season

What I like to do, is rest it at the end of the season, (summer ball or fall ball, whatever it is for you), then lift weights/work out, and throw a bullpen every once in a while, (this past winter i threw bullpens every other week). Then when January rolls around, I like to get ready for the season. That is, throwing more bullpens in a gradually, just finding my release point, getting pitches going again (like your breaking balls and change-ups), getting my pitch count up, and getting mechanics down pat. So in other words, get ready for the season, when it starts to come near. You’d be surprised how rusty one can get when taking 4-5 weeks off. Just my two cents.


If by March 1 you mean that’s when practices start (with games starting a few weeks later). I would try something like this:

1 - Rest arm with NO throwing until around Christmas time.
2 - Continue eating GOOD food and lot’s of it.
3 - Off season training (a light jog a couple times a week with some sprint work - weight training 3X/week - band work i.e throwers 10 and GIRD exercises like sleeper stretches).
4 - Some occasional Plyometric work (like once a week)

Some of this “rest” depends on how much you threw during the season and fall. Also depends on your recovery and how well your body adapts (and what kind of nutrition you take in).

When you do start throwing, ease into it slowly. Take a few weeks to a month to ramp up to your previous throwing levels. Then spend the rest of the time before season to exceed previous levels and break into new ground (with work load capability, throwing endurance, velocity, command, etc).

You should also continue with all of the off season work but perhaps at less of a volume.

Ideally you want your arm and over all conditioning to be at it’s peak BEFORE the first practice (so adjust this schedule accordingly), with the last bit of fine tuning to be done in the last couple weeks before the first game.

When you step on the mound for that first game you will be bullet proof!

What I do is just cut out the throwing and just lift and run. You could probably give your upper body 2 weeks off before you started lifting but I wouldn’t recommend not doing anything.

I would say resting for a pitcher is no throwing at all.