Sport Specific

I got a question… If somebody doesn’t have a like base… like a solid strong body … will specific pitching workouts do anything… it might sound like a dumb question but whaever…

General strength should come first. That allows you to reap the benefits of a more specialized workout. But that general strength should be built in a way that compliments functional movements of the sport.

Steven Ellis gave you Big League advice - You won’t get better! In fact many D1 college programs for players returning after missing a lot of a season’s experience do exactly what Steven Ellis suggested as a gradual introduction back into the program, in addition to other things.

Your question is very well put – if not outstanding, especially for someone who wants to think beyond the limitations of park & rec ball. Why? Because you as a youngster have unique definitions of body strength, duration, tolerances, and so forth associated with growth. Simply put, you might be 5’ 6” tall today and tilt the scales at 125 lbs, but in the next few years, you could be 5’ 11” and weighing in at 185lbs., with a lot more going for you – athletically speaking.

So, I’m going to assume that you’re at the beginning of your athletic journey and that your strength and conditioning training should reflect this. So, here are some suggestions for you:
1.) Don’t compare yourself to bigger, stronger and more experienced players, friends, schoolmates, etc.
2.) Your body’s frame, physical endurance and associated learning abilities – especially in the world of athletics, is there for a purpose. Give yourself justice for having certain abilities, NOT the lack thereof. In other words, reach for strengthening those abilities.
3.) Recognize the level of play that you’re trying to compete at. Is it a good fit for you? Do you accept pressure well based on the expectations of others? Are you aggressive enough to command responsibility?
4.) Pitching is an art form, and as such is a craft that has a certain “either you have it or you don’t” characteristics. Hence, if the majority of the youngsters in your age group are noticeably better than you at this position, well there’s a reason. For example, a very young 13 year old playing in a program that’s for 15U (fifteen and under) might qualify for play, but, may be unsuited(at the present) to pitch.

Ok, here are some excises to address your question directly: And by the way, none of these drills require special equipment or breaking the bank. ALSO, THIS IS ASSUMING THAT YOU HAVE NO PHYSICAL LIMITATIONS THAT WOULD NULL AND VOID THESE EXERCISES. CHECK WITH YOUR PARENTS BEFORE DOING THESE.
-First things first, your training table should require a breakfast with a solid GRAIN, FRUIT, and DAIRY every morning. Plan your breakfast the night before. Be very aware of any food allergies that you might be susceptible to. Be sure to ask for assistance from your parents here.
-Five glasses of water a day is the minimum for athletes. In some sports, it’s even more. Keeping yourself properly hydrated is mandatory for proper growth and development.
-Take a standard issue baseball bat, assume a batter’s stance, place your hands and arms up at shoulder height - now swing your bat as you would at an incoming ball, at one third game speed,— 50 times.The important thing here is to keep the bat level at the shoulders during the swing. **** this is not an easy drill, so if your getting tired, stop – rest a bit, then pick up where you left off ***************

  • With the bat across your shoulders and behind your head, drape your arms over the bat, then complete five squat bends
  • Take the prone position and complete five pushups.
  • Lay flat on the rug – or towel, mat, etc., and do five sit-ups.

Refresh yourself with a cool drink of water and rest for about five minutes. Then, start your exercise routine over again. Completing a routine like this five(5) times a day is a great muscle toner. Also, notice how easy this routine is to remember 50-5-5- then rest for 5 minutes. Also, none of this taxes your system (body) to the point where you’re straining.

Now for the pitching side of your question. If you’re just trying to have fun playing ball – great, a town league or something similar will give you a great opportunity to have some fun. In this case, enjoy your time in the sun and just be a kid. Enjoy. In fact, you and your buddies can look forward to pop and ice cream after the game, just as well as playing the game itself. I did! And by the way, the friendships that I made during that time in my life are still fresh in my mind and I still keep in contact with these guys.

If however you’re into some serious competitive baseball, and pitching is your thing – get a real pitching coach. Preferably someone who has been a pitching coach specific - at a college, AAU, etc. Some of these men don’t come cheap – so look around and shop around with your parents. Only a pitching coach with hands-on experience of developing young players in all the health, training, playing, game scenario’s, etc., can help you in this regard. In short, there’s no substitute for live coaching.

There are other workout programs to be sure, but I am not privileged to your physical abilities, health and other issues. Nor should I be. So, my suggestions and advice is purely general in nature. But, they are a start. In addition, you school’s physical education schedule should reflect an exercise program that compliments some of what I’ve outline above. If you not participating in a physical education program at school because of any physical or health issues you should not pursue the exercises suggested above.

Best wishes on your pitching career.

arite gras guys… thats exactly what my coach told me to do. because I have a base but I could make it better… which will make the sport specific exercsises go up in power and other stuff… im a junior now and I hope i get some colleges lookin at me by the end of the spring… cuz all we have up here is spring ball then legion in the summer… any suggestions?

Hmmm… Well you have a ton of options for program layout. I think one of the easiest to integrate with throwing workouts is the 3 day fullbody split. That way you can have three days set aside for bullpens/longtoss/etc. and then have one day for rest.

I’d start out with bodyweight exercises (since they are easier to learn, and you dont need a gym or equipment). I posted some really challenging examples in the stickied thread. Plus the circuit format adds an additional challenge of conditioning.

So something like this for the first month or so…

Monday: Bodyweight Circuit + Core Workout
Tuesday: Baseball specific
Weds: Bodyweight Circuit + Med ball/ plyos (or Core)
Thurs: Baseball Spec
Fri: Bodyweight Circuit + Core
Sat: Baseball Specific (or additional rest day if needed)
Sunday: Rest

Obviouly this is just an example, so you can move things around and make changes to suit your needs. If you want more plyos, I’d try to integrate more core moves in your bodyweight circuit, then add the med ball/ plyos to the end of the session. Your strength days should not take you more than 40 minutes to complete. That is the beauty of circuit workouts - a minimum of wasted time.

Alright thanks coach… im gonna be a junior tho in HS and i wanan get noticed this year… I got a workout from my JV coach who’s a physical trainer and is in his young 20s and he pitched for my school when he played and he pitched in college and still plays for a Twillight league… but I to the gym 4 or 5 days a week and my workout is shoulders and legs one day… bi’s and tri’s then chest and back… all which take around an hour to do each… shoulders is just stretching and strengthening my rotator cuff … i can email u the workouts or post them on here if u guys would like… its just to get bigger for now… not that im small cuz im pretty strong i just cant gain weight so im tryin 2 eat moer and healthier but thanks for the help…

I’ll never understand why so many trainers try to have their athletes doing splits like that…

Try asking your trainer about possibly switching your training schedule around. Joe DeFranco’s West Side 4 Skinny Bastards program seems like it would meet your needs ( http://www.defrancostraining.com/articles/articles.htm ). CF could probably give you a lot more info on Joe’s methods since he is following it. This way will allow you to transition into your season more easily as well.

its just so that I get a strong base n stuff like that