I was asked recently how to warm up before a game? The question came from a father whose son was about to start during the week. The level of play was American Legion ball.
Basically, I answered him this way.
Pitchers that compete intensely - amateur and pro alike, depend on the same thing(s). Tolerance, endurance, stamina, clear thinking, sport specific awareness, and flexibility.
They must depend on being ready to “go for it” when needed and perform as if they “are needed.”
So this question “ what do I do to warm up before a game” rings with the timeliness of a very small space in time, like only minutes or only hours - before a game.
This kind of mentality will only get as far as kiddie ball, and no further. Fact is, there is nothing stated in minutes or hours that has a thing to do with being the go-to-guy when your club needs you on the perch. You must be warmed up constantly if you’re going to make an impression in this business (game).
Figure it this way:
… you call a plumber at 3am to fix a water pipe that just blew in your home and he/she tells you …” hold it, I gotta take … oh, about twenty minutes or so to get ready first.” Not gonna happen!
Look, you want to make it to the best college program, or even get ready for a shot at pro ball, then get your head on right by being warmed up 24/7. And I don’t mean tossing the ball around 24/7.
Don’t laugh. There’s a guy just next door, across town, about hundred miles away … and you know darn well in the Dominican, Cuba, Central America, Japan and elsewhere that’s doing just that. Keeping up with his physical fitness to BE ready.
Successful pitchers are constantly keeping their eating habits in check, keeping their arms and shoulder platforms flexible and in shape constantly, increasing their lung capacity and breathing stamina, focusing on what’s-what in the basics of baseball logic - per pitch-per-game situation, and so forth. A lot of these young men don’t have the amenities or life style that a lot of you might have, but they do have drive and the guts to want IT bad. So bad, that they’ll keep themselves ready for that one opportunity that drives by and they latch on to it.
The name of this sport is compete. Compete against everyone that’s across the field in the other dugout and compete with the guys that are sitting right next to you.
Be hungry. Be aggressive. Be ready … I mean be ready, ready. Keep fit, keep flexible with your muscles and support that equipment from the chin on down.
So, got a guy who’s not performing? Be the go-to guy that your bullpen coach can call the dugout for when asked “who ya got scamp?”
Don’t just warm up before a game! Be warmed up for your entire life. The suits upstairs love to see that on the nightly stats call. Even at the 15 years old and above level.
Go for it!