Warmup/Activation and Recovery


I am a high school pitching coach looking to revamp my Warmup/Activation and Recovery for my pitchers. I would love to hear what some of you guys are doing in these areas.


Could you explain the term “recovery?”

Also, are you looking for suggestions for the preseason, prime playing season, or post season play?

The reasons for my asking is that there is so much between the lines of your question, that I’d like to address these questions with more to go on. Why? Aside from the recovery question that I posted above, your players forming your pitching staff have unique experience, physical and endurance attributes.

Also your pitching staff is going to change year after year - thus incoming freshmen or even sophomores may require a greater stewardship and observations, tailoring pregame and bullpen duty.

Do you have assistants with some sort of dependability, knowledge, and commitment? Or are you alone and winging it?
By the way, my question about “winging it” is not meant to degrade your ability or experiences. On the other hand, if you’re all alone with a minimum roster just to make showing up, you’re done before you even start. Why? Because like most coaches in that kind of situation, you’ll be pulling kids off the field to pitch as relievers - and it’s a downhill ride from there.

So, could you give us a makeup of your club - how many dedicated pitchers, how many returning with experience pitchers - your starters, relievers, sacrificial pitchers? Are you grooming pitchers to take over the lead for those that are leaving? What is the pitch inventory of those pitchers this season - fastball, sliders, curveball, off-speed, sinker, knuckleballers, and so forth?

Why all the questions? Because as a high school coach, you have little, if any control, of those pitchers once they leave your field. So, these guys are going to bring all kinds of preparation/lack there off, on to your schedules, and, here’s the road of midfields that all that entails - you’ll be judged on wins-losses regardless.

I assume that you’re just starting out with this position - am I right?

If you are just starting to assume this role as Pitching Coach, here is a neat little article that you should read:


No sir, I’ve been a pitching coach for 10 years at the High School level.

Many of my pitchers are positions players but my top 3 arms are PO’s. I am looking to pick you guys’ brains on what kind of things you have your pitchers do before pens/game days and what you have them do when they leave the mound.

I’m all about giving my guys choices and I want to give them a list of things they can do to accomplish what I want accomplished before throwing and directly after.


I’ve posted in the past the dynamic warm-up routines I’ve used. They incorporate movement and muscle recruitment to actually raise body temperature which, after all, is the purpose of warm-ups. The routine also incorporate some strength and flexibility work. I have my team - including pitchers - do these routines before practices and games.

Search this site (or the Internet) for “dynamic warm-up”.


Hello Coach Baker,

This is the pitching routine I have my players do before a game: This routine roughly takes 45 minutes. I start the routine 1 hour before game time so this leaves the pitcher 15 minutes to get water and rest.

1. Mind Set - 5 – 10 minutes before you arrive at the field, listen to music that will pump you up.
Visualize your pitching motion.
Visualize the outcome you want – hitting the strike zone.

2. Warm Up Legs - One sprint at 50% from the sideline to centerfield and back

3. Dynamic Stretching
• Inchworm
• Spider Lunge
• Knee Hug
• Lunge with Rotation
• Lunge Squat with Rotation
• Butt Kicks
• 25 yard sprint at 50%
• 25 yard sprint at 75%
• 25 yard sprint at 100%

4. Performance Band Routine
• Rows
• Reverse Fly
• Pulldowns
• 50/50
• Inclines
• Victory

5. Pre-Game Bullpen Warm Ups With Catcher on the Field
• Arm Circles with baseball forward and back
• Torque and Turns – work on hitting your target
• Load on the Turn – work on hitting your target
• Rockers – work on hitting your target
• Step Behinds (long toss) – We don’t go out any further than 120’. You do not have throw on a line on the way out. Advance distance out only after a minimum of 3 accurate throws. Back out in small increments (no more than 5 to 10 feet). On the way back in, throw it on a line and work on pulling down. Bring it back in after every throw into pitching distance – work on hitting your target.
• Once you feel your arm is warmed up, take a short break, get a drink of water, and then proceed to the bullpen

6. After Pitching Your Game:
Run sprints not poles. Sprints help get rid of the lactic acid that built up over the course of the game.
Band Routine:
• Rows
• Reverse Fly
• Pulldowns
• 50/50
• Inclines
• Victory

Of course this is all much easier to do in tournaments when you have the time. The problem with HS baseball is the timing. Sometimes the bus arrives at the fields and you only have 15 minutes before play. In this case I shorten the routine.