Coaches Need to Stress Mechanics During Workouts

August 2, 2009

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In baseball, a pitcher may stand in one spot for the vast duration of an inning, yet he’s probably the one player on the team who does the most physical work in a game. Pitching requires an incredible amount of attention, patience, and stamina. It is both a mentally and physically exhausting job, yet wholly rewarding when the job is done right. No less than any other team member, the pitcher has to train hard, although his training will require quite a different approach than that of many other players of other sports. What comprises effective drills for baseball pitchers?

Is weight training a vital part of baseball pitcher’s workouts? A pitcher needs to have a strong arm to throw fast pitches, doesn’t he? Actually, weight training is a bad idea for a pitcher. First of all, the arm doesn’t control pitching velocity, but the body. Neither does this mean that a pitcher should do a full body strength training workout. At the heart of speed is good pitching mechanics, period. All weight training does is provide the pitcher with further opportunity for injury.

Do other types of exercise make for good pitching workouts? While full body strength training is not recommended, full body explosive exercises are. These may include sprinting and aerobic training. One reason behind this is that while good mechanics improve pitch speed, exhibiting speed, in turn, improves the acquisition of good mechanics. Besides, pitching is not slow and deliberate, like weight training – pitching is fast and explosive, much like sprinting and aerobic exercises.

The best practice routines are those that most closely resemble genuine game intensity and play. Therefore, workouts should stick to explosive exercises as previously mentioned. Practices should also be extremely intense. The pitcher should throw from a mound and not the flat turf. Drills and concentrating on the long toss should be traded in for practicing mechanics for baseball pitchers. Pitches should not only mimic game intensity, but also quantity. That is, the pitcher should try to throw in practice as many pitches as he would in a game. Throwing fewer pitches, again, actually creates greater risk of injury.

Really, these approaches to practices only make sense. Just as standing still at the foul line and taking shot after shot doesn’t really prepare a basketball player for a real game, neither is a pitcher prepared for a real game simply by tossing the ball back and forth. The key is in doing exercises.

 

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