Pitching is a physically and mentally demanding position in baseball. Whether you are a high school pitcher or pitching at any other level, it's important to be well-prepared physically and mentally. Here are some tips on how to prepare for your next game:
First and foremost, make sure to give yourself plenty of time to warm up before the game. The pre-game routine can vary from person to person, but it's essential to take care of your body by doing some pre-game warm-up exercises. Start by doing some light cardio to get your blood flowing. Jogging, jumping jacks, or skipping rope are all great options to start with.
As your body matures, you need to pay more attention to it. Make sure to carb load before the game, as the carbs help build energy and fuel in your body. Get good sleep and avoid staying up late. About an hour before the game, make sure you are in a good mindset and do something that gets you hyped and pumped because you want to go out there with tons of energy.
After you have warmed up, it's time to start focusing on your arm. Using Jaeger bands is a highly recommended pre-game routine. Next, do some plyometric exercises, keeping the intensity at around 90-95% and don't do too many reps, so you don't waste your energy. Head to the field to do some leg stretches and a light jog to the center field wall and back.
Once you're feeling limber, it's time to start throwing. Start with some flat ground pitches, focusing on spin rate and accuracy. Work with your grip if you need to, and then move on to your bullpen routine. Start with J Bands, five to ten reps each, followed by a set of plyo balls, about five to seven reps each.
The next phase of your bullpen routine should include some reverse throws, pivot pickoffs, hip hinges, and walking windups. After that, do some long toss or catch to feel, around 75-80% effort, seven to eight throws. Finally, you'll do your bullpen, 15-20 pitches, at around 80-85% effort.
During your bullpen, focus on locating your pitches. Start with the 4-seam, throwing two pitches to locate: middle-middle, then outside and then inside corner. Next, throw 2-seam, low and inside on RHH, two to three pitches. Finally, practice throwing a slider as a strike and then a chase pitch like a backdoor slider or chase outside.
Finish up your bullpen with a pitching simulation, about 90% effort, and pitch to one or two batters. Practice your pitch sequence for RHH and LHH.
In conclusion, preparing to pitch in baseball is a crucial part of your game. Take care of your body, warm up correctly, and focus on your arm and your pitch sequence. Following these steps, you can maximize your potential and achieve success on the mound.