TIP of the MONTH
Coach Jerry “Kal” Kalista
March 1, 2017
PREPARING TO PITCH
Many pitchers don’t properly prepare themselves to pitch. This is not a blanket statement to all pitchers. However, the lack of preparation, warm-up, throwing, and bullpen presence is sometimes just awful. It starts with an uneventful warm-up, followed by playing poor catch, very little long toss and then a bullpen session that lacks conviction and intent. Hey pitchers, it’s your start make the most of it. Prepare like you are going to pitch nine (9) innings. Don’t assume you can just show up and pitch.
All pitchers are different. The preparation routine for pitchers can vary, such as; the number of pitches it takes to get ready and what pitches are thrown. Pitchers need to find what works best for them based on their age and level of competition. The following preparation routine is a guideline. It can help the advanced pitchers to get themselves ready to pitch, as well as can be used as a guideline for the beginning pitchers who are serious about their game.
Before pitching, and before stretching, a pitcher needs to get the blood flowing through their bodies by taking a light jog. This will begin the much needed blood flow to the muscles. A complete stretching routine should follow the light jog. After stretching, the pitcher should play catch and long toss. Catch should be done until the pitcher feels loose. Now move on to an abbreviated long toss. At this point, the pitcher should be warm and should begin to work on perfecting his pitching mechanics.
Now, move to the bullpen mound. Work from the wind-up (40%) and the stretch (60%). The focus should be on mechanics and command of the fast ball, working up & down and in & out, not velocity. After 10 – 15 pitches, the pitcher should move to working on his other pitches. While still working on location (up & down, in & out), now include the change up (same arm speed/release point). Then move to the breaking ball (focus on good downward rotation). The pitcher can now move to any other pitches he may have. During this section of the preparation, be sure to work on repeating your delivery with all your pitches. Throw 5 – 10 pitches each and gradually work toward 100%. Don’t forget to work on pitchouts to a righty and lefty. Then finish with 3 – 5 of your best 100% fast balls. Remember, focus, focus, focus and location, location, location!
The pitcher is now ready for the game mound.
Work fast, throw strikes and change speeds! The best pitch in baseball is…..FIRST PITCH STRIKE!
PROPER PREPARATION PREVENTS POOR PERFORMANCE!
ALWAYS BE POSITIVE! ALWAYS GIVE 100% ENERGY TAKES NO TALENT!
Coach Jerry “Kal” Kalista
NOTE: Direct any questions or comments to Coach Kalista at firstname.lastname@example.org