Training For Pitchers During COVID-19
We are living in unique times right now. Almost all spring and summer sports have been cancelled, however we live in Iowa and Iowa High School Baseball and Softball is playing. They had extraordinarily little time to prepare for the season, like Major League Baseball, and it shows with the injuries being seen! Therefore, it is so important for a player to be ready for their season. Right now during Covid 19 it is imperative for players to be prepared for when their season will continue.
My son is going to be a senior in college and plays baseball there. He like so many had his season suddenly stopped a quarter of the way through. He is a pitcher and to his credit decided to stay prepared and use this time to make himself better. I will describe below some of the things he is doing to stay in shape for his summer league and to get himself ready for the fall season in college.
He has decided to follow two different programs that can be done easily at home. He is doing Crossover Symmetry and Driveline Plyo Balls. Crossover Symmetry is a band workout and they also provide a weightlifting workout schedule. When Crossover is purchased it comes with a set of bands (different resistance levels), a workout program, and how to do the exercises. I will not go into details of the exercises as they would not appreciate that information going out for free. Band workouts are made to strengthen a pitcher’s arm to provide additional velocity and most importantly to help avoid injury. The bands can be attached to a wall, a fence, or in a door. The various resistance bands will offer different levels of resistance as a person becomes stronger. They are low impact; however, they are very intense muscle workouts. They have coupled the band workout with a weight training workout. The weight workouts focus primarily on legs and core. He has also decided to use Driveline Plyo Balls. This is a weighted ball (plastic covered softer balls) that have specific drills again to focus on arm strengthening and care. He does this workout in our storage room on a cement wall.
To stay sharp with his pitching he is utilizing a Muhl Tech 9 Hole Pitching Target Net. This is a 46” high by 40” wide net that comes with 9 pitching target holes to use for pitching practice. He starts by stretching, then throws a bucket of 30 baseballs into the net moving back every few throws and ending in a long toss position (approximately 120 feet). Of course, he is not making into the net each time from that distance, but usually the ball will not roll too far away from it. He then will pull out our ProMounds Training Mound. This is a true practice mound that has the dimensions of 4” high, by 3’ wide, by 3’ long. It weighs only 21 pounds, so is very portable. He is only using this to get him off flat ground to simulate a mound. With having done his lifting, Plyo Balls, Crossover Symmetry Bands, and long tossing, he is focusing on his mechanics and his pitch location off the mound into the 9-hole pitch target.
With the workout described above, he has worked on all the important things a pitcher should be focusing on in the off-season. He has focused on arm strength, core strength, leg strength, velocity, accuracy, and most importantly arm care to do his best to avoid injury. He is a dedicated player and does put approximately 6-8 hours a week doing all these things. The best part of all of this is that with a little investment a player can do all of it by themselves at home or in a park when it fits into their schedule. This is true of any youth pitcher that wants to dedicate time into making themselves better in the off-season, or in this case during the Covid season!
- Chris Donohue