Having a good warm up before a pitching a game or practice is essential to a pitcher’s success. It allows the catcher to figure out what pitches are working, makes pitchers more accurate, and most importantly prevents injury. However, there are so many drills out there, it is hard to know exactly which ones every pitcher should be doing. The drills pitcher’s do before games can also be tailored towards what the pitcher is struggling with or is working on. In this article we will only be talking about the essential drills we think every pitcher should be doing before a game or practice.
All warmup drills should be treated the same. You are not trying to learn anything before a game or practice, and you should not be going 100%. The purpose of warmups is to loosen and remind, anything more can hurt the pitcher and have them focus on little things that do not matter during a game. Warmup drills are also the time for the pitcher to focus in and start mentally preparing for the game and practice as well. The first drill every pitcher should start out with is spins.
Spins are important to help pitchers remember and focus on how their grips and releases should be during the game. Using a 14 inch, weighted, or spinner ball the pitcher should get a a couple feet or more away from the catcher or net and casually using only the forearm and wrist work on each spin for each pitch. Around five spins each is a good amount, and this can be adjusted but the amount should remain consistent.
After spins the pitcher should back up to a little further than the halfway a point between the pitching mound and home plate from the catcher. The pitcher will then, as the title says, take a three-quarter position. This is when the pitcher has already taken their stride and is facing sideways, with their eyes and head towards to the catcher. The glove arm should be point towards the catcher and the pitching arm should be almost lined up with your shoulder (not necessarily straight). The purpose of this is drill is to focus on pitcher’s release of the pitch. For a visual Amanda Scarborough goes over this and the spin drill in this video. Around ten to fifteen of these is a good amount before moving on to the next drill.
For this drill the pitcher needs to back up three steps behind the pitching rubber. The point of walk-throughs is to walk into your pitch. These should not be done at more than 75% because this is supposed to loosen the arm, body, and work on getting the body to go towards the catcher when pitching. If this is done at 100% then the pitcher could get hurt and the overall intentions of the drill would be lost. While the pitcher takes the three steps into the pitch their arms will also be moving. Amanda Scarborough also has a fantastic video that goes over this. The pitcher should also do around 10-15 of these before starting to pitch.
These are three different drills that should be done before each game and practice before pitching. They help the pitcher focus, work on spins, release, loosening up, and preventing injuries.